In its nineteenth year of bringing the mid-19th century to life for a weekend, this year the annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend adds programs that observe the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War in 1861. At noon on Saturday and Sunday June 11 and 12, Jack Baylis will personify Abraham Lincoln and share the new president's situation in 1861.
An exhibit on the U.S. Sanitary Commission, which formed in 1861, will be on display both days of the weekend. At 8 p.m. Saturday June 11 the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers will present a concert of Civil War Sesquicentennial history in song and verse, "The Spirit of the Sixties: Answering Lincoln's Call." The Balladeers also provide programs at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
A number of activities and presentations are planned to take place on both days of the weekend event. Bill Mayers will demonstrate Civil War medicine at 11:30 a.m. in the Union Medical camp, at noon Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz will present on Gerrit Smith, John Brown and the Secret Six, Privates Rawlins and Whitford will then march children through military drills at 12:30 p.m. Town Historian Donna Burdick and Peterboro Area Museum President Beth Spokowsky will guide a walking tour of Peterboro at 12:30 p.m., sutler Terry Jordan will demonstrate the latest 1860s fashions at the Barrancas Mercantile and the Confederate and Union troops skirmish will begin at 2 p.m.
Sunday June 12 will open with a military church service. At 1 and 3 p.m., the Irish Volunteers are to play Civil War tunes. The mystery of a famous painting of John Brown will be unraveled by Warren Broderick at 1 p.m. on Sunday as well.
The Civil War Heritage Foundation maintains a row of tents during the weekend. The CWHF is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the nation by first person impressions, formal and informal talks, presentations and encampments. Members of the CWHF portray notable historic figures of the era such as generals, other military officers and enlisted men, as well as politicians, musicians, doctors, nurses, civilians and children.