South Mountain Battlefield To Host Annual Civil War Artillery This Weekend

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Artillery Duel on June 7, June 8 Gives Taste of First Major Civil War Battle in Maryland

Boonsboro, Md. – Fire On the Mountain, the annual Civil War Artillery Weekend begins this weekend with reenacted artillery duel at 1 p.m. on June 7 and 8 on the South Mountain State Battlefield in South Mountain State Park. The special demonstration will take place on land that was occupied by the Jeff Davis Artillery, commanded by Confederate Captain James W. Bondurant during the battle, and is not usually open to the public.

“The event promises to be one of the highlights for the battlefield this summer”, said Al Preston, South Mountain State Park manager. “Visitors will have a unique opportunity to see reenactors utilize six full-scale artillery pieces as well as a demonstration with a counter-battery fire which offers a sense of what it would have been like in such a battle.”

The first major battle of the Civil War fought in Maryland occurred at South Mountain on Sept. 14, 1862. There were more than 6,000 casualties in the one-day battle, including Federal General Jesse Reno and Confederate General Samuel Garland, as the two armies maneuvered for the clash at the better-known battle of Antietam three days later.

Future Presidents William McKinley and Rutherford B. Hayes also fought in the battle of South Mountain. Hayes was severely wounded and was taken from the field to Middletown where he recovered from his wounds.

The Fire On the Mountain demonstration site will be off of Reno Monument Road in Fox’s Gap. From Boonsboro, take MD Route 67 south for about 1 mile and turn left onto Reno Monument Road. Follow this road for another mile and look for the signs for parking.

For additional information about South Mountain State Park visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/southmountain.html.