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Sweet Tea & History: Meeting war reenactors on the battlefield in Irwinville

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 10:00 AM EST
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IRWINVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - From cannons to rifles, it was a battle that shook Irwinville, but don’t worry, it was all just a reenactment. Well... sort of.

Civil War reenactment at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Irwinville, Ga. on Nov. 6,...
Civil War reenactment at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Irwinville, Ga. on Nov. 6, 2021.(WALB)

Let me explain. On May 10, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured and arrested in Irwinville. During his capture, there was actually friendly fire between two different Union groups.

However, Davis’ capture can’t actually be reenacted at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Irwinville because horses can’t be on the property. So, instead of reenacting his capture, on Nov. 6, the site hosted a Civil War battle... so not technically a historical reenactment.

As a person raised in the south, I’ve always wanted to attend a war reenactment. I never cared which war, I just wanted the experience. Well, I finally got my chance in Irwinville and I wasn’t disappointed!

From the tents to the garb the reenactors wear, everything is based on historical accuracy. I was able to spend time around the campfire with reenactors before the battle, fire a rifle and even help with providing the gunpowder for the cannons.

Civil War reenactment at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site on Nov. 6, 2021.
Civil War reenactment at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site on Nov. 6, 2021.(WALB)

As someone who is a visual and hands-on learner, this by far was the most interesting way to learn about South Georgia history, not to mention the most memorable way as well.

And the reenactors were so much fun to hang out with.

To be honest, the whole experience reminded me of when I would go camping with my family in the woods... minus the battle.

If you’ve never seen a war reenactment, I highly encourage you to go to one. And there are PLENTY! Granted, I didn’t know about this one until I went looking for a war reenactment. But there are reenactments for several different wars. In fact, one of the reenactors I spoke with for this week’s episode covers two centuries of wars and living history.

I think it’s safe to say whether you just go for the war reenactment, the living history, to actually participate in the event or any combination of the three, it’s a unique and fascinating experience. And the moments I was told about that took the breath away of the reenactors I spoke with only made me more interested in having more experiences like this one.

It’s a great way for kids to learn about history in a way they’ll remember simply because so unique, it’s also a great way to spend time with family and friends and an even better way to make new friends just as interested in history as you are.

And war reenactments aren’t the only experiences at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site. It’s also a museum on a gorgeous piece of land in Irwinville. And, the site also hosts other events. For a list and updates on events, visit their website or Facebook page.

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