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Butternut & Blue Day at the York Emporium in York PA – May 7

Reenactors demonstrate their hobby to a crowd gathered at the York Emporium, 343 W. Market Street, York PA, for the annual Butternut & Blue Day. The large bookstore carries a significant number of used and new Civil War book titles. Photo courtesy of store owner Jim Lewin.
Once again the sound of musketry will ring through the historic streets of York, Pennsylvania. Almost 148 years ago, a small skirmish took place just outside of York when the 17th Virginia Cavalry, a mounted infantry unit from what is now West Virginia, fired shots at retreating Union militia. Both sides were armed with rifled muskets, but no one is known to have been shot in this brief engagement that has largely been forgotten to history. No markers commemorate the Skirmish of York, just one of the thousands of obscure little engagements between the butternut and blue warriors. The actual fight took place within a mile of the location of the reenactment.
On Saturday, May 7, 2011, the York Emporium, a bookstore with an eclectic selection of memorabilia and collectibles, will host its annual Butternut & Blue Day. This year’s event will feature living history demonstrations, Civil War lectures, book signings, a trivia contest, and Civil War films — something for just about everyone, young and old.
And best of all?
it’s all FREE!
Yep, you read that right. No charge. Zilch. Nada. How’s that for a day’s entertainment?
Even the popcorn is free to snack on while watching the flicks!


Schedule of events


10 a.m. Living history demonstrations begin with four different reenactment groups participating — two blue, two butternut/gray.
11 a.m., Author / YCHT tour guide Scott L. Mingus Sr. will discuss York County’s role in the war and will sign copies of his newly released book, Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.: Remembering the Rebellion and the Gettysburg Campaign, co-authored with James McClure. This book, loaded with fresh material recently discovered, is endorsed by the Pennsylvania 150 Civil War committee and carries the official logo on the cover, making it a worthy souvenir of the Civil War anniversary. Scott will also sign copies of Savas Beatie’s new and improved version of Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863, which tells the brief story of the Skirmish of York.
12 p.m., It’s movie time! Come munch the free popcorn and watch The Drummer of the 8th, a 28-minute silent film from 1915 about a boy who runs away to join the Army. When the Civil War begins, young Billy is wounded in battle and taken prisoner. Watch what happens to the youth as he becomes a hero to his comrades! The classic movie was directed by Thomas H. Ince and features silent movie stars Cyril Gardner, Mildred Harris (Charlie Chaplin’s lover who later had an affair with the Prince of Wales!), and Frank Borzage.
1 p.m., Nationally known cartographer and historian Steve Stanley, co-author of The Complete Gettysburg Guide, will speak on his book. Called “the one book you MUST have on the Battle of Gettysburg,” Steve and co-author J. David Petruzzi have collaborated with publisher Savas Beatie to produce one of the best guidebooks to a Civil War battle ever produced. Copies will be for sale and Steve will gladly sign them!
2:30 p.m., It’s another classic flick that even hard-core Civil War buffs may not have seen — The Coward, a 77-minute silent film from 1915 about a man who runs from battle. Produced by Thomas H. Ince, the film stars Frank Keenan as a Virginia colonel and Charles Ray as his weak-willed son. The son is forced, at gunpoint, by his father to enlist in the Confederate army. He is terrified by the war and deserts during a battle. The film focuses on the son’s struggle to overcome his cowardice.
4 p.m., Store owner Jim Lewin hosts a laugh-filled game of Civil War Jeopardy! trivia, always a popular and fun event in past years.
5 p.m. A North Meets South concert by Dan Steinfelt and Nappy Williams.
Admission is free, the events are free, and even the popcorn is free at Butternut & Blue!
For more information, please visit the York Emporium’s Facebook page or call Jim or Pam at (717) 846-2866.