Quick, use the ramrod on your musket, put on your Hardee hat, and take on those charging bayonets!

Company K of the 67th Long Island NY Historical Association will host a Civil War Re-enactment at Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens on Saturday, June 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

The goal is to give a sense of how Civil War soldiers lived and what they experienced on the battlefield. Thus, Company K will establish an encampment on a grassy knoll near the Victorian Administration Building with appropriately dressed actor soldiers wearing kepis (caps) and speaking with the proper diction of the era.

Attendees will observe military drills and take in lectures on diet, communications, and medical treatment. They might even enlist in the effort at a recruitment station.

Maple Grove Cemetery is the final resting spot for a few dozen Civil War veterans, including cemetery founder Colonel William Sterling, John Sutphin, whose name is recalled by Sutphin Boulevard, and two Medal of Honor winners: Major George Corliss and Quartermaster Edward Wright.

Another prominent permanent resident is Joseph Teagle, an African-American sailor who served on the ironclad ship USS Lehigh from 1861 to 1865. Born a slave in Virginia in 1839, Teagle moved to Queens after the war and worked as a coachman, farmer and domestic servant until his death in 1899.

Company K is based in Sayville, Long Island. The volunteers emulate members of the original Company K of the 67th New York Volunteer Infantry, a regiment that was also known as the “First Long Island Volunteers.” They participate in parades, re-enactments, and other educational programs throughout the United States.

The Friends of Maple Grove group frequently organizes “living history” events, including “Spirits Alive” walking tours during which guests mingle with actors playing historical figures in front of their graves. In 2014, the volunteers staged the mock wedding for Mary and Jonan Coward, star-crossed lovers who were separated during the Civil War and didn’t reunite until 50 years later. (They are buried side by side now.)

Spread out over 65 acres in the vicinity of Lefferts Boulevard and Kew Gardens Road, Maple Grove Cemetery was established in 1875. It has approximately 83,000 interments.

Images from Company K of the 67th Long Island NY Historical Association’s photo album; tent photo by Nicholas Biondo


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