Living History 2016 a success


Approximately 2,000 people attend annual event

By Charles Warner - cwarner@civitasmedia.com



Charles Warner | The Union Times Confederate President Jefferson Davis addresses a crowd attending the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House Saturday afternoon. Davis delivered a lecture on the flags flown in South Carolina from colonial days to the present including the flags flown during the Civil War. Here Davis is speaking about the banner bearing the Great Seal of the Confederacy. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era including Davis who visited the Cross Keys House in 1865.


Charles Warner | The Union Times Two southern belles listen as Confederate President Jefferson Davis speaks during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House Saturday afternoon. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era. Living History is designed to provide those attending with an opportunity to get a glimpse of what life was like during that time.


Charles Warner | The Union Times This is the flag of the 1st SC Artillery which was deployed to the Cross Keys House this past weekend during the 2016 Living History Event. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era and features presentations on those times.


Charles Warner | The Union Times This is one of the Civil War Era pieces of artillery that was on display this past weekend during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. It is described as the “World’s First Machine Cannon” by a sign accompanying the display. The sign states that “Confederate Patent #121 was issued to D.B. Williams of Kentucky in Nov. 1862. His 1.57” bore cannon was designed to fire 65 rounds per minute. It had a crew of 3 men and records show that the rate of fire was usually 18-20 rounds per minute. It fired solid shot and cannister.” The sign further states that the weapon was “first deployed in 1862 at the Battle of Seven Pines” and that “yankee prisoners” asked “‘what is that rapid fire repeater cannon that was used against them.’” It further states that 21 of these weapons were made in Richmond, Virginia, and another 20 ordered. Four of the original cannons currently exist in museums and five reproductions had been made recently.


Charles Warner | The Union Times A blacksmith hammers out the piece of metal he is working on as a visitor to the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House watches. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era engaged in the activities of that time such as this blacksmith.


Charles Warner | The Union Times Two Confederate soldiers sit in the shade next to their tent Saturday afternoon during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era and depicting such things as the lives of soldiers of the time.


Charles Warner | The Union Times The rifles and other equipment carried by soldiers during the Civil War was on display during the 2016 Living History Event this past weekend. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, the Living History Events feature displays of the artifacts of the Civil War Era to give visitors to the event a glimpse of what life was like during that time.


Charles Warner | The Union Times Tents like these lined the grounds of the Cross Keys House this past weekend during the 2016 Living History sponsored by the Union County Historical Society. Living History is an annual event that features reenactments of life during the Civil War Era.


Charles Warner | The Union Times In addition to the reenactments taking place, the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House also provided those attending with the opportunity to purchase Civil War themed items and memorabilia from vendors taking part in the event. Living History is an annual event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.


Charles Warner | The Union Times This Antebellum Era dress was among the many Civil War themed items and memorabilia available for sale during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House this past weekend. Living History is an annual event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.


Charles Warner | The Union Times A Confederate soldier stands at the ready Saturday afternoon during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors dressing as both soldiers and civilians of the Civil War Era and doing presentations on life during and the events of that time.


Charles Warner | The Union Times Confederate cavalry was deployed to the Cross Keys House this past weekend during the 2016 Living History Event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society. Living History is an annual event that features reenactors dressed as both soldiers and civilians of the Civil War Era and doing presentations on life during and the events of that time.


CROSS KEYS — The annual reenactment of an event from the final days of the Civil War drew an estimated 2,000 people to the Cross Keys House this past weekend.

In April 1865, after nearly four years of fighting, the forces of the United States of America finally captured Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America. The fall of Richmond to the Union forced the Confederate government to flee south in an attempt to not only escape capture but, if possible to continue the war and perhaps maintain the existence of the Confederacy.

Leading the flight from Richmond was Confederate President Jefferson Davis who, along with members of his cabinet and their military escort made their way south on a journey that ultimately brought them to Union County. By the end of April, Davis and his steadily dwindling group arrived at the Cross Keys House in the Cross Keys Community, the home of Mary Ann Bobo Davis. Mrs. Davis answered the door to find Davis who, legend has it, she didn’t recognize, asking for a meal, a request she granted, inviting him and the four other well-dressed men on her doorstep in for lunch.

