Huntington Beach

The Civil War breaks out in Central Park

UNION ARTILLERY fires at Confederate infantry in a re-enactement “battle” Sunday in Central Park in Huntington Beach as a part of “Civil War Days (Orange County Tribune photos by Jim Tortolano).

The thunder of cannons and the rattle of rifled muskets echoed across Huntington Beach’s Central Park this weekend, leaving clouds of smoke to drift across the battlefield.

But, of course, it wasn’t real combat, but instead realistic re-enactments of the War Between the States at the annual “Civil War Days” sponsored by the Huntington Beach Historical Society.

EVEN WOMEN’S clothing – note the hoop skirts – was authentic to the Civil War period.

On Saturday and Sunday, the city’s largest park was host to a deep dip into the great conflict of 1861-65 presented by re-enactors from all over California. Not only were there men dressed in authentic uniforms of the Union and Confederate forces blazing away at each other – black smoke, no bullets –  but also women in hoop skirts and horses carrying officers who directed their troops in two simulated battles on each of the days.

After each engagement, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was delivered.

Much of the eastern portion of the park was covered with tent encampments done in the 19th century style, and there were displays of weapons, equipment and other features of the conflict that preserved the Union and ended slavery.

The HBHS will also host a similar re-enactment about the American Revolution between Redcoats and Patriots on Feb. 15 and 16, 2020.

For more information about the organization and its activities, send an e-mail to

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