Bring your bayonet, scabbard and prized horse!

The Bayside Historical Society will host a Civil War Encampment on Sunday, Sept. 29, starting at 10 a.m.

Members of the historical association for Company K of the 67th Infantry will set up some makeshift living facilities on the grounds of Fort Totten and prepare for battle. For about six hours, these “living historians” will encourage attendees to join them and live like soldiers in the 1860s.

Some of the volunteers will wear frockcoats, while others will don shell jackets. They’ll have brogans on their feet and Hardee hats or kepis on their heads. The play-actors will set up tents and fireplaces to cook provisions that they’ll wash down with water from canteens. Rifled-muskets, breech-loaders, grenades, and maybe even a rudimentary machine gun will be in the mix, too. (Don’t worry, the bullets are blanks.)

Attendance is free, but registration is encouraged.

The Civil War ran from 1861 to 1865. It pitted the Union (or North) against the Confederacy (or South). The conflict arose after the South seceded from the rest of the United States, mostly due to a desire to keep slavery legal. It was the country’s most devastating war with more than 620,000 casualties in total.

Also called the “First Long Island Volunteers,” Company K of the 67th Infantry was formed soon after the Civil War’s first act of aggression, the attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12, 1861. Most of the recruits came from New York state, and they trained in Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton. Over three years, the regiment, which consisted of more than 1,000 soldiers, fought in 23 battles in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., with the following casualties: seven officers and 105 enlisted men killed; eight officers and 259 enlisted men wounded; two officers and 75 enlisted men dead from disease and other causes.

Founded in 1964, the Bayside Historical Society is located in the former Officer’s Club at 208 Totten Ave. in Fort Totten Park. It’s an appropriate spot for Sunday’s event as Fort Totten was an active U.S. Army base from 1857 until 1995 and the home to four major military hospitals since the Civil War.

Images: Company K of the 67th Infantry Historical Society


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