Mrs. Davis remained in the dark about the identity of the man who had knocked on her door until lunch was over and, as he was leaving, he told her they shared the same last name.

This past weekend, 151 years later, the visit of Jefferson Davis to the Cross Keys House was once again reenacted as it has been for the past several years during the Living History Event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.

As it has in the past, the three-day event began Friday with a visit by local students studying South Carolina history who got to tour the plantation and witness presentations by the reenactors taking part in the event.

While Friday was for the students only, Saturday’s and Sunday’s activities were open to the general public and Historical Society President Frank Hart said that, counting the students who attended Friday, an estimated 2,000 people attended this year’s Living History Event.

“We think between 1,000 and 1,200 were there on Saturday,” Hart said Tuesday morning. “On Sunday we estimate 600 to 700 people were there. So we estimated approximately 2,000 people counting the eighth grade students that attended. We feel like it went real good. We feel it was very well attended.”

Living History featured a number of activities and displays designed to give visitors a sense of what life was like during the Civil War era as well as some information on the history of that time.

Among the presentations was a lecture by Jefferson Davis on the flags flown in South Carolina from colonial days to the present; the reenactment of Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House; a skirmish between Confederate and Union troops; displays of some of the weapons used during the war including cannons; a blacksmith; a presentation on the medical equipment used in field hospitals during the war; a presentation on the embalming of the bodies of the dead during that time period; an encampment depicting the life of the common soldier of that era; tours of the buildings that made up the plantation including the Cross Keys House itself; and vendors selling food as well as Civil War-themed items.

Hart said this year’s Living History not only drew a large crowd, but has possibly even set the stage for a larger turnout next year.

“We had a gentleman from Enoree who brought six people with him,” Hart said. “He said he didn’t know that there was such a place like this providing so much history, but that he plans to spread the word about it and come back next year.”

Hart thanked those who helped make Living History such a success.

“We want to thank the Union County School District, Union City Council, Union County Council and the citizens of Union County all working together for an excellent event,” Hart said.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Confederate President Jefferson Davis addresses a crowd attending the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House Saturday afternoon. Davis delivered a lecture on the flags flown in South Carolina from colonial days to the present including the flags flown during the Civil War. Here Davis is speaking about the banner bearing the Great Seal of the Confederacy. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era including Davis who visited the Cross Keys House in 1865.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-11-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Confederate President Jefferson Davis addresses a crowd attending the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House Saturday afternoon. Davis delivered a lecture on the flags flown in South Carolina from colonial days to the present including the flags flown during the Civil War. Here Davis is speaking about the banner bearing the Great Seal of the Confederacy. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era including Davis who visited the Cross Keys House in 1865.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Two southern belles listen as Confederate President Jefferson Davis speaks during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House Saturday afternoon. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era. Living History is designed to provide those attending with an opportunity to get a glimpse of what life was like during that time.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-7-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Two southern belles listen as Confederate President Jefferson Davis speaks during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House Saturday afternoon. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era. Living History is designed to provide those attending with an opportunity to get a glimpse of what life was like during that time.

Charles Warner | The Union Times This is the flag of the 1st SC Artillery which was deployed to the Cross Keys House this past weekend during the 2016 Living History Event. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era and features presentations on those times.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-2-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times This is the flag of the 1st SC Artillery which was deployed to the Cross Keys House this past weekend during the 2016 Living History Event. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era and features presentations on those times.

