The Brown Farm Pioneer Days never fails to deliver when it comes to fun, activities, and presenting historical events geared for the entire family. This year Pioneer Days (July 24 – 25) will be providing yet another glimpse into the past with the addition of a living history Civil War reenactment group representing the 9th Kentucky CoB – a Confederate outfit that participated in major skirmishes and battles throughout the Civil War.
According to Brett Pomeroy, representative for the 9th Kentucky CoB, the group recreates historically-accurate representations of what life was like in the military during the Civil War.
“We prefer the term ‘living historians’ to reenactors. It’s more reflective of what we’re doing,” he said. Pomeroy has been involved with Civil War living history enactments for over 20 years having got the bug from a class outing to Usher’s Ferry in Cedar Rapids.
“I first got interested in this when I was a student at Wilson Middle school in Cedar Rapids. We went to a battle reenactment at Usher’s Ferry near Xavier High School.” Pomeroy says he was offered the chance then to try on one of the military uniforms at the event and he’s been hooked ever since.
“Our members put in a lot of time and resources into this aspect of American history and many make their own uniforms for historical accuracy,” he said.
Pomeroy added that members will also participate in living history events around the area portraying both sides of the conflict. “A lot of members have museum-quality equipment and uniforms and will travel to different events. Depending on what’s needed they’ll portray soldiers from the Union or Confederates.”
Pomeroy says all of the accoutrements the group wears are period correct and accurately represent uniforms and patches soldiers wore at the time. He explains many living historians have additional perspective regarding the Civil War and how it is viewed in today’s political climate.
“People try to equate events from that period, but you can’t assign modern day morality. It was a different time in history. And those events don’t translate in today’s political environment,” he said.
People visiting Pioneer Days will have access to the enactors and Pomeroy says they’ll be on hand to speak with visitors and answer questions about the Civil War and the era.
“Everyone has an opinion or a reason as to why it occurred, and there is no right or wrong answer,” he explained. “We’re offering a glimpse into that period. We’ll be drilling, offering demonstrations of equipment, and maneuvers.”
According to Gary Greif, Central City Historical Society president, the Society is looking forward to providing visitors with this opportunity to witness the living history group.
“Each year the Buckskinners set up camp at Pioneer Days and they’re a big draw for us. Were very excited and looking forward to hosting the Civil War reenactors. This will be a unique event to the farm this year,” he said.
Greif says the group reached out to them about setting up and performing at Pioneer Days. “They contacted us and offered to come out and offer demonstrations, build a wooden bridge at the farm, as well as set up a Civil War encampment.”
The group will provide not only a view into how Civil War soldiers lived and worked during the 1860s, but are also planning demonstrations of skirmishes and battles.
“We’re proud to be able to bring something like this to the public through the Society. It’s going to be huge for us,” said Greif. The Brown Farm Pioneer Days is scheduled for July 24 and 25.