Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fire on the Mountain

This past Saturday, June 7, my wife and I headed to Fox's Gap on South Mountain for "Fire on the Mountain." Confederate artillery crews serving a battery of four Napoleon cannon demonstrated arillery drill and simulated counterbattery fire against a Federal battery deployed some 600 yards away. The rebels occupied the position held by Bondurant's battery during much of the fighting for Fox's Gap on September 14, 1862.

We started the day at Turners's Gap on Alt 40 near the South Mountain Inn (known as the Mountain House in battle reports). From there, the Applachian trail winds southward along the crest of South Mountain to Fox's Gap. The trail runs along the route of an old logging path known as the Wood Road, and was used by various rebel units moving to the defense of Fox's Gap.

The rebel battery demonstrated firing by piece and by section, followed by a tactical simulation of counterbattery fire and defense against infantry. The boom of the big brass guns echoed across the mountainside, hinting at the din of battle long ago in September, 1862. The heat was intense, the temperature approaching 100 degrees at mid-day. Many thanks to the reeanactors who carried out their drill commands with clarity and precision in an open field undert the hot sun while many spectators struggled to find a shady spot to watch the demontration. Thanks also to the property owner. Much of the battlefield is still in private hands, and without the generosity of these fine folks, events like "Fire on the Mountain" would not be possible.

Note: I added a slideshow above using Picasa by Google. Enjoy the photos!

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