Civil War re-enactors ready ‘Battle of Lighthouse Point’ in Dunkirk - The Buffalo News
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Civil War re-enactors ready ‘Battle of Lighthouse Point’ in Dunkirk

DUNKIRK – Civil War re-enactors will present “The Battle of Lighthouse Point” at the Dunkirk Lighthouse and Veterans Park on Aug. 17 and 18.

The special event will create a fictional battle on the grounds of the historic lighthouse near Route 5 in the city. In addition to the battle, the group also plans to demonstrate many aspects of a typical Civil War encampment.

Dressed in period-style uniforms and clothing, the group will have various actual and replica articles, and be able to inform visitors about the lifestyle of Civil War soldiers and camp followers. Even a brothel will be featured in one of the tents on the grounds.

Brian Teagarden, president and a member of the 64th Virginia Calvary unit, said the brothel was a part of the encampments during the Civil War. Teagarden said it will be done tastefully, and viewers will probably be surprised about the dress of the re-enactors at that location.

Teagarden confirmed that there will also be demonstrations by Joe Bolivard, who portrays a Civil War doctor and has several interesting implements in his doctor’s bag.

Teagarden also promises that a cannon will resonate during the battle.

David Briska, vice president and treasurer of the Dunkirk Lighthouse, said this is the first time a Civil War-era group of re-enactors has set up at the location.

He said the idea about the lighthouse as a Civil War site is not too far-fetched, even though a battle never did occur there. During the Civil War, a guard was stationed at the lighthouse and Point Gratiot. According to records at the lighthouse, there was an occasion when one of the guards thought he saw an enemy boat on Lake Erie. He fired a weapon which resulted in the shattering the windows of the lighthouse.

Mary Deas and her family will also be participating in the event. Deas is a tour guide and volunteer at the lighthouse and dresses in period clothing. She said the original lighthouse on the site preceded the war.

The first lighthouse dates from the 1820s. Deas and her family are members of the 20th Maine-Calvert Arms Fife and Drum Corps. They will play the signals and music for members of the troops involved in the battle.

She and her husband, Mark, have been involved in the group for several years. She said their whole family enjoys vacations to re-enactment sites.

Musicians will be performing at various stages and a concert is scheduled at the lighthouse park at 7 p.m. on Aug. 17. The evening’s events also will include a candlelight tour of the camp.

Events will open at 9 a.m. Aug. 17 and continue until 4 p.m. There will be a break from 4 to 7 p.m. while re-enactors rest before the evening tours.

Events on Aug. 18 start with a church service at 10:30 a.m. and continue through 4 p.m.

There will be weapons demonstrations both days.

There will be an admission fee, and proceeds will benefit the lighthouse park and the Dunkirk Historical Society.

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