The echo of cannon fire will once again carry through the hills of Parker.
The third annual Civil War Living History Day depicts everything a history buff could ever want: uniform-clad Union and Confederate soldiers marching in unison, a hard-charging cavalry, a distinguished Abraham Lincoln, mid-19th century songs, muskets, an anti-slavery rally and, of course, cannons.
The Parker Area Historical Society event is bigger than ever this year, and now runs for two days Sept. 15-16 in a vacant field southwest of South Parker Road and Stroh Road. More than 60 soldiers from all over the south metro area will re-enact a one-hour battle at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 15 and 1 p.m. Sept. 16, but each day is packed with demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Spectators will learn about the role of women in the Civil War, as well as the importance of the cavalry in the North’s victory over the South. One PAHS member is making sarsaparilla and hardtack for visitors to try. An abolitionist will discuss slavery, and an actor portraying Abraham Lincoln will talk about the sixteenth president’s thoughts on a war that divided the country.
Although the closest Civil War battle to Parker was hundreds of miles away, at Glorieta Pass in New Mexico, the Castle Rock Civil War Unit will bring the awe-inspiring sights and agonizing sounds of early warfare to town.
Even children can get in on the action. Kids will take to the field with wooden guns and follow marching orders, to the delight of photo-snapping parents on the sidelines. More than 700 people attended Civil War Living History Day last year, said Mike Mulligan, president of the Parker Area Historical Society.
“It’s a great atmosphere,” he said. “We have done a much better job this year than in the past.”
Mulligan has never participated in a re-enactment, but is careful to show his respect to both sides by wearing a dark blue Union hat one day and a gray Confederate cap the other.
The free event was in danger of being canceled because of fears that sparks from musket and cannon fire might ignite the dry brush. However, Mulligan said the fire department has given its approval.
Spectators are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and water.