The 2019 reenactment of the Battle of Camp Wildcat offers a glimpse of heritage to families and history fanatics alike. From Friday, October 18, through Sunday, October 20, visitors to the Camp Wildcat Civil War Battlefield, located on Hazel Patch Road in London, will have the opportunity to spectate battle, meet historical figures and indulge in old-timey goods. The event, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, may also have a few surprises in store.
"This is our nation's history. There are men and women who fought and died on both sides. If we don't remember our history, we often have a tendency to repeat it. And we do not need another war in this country," said Juanita Westerfield, president of Laurel Home Guard. Her organization puts together the Battle of Camp Wildcat reenactment each year. Laurel Home Guard is apolitical, aiming to preserve history as it is.
Friday is "School Day" for the reenactment. Local schools will visit Camp Wildcat. From 8:30 a.m. through 2 p.m., students will meet the actors, explore booths and view the reenactment. The event will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, but visitors are asked to give a parking donation.
Westerfield recommends coming to the campground early because parking fills up fast. Camp Wildcat opens at 10 a.m., with the reenactment beginning at 2 p.m. Throughout the day, visitors will be able to meet Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. Booths will be offering old replica tools and apparel, as well as classical refreshments like lemonade and ginger beer.
The blanks shot from canons and rifles might not be real ammo, but they are still loud. Any pets should be held on a leash or kept at home. Laurel Home Guard strongly recommends visitors bring earplugs, especially for children.
Pamphlets given out at the event will detail the schedule and concessions. The back of the paper will include a Laurel Home Guard membership form. Membership is $10 for individuals and $20 for families -- both paid annually. Members will get to take part in historic preservation efforts and have the opportunity to participate in future Camp Wildcat reenactments.
Laurel Home Guard is a nonprofit organization. Donations can be made to Laurel Home Guard at Hazel Patch Road, London, Ky, 40741. For more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Laurel-Home-Guard-Camp-Wildcat-Reenactment-216818685019073/, or call (606) 521-4485.