MORRISTOWN, N.J. Cover your ears! The sound of the massive period cannon will amaze you. Step onto the battlefield and witness musket, artillery, and bayonet drills, daily mail call, and marching drills. Soldiers proudly play period instruments as they go into battle.
‘Civil War Weekend,’ a unique two-day event sponsored by the Second New Jersey Brigade and the Morris County Park Commission, presents the lives of Civil War soldiers more vividly than textbooks.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 11, reenactors lead activities throughout Historic Speedwell’s eight-acre site in Morristown.
At the soldier’s camp, daily life is recreated with authentic cooking, dress, and setup. Learn the basics of battlefield medicine, and visit the medical area where reenactors care for the sick and wounded.
A Civil War-era Signal Corps group accurately demonstrates how important messages were sent between units using colorful flags to send signals. Witness a demonstration of a recreated Civil War telegraph station.
“The telegraph played an essential role throughout the Civil War. Traveling telegraph wagons followed the troops into the field and relayed important messages. It has been stated that more than 15,000 miles of military telegraph lines were constructed during the Civil War,” said Mark Sutherland, Manager of Historic Sites for the Morris County Park Commission.
“The technological innovation of the telegraph changed the way wars were fought, and also the way people lived,” Sutherland continued.
Historic Speedwell is the ‘Birthplace of the Telegraph.’ Take a tour of The Factory Building, a National Historic Landmark, where Samuel F.B. Morse and Alfred Vail worked to perfect the telegraph and where is was first publicly demonstrated in 1838.
Admission to ‘Civil War Weekend’ is $7 for adults, $6 per senior, $5 per child age 4 to 16, and FREE for children under age 4.