Cedar Creek to host Revolutionary War event

Main Street in Middletown will be lined with British Union Jack and American Betsy Ross flags in recognition of a different kind of reenactment at the Cedar Creek Battlefield this weekend.

The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation is holding the Battle of Meadow Mills, the area’s new reenactment event focused on the American Revolutionary War, on Saturday and Sunday. Foundation President Stan Hirschberg said Meadow Mills will be something of an experiment for the foundation.

“Quite frankly, I don’t have any experience with Revolutionary War reenactments, so for me this is sort of a brand new world,” he said. “It’s a bit like a first date.”

More than 1,000 visitors in Civil War uniforms flock to the battlefield in the fall for annual reenactments of the 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek. While no Revolutionary War battles occurred around Cedar Creek decades earlier, Hirschberg said the Meadow Mills event will help to bring out the area’s notable contributions to the war.

A few area experts will be giving audiences background information about the war and giving blow-by-blow accounts of the battles taking place. Visitors can catch different scheduled skirmishes, demonstrations and a youth induction at different times throughout the weekend.

Mike Cecere, part of the 7th Virginia Regiment of reenactors that will be involved at Meadow Mills, said the weekend event will be a smaller affair with around 50 people in uniform – some who may switch sides – with four horses and two cannons. Rather than the large-scale Civil War battles at Cedar Creek that spectators are used to, he said Meadow Mills will feature planned scenarios.

“It’s part living history and part battle reenactments, or skirmish reenactments,” he said.

With a smaller group of reenactors camped in tents near U.S. Route 11, Cecere said visitors can expect a more close up and hands-on experience, giving kids a chance to be part of the action as well.

“We’ve got riflemen…the original American soldiers, really,” he said. “You get a chance to discuss and learn more about the role of the American riflemen in the war, learn what each side was fighting for.”

Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV, a regular reenactor himself, will be donning a British uniform as part of the 4th Company Brigade of Guards during the event. He said this uncommon reenactment will be a “spectator-oriented experience.”

“It’ll be smaller than people are thinking in terms of a reenactment – people will have those numbers in their mind…but it’ll be quality,” he said.

Hirschberg said the foundation has tried to keep event costs to a minimum and gauge area interest in another annual battle. As one of very few historical parks that allow battle reenactments, he said Cedar Creek is a prime location for reliving this part of American history.

“[Reenactors] love the location and eventually it may turn into a national event…we certainly have the room for it,” he said.

IF YOU GO: The Battle of Meadow Mills event will occur from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Cedar Creek Battlefield in Middletown. Admission is $7 at the gate and children 12 years old and younger will be admitted free. Learn more and see a full schedule of events at http://ccbf.us/?page_id=2806.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com