Fort Stevens Civil War Reenactment Explodes on N. Oregon Coast
(Astoria, Oregon) – Every year for over 20 years, a growing number of everyday people from around the U.S. have started participating in what is the Pacific Northwest's largest Civil War reenactment. Starting out with just a handful of fighters and spectators in the late 80's, it grew to over 800 warriors putting on a show and over 4,000 viewers. (Reenactment photos courtesy Friends of Fort Stevens).
It's called the Fort Stevens: Historical Reenactment, and it takes place at Fort Stevens on the North Oregon coast on May 31 and June 1. Watch hundreds fire off cannons in enormous plumes of smoke, shoot smaller weapons at each other, engage in various battle plans and attacks – and watch them hit the ground.
This Civil War reenactment has the subheading of 79th New York, SM Highlanders, Company C, acting out a battle this company fought during the United States' most tumultuous period.
Fort Stevens State Park is named after Isaac Stevens, who fought with this regiment.
All this is just the beginning of many civil war reenactments that take place at Fort Stevens over the summer. You'll find battle reenactments at the north Oregon coast hotspot every weekend, though a handful are World War 2 battles and one is a Revolutionary War portrayal. All these are part of the Living History Program at Fort Stevens, and each of the Civil War battles focuses on a different group or aspect.
Reenactors literally walk the walk and talk the talk. They dig deep into their roles, portraying actual soldiers, right down to name, rank and serial number. Food is prepared the way they did in the 1860's. Uniforms are hand-sewn. Soldiers live the life right there on the on the battlefield of Fort Stevens, camping on the grounds for a few days. Some groups – including the pipers – have been known to walk the 20 miles from Seaside into the battle area.
Fort Stevens was built in 1865 to guard the Columbia River from Confederate ships which actually did wreak havoc on the Pacific Northwest economy at times during the war. Then, it was an earthen fort, but by World War 2 the concrete battlements of Battery Russell and other areas were built.
More information on the event and the summer schedule can be found at http://visitftstevens.com/. 503-861-1470. More about this area at the Warrenton/Astoria Virtual Tour, Map, including more history and attractions at Fort Stevens State Park. More photos from Fort Stevens below.
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