‘We wanted to send a message’: Reenactors stage Civil War battle despite threat
WaPo – MIDDLETOWN, Va. — Late Sunday morning, hundreds of Civil War reenactors concluded their battle on a rolling patch of grass 80 miles west of Washington.
In normal years, taps would be played and each side would march back to its tent encampments. But this was hardly a normal year. Last week, organizers announced they had received a letter threatening “bodily harm” to attendees. And Saturday, the battlefield had to be temporarily cleared because a suspicious device, possibly a pipe bomb, was found.
“U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” the reenactors began shouting, underscoring not just their sense of patriotism but the umbrage many felt at having their hobby dragged into the national debate over race and Confederate-era symbolism.
“We wanted to send a message,” said Keith MacGregor, 56, from Lebanon, Pa., who was playing the role of a Union infantry captain for the reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek, held not far from here. “We wanted to show the U.S. that we aren’t going to let some terrorist, or some nut, stop the event. I was never prouder of people in our hobby.”…