Civil War Reenactments in California photo gallery



Video of Abraham Lincoln Civil War Reenactment Event



If you ask most students who Abraham Lincoln was, they probably will know. Celebration of his birthday (President's Day) in the U.S. brings a day off from school and closure of public institutions, city halls and banks. 12-year old students come up to "Mr. Lincoln", a reenactor, at events and ask what the thing is called that ended slavery. He tells them it was The Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863.  The Emancipation Proclamation document is in the National Archives in Washington, DC. The five-page document presented a set of conditions that would and did lead to complete, eventual freedom for Afro-Americans, ending slavery in the United States.

Lincoln's best known and most quoted speech, The Gettysburg Address, was presented at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863.

Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. 


We spoke to Mr. Lincoln at a recent Civil War re-enactment in California. It is one of the outstanding living history events that brings the eye-popping blood of battle, roar of canon fire, and clothing and lifestyles of the women, men and children into view for those who feel detached from something that happened over 150 years ago. As you travel through many regions of the United States, you'll see the battlefields and awareness of the Civil War ever present. Near Fayetteville, Arkansas, we went to The Pea Ridge National Park to feel first-hand the eerie stillness of the green fields and markers for gravesites of those fallen during the Civil War in efforts to grab neighboring Missouri for the Union. 

California's role in the Civil War was important. 15,725 volunteers to the Union Armies and California gold helped finance the Union effort. California soldiers helped keep the land between California and the rest of the Union from anarchy—they held Confederates in Texas back and kept them from moving west. California soldiers helped secure the Pacific Coast and keep the confederacy from gaining strength there.

After the surrender at Appomattox, Californians from Camp Drum continued to soldier in the Southwest during the Indian Wars. The California units were recognized by the army commanders of the time as being among the best equipped and trained in the U. S. Army.  Tours of the Drum Barracks are available, Call:  (310) 548-7509. Address: 1052 Banning Boulevard, Wilmington, CA 90744

California Civil War Reenactment encampments and events are held annually in cities such as  Redlands, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Huntington Beach,  Woodland Hills, Fresno, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Gabriel Valley - Pasadena,  Bakersfield, Pleasanton,  Imperial and San Mateo.

For a list of Civil War Roundtables on the web, visit




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