Arts & Entertainment

Civil War Reenactors Bring American History to Life in Berkeley Heights

1769f9b2a2589bd4907d_1sepia.jpg
Glenn Jones (left), John Andrews and Tom Eldridge demonstrate their Enfield Musket-Rifles during Saturday's reenactment event. Credits: Guy Kass
d1835343883a6fd62170_2sepia.jpg
Credits: Guy Kass
1f8b4d02961032dbd07c_3.jpg
Visitors explore the Sibley tent. Credits: Guy Kass
4bdcce003c45cae7eda6_4.jpg
9d30ba43646bf14c294c_5.jpg
175bfd2aa5087021df9c_6.jpg
John Andrews and Tom Eldridge fire a volley. Credits: Guy Kass
61c6f22902edb9b064d4_7.jpg
Tom Eldridge talks with a visitor. Credits: Guy Kass
e60673b6994ac7ccc9bc_8.jpg
Tom Eldridge displays a military-issued uniform. Credits: Guy Kass
60a3a856647ea40856fb_9.jpg
Tom Eldridge displays a dress hat and canvas bag used for carrying personal supplies. Credits: Guy Kass
1769f9b2a2589bd4907d_1sepia.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – For the watching adults, the serious men in their blue military uniforms firing their rifles into the air was fascinating. For the children with their hands clamped over their ears, it was a bit scary. But for everyone, it was a glimpse back into the history of America.

The 43d New York Volunteer Infantry set up camp on Saturday afternoon at the Berkeley Heights Public Library.  Area residents took advantage of the warm afternoon to drop by and see tents, uniforms, clothing and other Civil War replicas.

The 43d New York Volunteer Infantry is a family oriented Civil War reenacting organization and member of the United States Volunteer Battalion (USV), dedicated to the remembrance and accurate portrayal of the common civilian and soldier working to preserve the Union during the American Civil War.

Sign Up for E-News

Re-enactors on Saturday demonstrated their Enfield rifle-muskets by firing two rounds. The littlest spectators covered their ears as the rifle cracks echoed through the trees.

“In a real battle, there would be thousands of guns, cannons, smoke all over the place,” said member Glenn Jones, explaining the rifle reloading process as the others did it. “A good soldier was expected to be able to reload and fire every 20 seconds.”

Jones, along with fellow reenactors Tom Eldridge and John Andrews, showed visitors their tents, cooking supplies, weapons, and clothing. While everything they use is a reproduction, Jones let visitors examine his sword, which is an actual piece from the Civil War.

A table piled with coats, shirts, hats and shoes allowed visitors to see what military men wore – and what they were given but discarded, like heavy wool shirts that were traded for civilian shirts made of much cooler cotton, and small-brimmed, fitted hats that went by the wayside in favor of wider-brimmed hats that protected their faces and ears from sun and rain.

Eldridge explained that while all the coats and pants were blue, their shades often varied due to different dye lots. Light blue pants were worn by volunteer soldiers, while dark blue pants were for full-time military men.

Jones offered tours of the Sibley tent, invented by American military officer Henry Hopkins Sibley. The huge canvas tent was inspired by the design of the teepee, and is held in place by one giant pole in the middle. Jones said the tent can sleep 18 soldiers, and when the weather is cold, a stove is set up next to the pole.

It’s all part of the magic of reenacting the day-to-day life of a Civil War soldier, a hobby that has long had many enthusiasts. Members of the 43d New York Volunteer Infantry are spread out across the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Most reside in New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New York. The real 43d New York Volunteer Infantry were also known as the Albany Rifles and the Yates Rifles. Most of the regiment was from the Albany area. However, two companies (the Yates Rifles) were from Brooklyn. They were mustered into service in September of 1861 and served in the Army of the Potomac for the duration of the war.

This year, the reenactors are focusing on the events of 1862, the second year of the war. Next year will be the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County, Sunday, July 8

June 24, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this summer. The first performance will be presented on Sunday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade in Linden.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New jersey will present an hour long performance of “Powerful Trouble,” a stirring ...

Imagine Hosts Annual Breakfast Fundraiser

Nearly 350 guests attended Imagine’s 7th annual breakfast fundraiser, Seasons of Hope, on June 6th, 2018 at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains.  “We especially want to thank our breakfast sponsors -- our platinum sponsor Merck, our bronze sponsors ConnectOne Bank and Northfield Bank, the volunteers and donors that contributed to the breakfast” said Imagine Board ...

Local at-risk youth celebrate year of achievements at Community Access Unlimited

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) last night celebrated the achievements of a number of at-risk youth who are members of the agency's Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP). Each of these youth are within New Jersey's child services system and faced a number of life challenges before coming to CAU and TOP and since then have made significant progress in plotting a brighter future with ...

Union County Residents Can “Recycle Right” without Plastic Bags

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that plastic bags and other excluded items cannot be recycled through their local curbside pick-up programs.

“Union County residents have a good recycling rate compared to other counties in our state, and we want to improve on this record and set a high bar,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “Every ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Linden Man Arrested After Explosion in Cranford

June 21, 2018

CRANFORD - On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:06 p.m. the Cranford Police Department received
information that an explosion was heard in the area of Raritan Road and Summit Terrace. Through
a joint investigation with the Union County Prosecutor's Office and Linden Police Department, the
Cranford Police Department Detective Bureau identified a suspect through surveillance video ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_946d04346cba30ae4cb8_st._huberts_3

Sun, June 24, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back

Carousel_image_f22718b50d966a6916f0_tbc_flier

Sun, June 24, 10:00 AM

eMedical Urgent Care, Berkeley Heights

eMedical Urgent Care to Hold Free Teddy Care ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3e68b1f0c65d22cd79bc_d6a71058d531d31a8cff_achievers

Mon, June 25

Summit YMCA, Summit

June 2018 College Tour

Education

Carousel_image_946d04346cba30ae4cb8_st._huberts_3

Mon, June 25, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Madison

Kids' Critter Camp

Education

Mon, June 25, 10:00 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Summer Reading Kick-Off: Eyes of the Wild

Arts & Entertainment

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...