The city of Boscobel will take a long step back in time this weekend when it plays host to the 21st Annual Muskets & Memories Civil War Reenactment and GAR Heritage Encampment at Kronshage Park.
This unique event has become one of the largest and most popular Civil War reenactments in the upper Midwest. It was recently recognized as one of the ten best Civil War reenactments in the country, attracting nearly 1,000 participants and thousands of spectators each year. This year’s event will feature some 800 Union and Confederate soldiers, more than 25 cannons, and over 60 cavalry horses. Guests annually come from across the nation and several foreign countries to attend this interactive educational event that the whole family can enjoy.
Civil War era activities for the weekend include a formal ladies garden party, a ball, pie and ice cream social, children’s activities, church service, medical demonstrations, first person impressions, Sutlers vending period goods, guided tours of the Union and Confederate camps, and of course, the highly popular battle reenactments.
This year, Muskets & Memories is proud to present the 150th anniversary of two critical Civil War battles in which heavily outnumbered forces successfully prevailed, Lee at Chancellorsville, and Buford’s defensive stand on the first day of Gettysburg.
At Chancellorsville, Hooker’s federal force was more than 130,000, with 412 artillery pieces—more than double the size of Lee’s Confederate Army. However, Lee succeeded by skillfully splitting his Army and outmaneuvering Hooker.
At Gettysburg, USA General Buford arrived early in the morning on the first day with two brigades of cavalry. Outnumbered by 10 to 1, he organized a “defense in depth” which held the high ground until the arrival of the “Iron Brigade.” Many historians argue that the battle of Gettysburg, and thence the outcome of the entire Civil War, hinged on Buford and the “Iron Brigade” holding the high ground on that opening day. A more complete discussion of these two battles can be found in the weekend camp paper, The Broadaxe.
Immediately following the Saturday and Sunday afternoon battle reenactments, there are medical scenarios at the medical hospitals adjacent to the Battlefield.
Supports GAR Hall
The event honors and supports Boscobel’s John McDermott Post #101, Grand Army of the Republic Hall, the last active Hall in Wisconsin, and the only Hall nationwide with a continuously active history. The Hall is a repository of rare Civil War memorabilia that will be open to the public during the event. A portion of the proceeds each year is donated to the preservation of the hall and its contents.
The American Civil War Shooting Association, ACWSA, hosts a concurrent live-fire meet at the Boscobel Sportsman’s Club. Participants in period dress fire Civil War shoulder arms at targets, both as individuals and teams.
The ACWSA also offers spectators the opportunity to fire a CW musket for a nominal donation to the GAR Hall. This activity takes place on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Immediately following the Saturday afternoon battle reenactment, there is a Battle Royale, featuring cannons, Gatling guns, and various other unusual weapons. The Gatling gun, predecessor of the modern machine gun, saw very limited action near the end of the Civil War.
This activity-filled weekend event has become a favorite for families as well as the serious history buff. General Admission is $8 per day, age 7-12 is $4, and under age 7 is free. Group, family and weekend rates are available. For more information about this unique event, please visit the web site: www.musketsandmemories.net or call: 608-485-1600, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org