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DANBY, N.Y. —  Step back in time on Saturday and Sunday, June 23and 24, when a Civil War Encampment settles on the grounds of the Danby Community Church. A company street of tents, campfire smoke, period attire, and the unmistakable thunder of musket and cannon fire, will envelop you in the sights and the sounds of the Civil War, and transport you back 150 years.

The soldiers will be sleeping on straw in their tents and cooking their Civil War fare over campfires. Musket tripods will adorn the fields. The clamor of black powder fired from musket and cannon will mark the hour. Attendees will get a first-hand look at the daily life of the soldiers of the Civil War.

Our time travelers include members of the 148th Company E Volunteer Infantry and the 7th Cavalry (unmounted), and the 26th North Carolina (Confederate).

If you haven’t participated in an encampment before you may wonder what you are in for. Living history events incorporate historical tools, activities and dress into an interactive presentation that seeks to give observers and participants a sense of stepping back in time.

Events on Saturday include a pancake breakfast from 8-10 am at the Danby Community Church for free will donation to benefit the participating units. At 11 am Danny Wheeler, Quartermaster of the Sons of Union Veteran, will offer a presentation on the “Life and Times of the Civil War Soldier.” The Finger Lakes Fife & Drum Corps will accompany a procession of the units to the Civil War Memorial at the Danby Town Hall, for a service of remembrance at 1 pm on Saturday.

As you visit the displays and Encampment, listen to the old time sounds of Uncle Joe and the Rosebud Ramblers as they play their extended repertoire of Civil War time favorites on the grounds at 3 pm. A free screening of the award-winning, locally-produced film “Civil Warriors,” at 7:00 pm at the Danby Church. The documentary follows two African American families whose members participated in the Civil War. A discussion with the filmmakers will follow the feature. On Sunday, the Encampment Chaplain will lead a special service at the Danby Community Church. The Encampment will end at 1 pm on Sunday, 6/24.

This event is sponsored by the Danby Community Council with support from United Way and the Danby Community Church. This project was made possible in part by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program.

Featured image provided by Civil War Encampment Facebook event

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.