Perryville Gears Up For Civil War Anniversary

Sep 30, 2012

PERRYVILLE, Ky.  --  Officials in Perryville are gearing up for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle that was fought there.

Earlier this month, officials announced that more than 1,800 people had registered to participate in the re-enactment that takes place on Oct. 5-7. Perryville resident and avid re-enactor Chad Greene told The Advocate-Messenger that he expects about 2,000 people from across North America to take part in the event.

Kentucky State Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker urged spectators to purchase tickets to the event in advance.

"In the past, there have been long lines for people who waited to purchase tickets," Walker said. "With the 150th anniversary, we expect that issue to become even more serious this year."

The Battle of Perryville was the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky. More than 7,600 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after the combat.

Walker and Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site Manager Kurt Holman also announced that a rededication ceremony for Union and Confederate monuments at the park will be held at the park on Oct. 8 - 150 years to the day after Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg invaded Perryville hoping to get support from Kentucky residents.

Former CIA and FBI director William Webster, who is the great-grandson of Union officer George Webster, who died in the Battle of Perryville, will attend and speak at the ceremony.

Although the events may be centered around the battle, Perryville Battlefield Preservation Coordinator Joan House said that won't be the only focus.

"The weekend is not just about re-enacting the battle," House said. "We always emphasize the life of the average person living during the Civil War era."

During the Civil War, soldiers' wives usually traveled with them and cooked for the troops; sometimes they were in dangerous situations because they were so close to the conflicts.

"There will probably be at least a few wet eyeballs during the weekend," Greene said.