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Mayor's Round Table

Mayor's Roundtable: Redevelopment to be Discussed

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The next Mayor’s Roundtable will be filmed on Thursday, May 21 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The mayor’s guest will be Councilman Kevin Hall, who will provide an ...

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It's Not Just Fitness, It's A Mindset

Help Your Athlete Reach Potential

Have you ever watched your kids on the field and wished they were just a little faster? If so, you're not alone. Every day, parents come to us looking for help getting their athletes to ...

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Letters to the Editor

Increasing VA Accountability & Economic Opportunity for Our Veterans This Memorial Day

May 22, 2015

Dear Friend, Memorial Day is a time when Americans pay tribute, honor and remember those who have served our country bravely and sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom and democracy. ...

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Today's Events

Police Blotter

Personal Property and Car Theft in Berkeley Heights Neighborhoods

May 25, 2015

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - During the overnight hours of May 22 into May 23, several unlocked vehicles, parked in both driveways and in the street, were entered and personal property was removed ...

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Press Releases

Columns

Weltman Home Services: Need a plumber? An electrician? An HVAC technician? One call takes care of it all!

If You Are on the Fence, the Time is Now!

If you are on the fence replacing your on AC the time is now!  Weltman Home Services is offering a $750 INSTANT CASH REBATE on all new installations but it's only good until JUNE 15th. ...

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Kayla's Creative Art Studio Calendar of Classes

Kayla's Creative Art Studio's May Calendar of Events

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Kayla's Creative Art Studio offers a full calendar of classes throughout the month. Visit www.kaylascreativeartstudio.com for a calendar of events ...

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Real Estate

4 ARDSLEY COURT, NEW PROVIDENCE

  • Berkeley Heights
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 2.5
  • Price: $669,000.00

Featured Business Listing

Civil War Reenactors Bring American History to Life in Berkeley Heights

By CHRISTY POTTER KASS

May 6, 2012 at 4:18 PM

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.

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.