Civil War reenactors bring the battle of Bentonville to Mount Pleasant

Joe Tobianski/Staff Photographer John Beeler of Canton along with other civil war reenactors do a salute to those who have fallen in the Civil War. The reenactment took place at Deerfield County Park.

The south briefly rose again this weekend in Deerfield Park.

Nearly 200 people watched the portrayal at the sixth annual Mid-Michigan Civil War Muster Saturday and Sunday at Deerfield Park. Reenactors from all over Michigan replayed the battle of Bentonville.

Standing behind a 3,000-pound cannon from 1836, Wyandotte resident Brian Murphy said as a person who likes history, he gets to experience what the soldiers went through during the war.

“I get to touch a part of history, literally,” said Murphy, who played a confederate solider from the First Missouri Hiram Bledsoe Light Battery. “This gun in front of me served in both the Civil War and the Mexican War.”

The park, 2425 W. Remus Rd.,  was a great place to reenact the war, said Dave Rowley, commanding officer of the 10th Michigan Infantry, which hosted the event.

“The people of Isabella County love to see their park being used in a variety of ways,” Rowley said.

Along with portraying the major heroes that participated in the War, some re-enactors portrayed some of the smaller heroes.

Susie King-Taylor, the first African-American field nurse and Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, were portrayed by Michelle Petrie of Brownstown Township during the reenactment.

“These American figures are in the history books,” Petrie said. “If you have access to a computer, look them up and find out about them for yourself.”

The Civil War is important for everyone to learn outside of school, Rowley said.

People have told him after his performances they’ve learned much more in 30 minutes than any textbook could have taught them in school, he said.

Rowley, who has been re-enacting the Civil War for 40 years, said it is an honor to be in the shoes of the soldiers that served in this war.

“We do this out of respect for our ancestors that fought in the Civil War,” Rowley said. “In this three-day battle alone, there were 5,000 casualties out of the 60,000 soldiers that fought in the war and we need to pay a tribute to them.”


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