The Moccasin Rangers were the controlling force in
Calhoun during the beginning years of the Civil War. They were a
fearsome group with different bands and leaders. The Rangers’ reputation
made the county a dangerous place for any Union solider.
This summer, the Rangers made their presence known in
the county again. In June, men in the gray uniform congregated at Wayne
Underwood Field during the Wood Festival to play tribute to an historic
time for our country and state.
The smell of wood smoke and gun powder filled the air
over the former football field. In the evening, “old timey” music
drifted down the Little Kanawha as the soldiers sang and ate soup made
on the fire.
The Rangers have also been active at Calhoun County
Park. They have volunteered hours at Heritage Village, and the Stemple
log cabin is now fitted with a front porch due to their efforts.
On Monday, the Rangers were at work again in the park.
This time, the group was constructing a 16x16 building that will
represent the Adonijah McDonald house during the original Battle of
Left to right, Terry White, Donnie Jones and Aaron Cottrell
begin laying out the foundation of the “Adonijah McDonald House,” a
centerpiece of the Battle of Sycamore reenactment at Calhoun County
Park, Sept. 19-20, during the Fun Festival.
John Schneider, Aaron Cottrell and Nub Marks erect walls of a
house that will be used in the reenactment at Calhoun County Park.
Dennis Carder (left) and Terry Whited review plans for the
reenactment. Cannon fire will be included in the event.
Donations for the building were made by Randy Lynch,
lumber; David Cain, lumber; Whited Construction, labor; and Moccasin
Rangers, nails and other supplies.
Participating in the project were Dennis Carder, Terry
Whited, Aaron Cottrell, Donnie Jones, John Schneider, Danny Marks, Jimmy
Starkey and Randy Lynch. Corn that was served for lunch was grown and
prepared by Jim Bell.
The group of Rangers and other re-enactors from the
region who will appear from Sept. 18-20 at Calhoun County Park are from
the 19th, 17th and 10th Virginia Calvary, 5th and 2nd Virginia Infantry,
two units of Kanawha Light Artillery, and one unit of Carlins Battery.
These units will introduce a new pastime for Calhoun.
Through their efforts, the very first Civil War reenactment will take
place in Calhoun County. The 11th (West) Virginia and the Moccasin
Rangers will meet again as the groups will re-enact the Sycamore
Skirmish on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
The weekend should be an exciting time of history.
Troops under the Rebel flags and the Yankee banners will perform amid
the park’s hills to remind us of those who wore the uniform long ago.
There will be encampments to browse, vendors and military drills to
view, and entertainment for the entire family.
The reenactment is part of the Calhoun County Park’s Fun
Festival. The scheduled of events is as follows:
Afternoon is reserved for educational field trips.
6 p.m., Special twilight artillery
10:30 a.m., Long drive contest; No entry fee. Bring
Noon, Heritage Village, Belle Boyd performs.
12:30 to 2 p.m., Basketball skills for students;
dribbling, shooting and combinations.
1 p.m., Troops prepare for battle.
North/South face off.
2 p.m., Battle of Sycamore begins.
4 p.m., Corn-hole tournaments with
trophies; two sets.
4 to 7 p.m., Bluegrass musicians
from W.Va. Bluegrass Alliance.
6 p.m., Re-enactors’ dinner, Herbert
C. Smith building.
8 a.m., Biscuits and gravy breakfast at Herbert C. Smith
10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Northern and Southern encampments
open to civilian tours.
11 a.m., Period church service in a Civil War tent.
1 p.m., Troops prepare.
2 p.m., The Battle of Sycamore
3:30 to 6 p.m., Bluegrass jam
session; amateur musicians welcome.
4 p.m., Rifle raffle; winner drawn
for Smith & Wesson 30.06 with scope/hard case. Tickets available
until drawing time.