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It’s that time of year again where you can go out and experience Indiana’s largest Civil War Reenactment and Artillery Night Firing with Hartford City’s Civil War Days.

This is Hartford City’s 30th Annual Hartford City Civil War Days. The event will take place Friday, October 18 to Sunday, October 20 and is located at 304 S. 75 E., Hartford City. Admission for children age 4 years old and younger are free, ages 5 years of age and up range from $5.00 to $7.00. 

During this Civil War Reenactment and Artillery Night Firing you can step back to 1864 to see how life was for our ancestors during this time. Converse with civilians, settlers and soldiers of the time. This event is a reenactment and living history that portrays the time when this great nation was divided. Brother against brother, father against son and son against father. During this event you will be able to observe demonstrators and ongoing presentations covering the period of 1864. There will also be battles during the entire weekend portraying multiple engagements during the year of 1864. Visit the settlers who sold their goods to soldiers and civilians alike. Walk through camps and converse with the presenters. Visit the blacksmiths, weavers, spinners, rug makers, refugees, the medicine show and much more. You can also purchase both period and non-period food. 

For the past 30 years, members of the Blackford County Civil War Reenactment Club, Inc. (BCCWRCI) have worked many long strenuous hours to put on the best Reenactment in the State of Indiana. Their love for history and their passion to keep it alive is their focus of keeping this event going. It is their goal to educate the youth and get them involved and excited about their history which bringing history to life is the best way to do this. Putting on Indiana’s largest and best event is their main goal and to maintain a safe and neutral environment is what they strive for. The support of the community helps keep the excitement and effort all worth the while. 

The organization that host this event is a non-profit organization that puts on this yearly historical reenactment. All money that is brought in through admissions goes to help pay for Indiana’s greatest Civil War Reenactment. With costs rising dramatically every year, donations are welcomed and appreciated. You can make a donation on their website, hartfordcitycwdays.com or contact Blackford County Civil War Reenactment Club, Inc. (BCCWRCI) President, Ethan Cox, or Vice President, Zach Crouch for further details on other ways to submit donations. 

A little history and reason why Hartford City, Indiana is an ideal location to hold this annual Civil War Reenactment and Artillery Night Firing; Throughout the war many states were famous for their gallant war efforts and their massive civil strides. Many had famous regiments that showed great valor in the heat of battle. Indiana was one of the most vital states to the Union during the war. By proportion it was supplied the second most amount of men in the war. Indiana, an agriculturally rich state containing the fifth-highest population in the Union, was critical to the North’s success due to its geographical location, large population, and agricultural production. 

Indiana residents, also known as Hoosiers, supplied the Union with manpower for the war effort, a railroad network and access to the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, and agricultural products such as grain and livestock. The state experienced two minor raids by Confederate forces, and one major raid in 1863, which caused a brief panic in southern portions of the state and its capital city, Indianapolis. 

During the war roughly 210,000 men would serve in the Union army. Indiana’s economy was significantly shifted during the war. It went from a rural agricultural economy to an industrial powerhouse. With the help of its railroad system Indiana helped transport wartime materials throughout the duration of the war.

When Ft. Sumter was fired upon Indiana was one of the first states to come to the call to preserve the Union. Weeks following the attack two mass meetings were held in Indianapolis to decide Indiana’s fate in the Union. After the meetings they decided to help suppress the rebellion.

On April 15, 1861 Governor Oliver P. Morton called for 10,000 soldiers to meet the states’ quota. Within a week over 12,000 men answered the call. Camp Morton was then established as the main training grounds for the Indiana soldiers.

As the war dragged on the state resorted conscription to fill the Union ranks. Indiana’s volunteers and draftees provided the Union army with 129 infantry regiments, 13 cavalry regiments, 3 cavalry companies, 1 regiment of heavy artillery, and 26 light artillery batteries. In addition to providing Union troops, Indiana also organized its own volunteer militia, known as the Indiana Legion. Formed in May 1861, the Legion was responsible for protecting Indiana’s citizens from attack and maintaining order within the state.

Slightly more than 60 percent of Indiana’s regiments mustered into service and trained at Indianapolis. Other camps for Union soldiers were established elsewhere in the state, including Fort Wayne, Gosport, Jeffersonville, Kendallville, Lafayette, Richmond, South Bend, Terre Haute, Wabash, and in LaPorte County.

Governor Morton was called the “Soldier’s Friend” because of his efforts to equip, train, and care for Union soldiers in the field. Indiana’s state government financed a large portion of the costs involved in preparing its regiments for war, including housing, feeding, and equipping them, before their assignment to the standing Union armies. To secure arms for Indiana’s troops, the governor appointed purchasing agents to act on the state’s behalf. Early in the war, for example, Robert Dale Owen purchased more than $891,000 in arms, clothing, blankets, and cavalry equipment for Indiana troops; the state government made additional purchases of arms and supplies exceeding $260,000. To provide ammunition, Morton established a state-owned arsenal at Indianapolis served the Indiana militia, home guard, and as a backup supply depot for the Union army. The state arsenal operated until April 1864, employing 700 at its peak; many of its employees were women. A federal arsenal was also established in Indianapolis in 1863.

Indianapolis was the site of Camp Morton, one of the Union’s largest prisons for captured Confederate soldiers. Lafayette, Richmond, and Terre Haute, Indiana, occasionally held prisoners of war as well.

Two national military cemeteries were established in Indiana as a result of the war. In 1882 the federal government established in New Albany, Indiana, the New Albany National Cemetery, one of fourteen national cemeteries established that year. In 1866 the federal government authorized a national cemetery for Indianapolis; Crown Hill National Cemetery was established within the grounds of Crown Hill Cemetery, a privately owned cemetery northwest of downtown.