Re-enactors bring Civil War to life in Channahon Farms

Matthew Phillips, IV Leader Staff Writer

On the weekend of Oct. 17 and 18, the Civil War came to Channahon in one of the most spectacular re-enactments the
state of Illinois has to offer.

Dollinger Family Farms hosted its 20th Civil War Re-enactment with more than 500 re-enactors. The weekend-long event
drew a crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people from across the state.

As a member of the crowd on Saturday, I was astonished. The battle was intense and very enjoyable.

Walking into Dollinger Family Farms, I felt a strange sensation that I was no longer in 2015, but in the 1860s with the vintage-looking camps, the Union and Confederate troops, and the sounds of battle. I would say that the 2015 Dollinger Family Farms Civil War Re-enactment was the best I have ever seen.

The battle started around 2 p.m. with an artillery cannonade from Union and Confederate camps. Then there was a cavalry engagement on the Northern end of the battlefield which erupted with the crashing of musket fire from infantry.

At first, the Confederates seemed to be winning, but near the end, Union troops turned the tide. A magnificent Confederate
charge was repulsed and the line delivered a crushing defeat by deadly volleys from the Union lines. As a result, the
Union gained momentum and ultimately claimed victory around 3 p.m.

One memorable experience was the use of special effects. Every once in a while, a “thud” would be heard that mimicked a close-range cannon shot, and pieces of dirt erupted into the air.

Not only was the re-enactment spectacular, but the re-enactors were, too. They love history. What made these men
and women unique was their effort to live and fight like the troops to give the public a taste of war in the 1860s. It was their
appreciation of history and their goal to present 1860 America to modern America which made my experience even more
enjoyable.

I had a spectacular time at Dollinger Family Farm’s Civil War Days, and I bet you can also have an unforgettable experience
next October.

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