Heritage Days bring Civil War to life
Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Cannons fired as men and women in full military uniform marched across Harmon Field just as soldiers decades ago did not far from Tryon.
This weekend was the fifth-annual Harmon Field Heritage Days, which invites students and the public out to experience battle reenactments, crafts of the Civil War era and encampments.
Lorna Deaver, who helps organize the event, said more than 550 students came through to experience the event on education days Thursday and Friday.
“Rain and bad weather kept people away on Sunday but I feel like overall it was a big success and we’re already planning for next year, the fourth Saturday in March,” Deaver said.
On Saturday, March 23 the 2nd North Carolina Mounted Infantry portrayed the two sides of the Civil War in battle for about 100 spectators. Deaver said a continual flow of people also perused the site throughout the day witnessing the men at their campsites preparing for battle.
During Stoneman’s Raid more than 5,000 mounted troops moved across Polk County from Rutherfordton, and then north through Howard Gap.
“Stoneman’s Raid came right here past Harmon Field and it’s very likely some of the troops camped out right near the river here,” Deaver said. “We feel like it’s important to keep the history alive of what took place back then for future generations.”
A big part of this weekend’s excitement included Abraham Lincoln impersonator Chet Damron. Deaver said organizers also appreciated the help of Tryon Arts and Crafts School. The school held an open house Saturday so visitors might enjoy learning about crafts they continue to teach which have been around since the Civil War such as blacksmithing or knife making.