Charles Warner | The Union Times This is one of the Civil War Era pieces of artillery that was on display this past weekend during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. It is described as the “World’s First Machine Cannon” by a sign accompanying the display. The sign states that “Confederate Patent #121 was issued to D.B. Williams of Kentucky in Nov. 1862. His 1.57” bore cannon was designed to fire 65 rounds per minute. It had a crew of 3 men and records show that the rate of fire was usually 18-20 rounds per minute. It fired solid shot and cannister.” The sign further states that the weapon was “first deployed in 1862 at the Battle of Seven Pines” and that “yankee prisoners” asked “‘what is that rapid fire repeater cannon that was used against them.’” It further states that 21 of these weapons were made in Richmond, Virginia, and another 20 ordered. Four of the original cannons currently exist in museums and five reproductions had been made recently.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-3-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times This is one of the Civil War Era pieces of artillery that was on display this past weekend during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. It is described as the “World’s First Machine Cannon” by a sign accompanying the display. The sign states that “Confederate Patent #121 was issued to D.B. Williams of Kentucky in Nov. 1862. His 1.57” bore cannon was designed to fire 65 rounds per minute. It had a crew of 3 men and records show that the rate of fire was usually 18-20 rounds per minute. It fired solid shot and cannister.” The sign further states that the weapon was “first deployed in 1862 at the Battle of Seven Pines” and that “yankee prisoners” asked “‘what is that rapid fire repeater cannon that was used against them.’” It further states that 21 of these weapons were made in Richmond, Virginia, and another 20 ordered. Four of the original cannons currently exist in museums and five reproductions had been made recently.

Charles Warner | The Union Times A blacksmith hammers out the piece of metal he is working on as a visitor to the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House watches. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era engaged in the activities of that time such as this blacksmith.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-9-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times A blacksmith hammers out the piece of metal he is working on as a visitor to the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House watches. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era engaged in the activities of that time such as this blacksmith.

Charles Warner | The Union Times
Two Confederate soldiers sit in the shade next to their tent Saturday afternoon during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era and depicting such things as the lives of soldiers of the time.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-5-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times
Two Confederate soldiers sit in the shade next to their tent Saturday afternoon during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors portraying people from the Civil War Era and depicting such things as the lives of soldiers of the time.

Charles Warner | The Union Times The rifles and other equipment carried by soldiers during the Civil War was on display during the 2016 Living History Event this past weekend. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, the Living History Events feature displays of the artifacts of the Civil War Era to give visitors to the event a glimpse of what life was like during that time.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-6-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times The rifles and other equipment carried by soldiers during the Civil War was on display during the 2016 Living History Event this past weekend. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, the Living History Events feature displays of the artifacts of the Civil War Era to give visitors to the event a glimpse of what life was like during that time.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Tents like these lined the grounds of the Cross Keys House this past weekend during the 2016 Living History sponsored by the Union County Historical Society. Living History is an annual event that features reenactments of life during the Civil War Era.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-14-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Tents like these lined the grounds of the Cross Keys House this past weekend during the 2016 Living History sponsored by the Union County Historical Society. Living History is an annual event that features reenactments of life during the Civil War Era.

Charles Warner | The Union Times In addition to the reenactments taking place, the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House also provided those attending with the opportunity to purchase Civil War themed items and memorabilia from vendors taking part in the event. Living History is an annual event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-12-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times In addition to the reenactments taking place, the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House also provided those attending with the opportunity to purchase Civil War themed items and memorabilia from vendors taking part in the event. Living History is an annual event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.

Charles Warner | The Union Times This Antebellum Era dress was among the many Civil War themed items and memorabilia available for sale during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House this past weekend. Living History is an annual event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-13-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times This Antebellum Era dress was among the many Civil War themed items and memorabilia available for sale during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House this past weekend. Living History is an annual event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.

Charles Warner | The Union Times A Confederate soldier stands at the ready Saturday afternoon during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors dressing as both soldiers and civilians of the Civil War Era and doing presentations on life during and the events of that time.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill-8-.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times A Confederate soldier stands at the ready Saturday afternoon during the 2016 Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History features reenactors dressing as both soldiers and civilians of the Civil War Era and doing presentations on life during and the events of that time.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Confederate cavalry was deployed to the Cross Keys House this past weekend during the 2016 Living History Event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society. Living History is an annual event that features reenactors dressed as both soldiers and civilians of the Civil War Era and doing presentations on life during and the events of that time.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Rose-Hill.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Confederate cavalry was deployed to the Cross Keys House this past weekend during the 2016 Living History Event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society. Living History is an annual event that features reenactors dressed as both soldiers and civilians of the Civil War Era and doing presentations on life during and the events of that time.
Approximately 2,000 people attend annual event

By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

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