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Union set to take port from Confederates!

PORT GAMBLE — The Confederate Army will once again try to hold Port Gamble this weekend against the Union Army in the Battle for Port Gamble, and Confederate Battalion Commander Colonel Frank “Rusty” Starr is positive he and his men will hold the Union soldiers at bay this weekend.

“This time, I think the Confederates will be victorious,” he said. “We’re holding the street battle Friday night, and we’re expecting more troops and we’re reorganizing our troops a little.”

The Confederates are also expecting more calvary and artillery to support their campaign over the three day battle. The Union Army will be trying to take the port town, demonstrating how a port battle may have gone in North or South Carolina during the latter stages of the Civil War.

Starr is counting on 20 to 26 mounted calvary, and has decided to place some of the larger artillery across Highway 104 in the Confederate camp. During the reenactments, the large guns and cannons will be firing over the highway in an attempt to hold off the onslaught of Union soldiers.

For three years, the Washington Civil War Association reenactors have set up their camp on Port Gamble’s grassy slopes and demonstrated what life would have been like in the 1860s for modern day visitors.

“Well, we basically have, we still have our calvary give their demonstrations,” said event coordinator and reenactor Howard Struve. “(Starr) said the demonstration will be much more formal. We’ll probably demonstrate the saber charge.”

Since the reenactment started in the historical mill town, it has spread in popularity through the WCWA, and each year more people show up to take part. Last year, about 800 reenactors and 3,500 people attended to learn more about the Civil War-era, Struve said. In addition to the battle reenactments, hospital demonstrations, fashion shows and Magic Lantern projections, there will also be docent-guided tours through the camps, which may yield several surprises. Struve said anyone interested can visit the information booth at the reenactment and ask for the times of the tour.

“It’s a lot of choreography,” Starr said. “It’s living history and living theater. We’ve been trying the last couple of years to stick more historical demonstrations in. Earlier, it was more generic.”

For more information or a complete schedule of events, see today’s What’s Up section in the Herald.

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