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Civil War with battle re-enactments at Calico Ghost Town

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The State of California was in its infancy when the Battle of Ft. Sumter, near Charleston, SC took place in 1861 starting the American Civil War. While patriotic fervor swept California residents after this battle, Volunteer Regiments, recruited from pro-Union counties from the northern part of the state were sent to occupy pro-secessionist Southern California leaving Southern Californians powerless during the war. Although 17,000 men from California participated in the War Between the States, California’s contribution to the effort was of small scale.

One hundred and fifty years later, the Civil War is being played out in the hills of Calico Ghost Town over President's Day Weekend, February 19-21st. Two armies, hundreds of soldiers will demonstrate the battles, hardships and life in a divided nation.

The American Civil War Society, the largest Civil War re-enacting association in Southern California, will bring to life the troop drills, inspections, infantry, artillery and cavalry brigades, as well as the fashions, and soldier encampments depicting the life and times of this historic period.

Calico Ghost Town with its colorful hills, unique geologic formations and setting provides a beautiful backdrop to the re-creation of these historic events. Battles are scheduled twice daily on February 19th and 20th at 11:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Among the war-specific drills, canon firings, and sharpshooter demonstrations, visitors will also experience the Civil War from the civilian point of view. There will be fashion shows, music -- from brass bands to guitars, banjos and flutes --, and townspeople displaying their crafts and trades. Each day, an Abe Lincoln re-enactor will deliver "The Gettysburg Address." It is living history for the entire family to enjoy.

Calico Ghost Town offers 265 camp sites with full, partial or no hook-ups. Camping reservations may be booked directly online at www.sbcountyparks.com. Camping patrons receive up to six admissions per unit to the event. Individual admission for the event is: $10 adults; $5 youth 6-15; and free for ages 5 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the gate.

In addition to camping, Calico offers cabins, mini-bunkhouse and a bunkhouse accommodations. Reservations for these must be booked by calling the park at (800) 86-CALICO.

Calico Ghost Town is located off I-15 at the Ghost Town Road exit, ten miles north of Barstow.

By: Cyndi Zidell

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