The first rays of dawn hit Spring Mountain casting a golden hue on two tent cites that have gone up at Spring Mountain Ranch. A slight breeze blows through the autumn leaves creating a tranquil rustling sound. The canvas tents looking like a scene from a history book.
A horse neighs as movement is detected around the camp. A lone man dressed in Union Blues walks to where Old Glory is flying in the wind and plays Reveille on his bugle. In the distance at a nearby camp a man dressed in Confederate Grays is also waking up his camp with a bugle.
Once a year people from all over the Southwest come to Spring Mountain Ranch for Civil War Days. For two days Spring Mountain Ranch is transformed into a battlefield for the Confederate and Union Armies to solve their disputes and to educate willing onlookers.
Civilians gathered to watch as Union soldiers took the field. Old Glory was flapping in the wind as infantry who were carrying rifles surrounded the flag bearer. The scene was majestic as these blue clad soldiers were marching through the field.
A squad of Confederate Rebels took aim on the marching Union troops. Gunshots rang out and a few of the Union Troops fell into the grass because of mortal wounds the survivors formed a firing line and began to return fire. The Confederate Army was launching a counter attack and the Union Army was caught off guard.
The civilians were watching several skirmishes happening on the battlefield, children were leaning on the fence post enthralled in the action. As if the gunshots weren’t shocking enough, cannon fire boomed. The Canon’s echoed off the mountains as the battle raged on.
The two sides were evenly matched until a group of Johnny Rebels snuck up on the Yankees. The small force screamed “Go home Billy” as they fired their rifles. The Union troops were falling quickly. Before a retreat could be sounded, Confederate Horsemen galloped onto the field preventing a retreat.
As the smoke cleared the grass was covered in bodies of the union troops. The Confederate Soldiers checked for survivors and talked about looting the corpses. The Confederate Soldiers stood still to pay respect for the fallen as a Confederate Bugler played Taps.
A Confederate Officer addressed the crowd of onlookers. He explained details about the Civil War while answering some questions. The children in the crowd seemed pretty happy that the guys in gray were helping the guys in blue back to their feet.
When everyone was reincarnated the troops marched up to the crowds for some photos and introductions. The crowd cheered as the troops fired a ceremonial volley into the sky. The civilians were invited back to the Union and Confederate camps to see what camp life had to offer.
In the Union Camp the commanding officer was inspecting the troops. Explaining to the new recruits how they do things. Recruits from Utah, California, Arizona, and Nevada were filling in the ranks.
Set up in the Union Camp was a trading post where civilians could get some grub as well as some keepsakes. In another area people could try their luck at throwing an axe at a target. Civilians were encouraged to witness a mounted demonstration and an artillery demonstration.
Horses, cannons, guns, and dressing up the Civil War Days at Spring Mountain Ranch has something for everyone. The best aspect of the Civil War Days is it is educational. The volunteers aren’t just reenacting battles, they are educating people young and old of what life was like back then. What better way to spend a day with the family? Civil War Days is fun and educational, and just moments outside of Las Vegas at Spring Mountain Ranch.
Interested in Civil War reenactments?
The American Civil War Society – www.acws.net
The Utah Civil War Association – www.utcwa.org
Southwest Civil War Association – www.swcwa.org
Arizona Civil War Council Inc. – www.arizonacivilwarcouncilinc.com
Colorado Reenactors – www.groups.yahoo.com/group/tigerrifles
The Southern Nevada Living History Association – www.snlha.org
Comstock Civil War Re-enactors (Reno) www.ccwr.us
For more information on events at Spring Mountain Ranch: http://parks.nv.gov/smr.htm
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