Battle of Richmond reenactment returns Aug. 27 and 28

·4 min read

Aug. 6—The dust of Battlefield Park will be raised once again, as the Battle of Richmond reenactment returns for the first time since 2019.

It's a comeback that will also feature a vintage baseball tournament and an eastern Kentucky donation drive, along with the usual cannon fire.

The reenactment will be held at 2 p.m. on both days. Like many other events, it was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

"For the past two years we haven't been able to have the reenactment because of COVID. Some people got upset about it, but we have to think about our guests, our reenactors, and our volunteers. That's really our main focus — you don't want anyone to get hurt or get sick," Battle of Richmond Visitors Center Curator Phillip Seyfrit said.

According to Seyfrit, the reenactment will be a reunion of sorts for many of the reenactors. The hobby has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

"Most reenactors come in on Friday night. They haven't been able to have reenactments and both Union and Confederate reenactors will be here. Hopefully this year they'll be able to hook back up," Seyfrit said.

Madison County Judge Executive Reagan Taylor said that the event plays an important part in showcasing the county and preserving history.

"Madison County has such a proud history and our history allows us to show people from all over the country just how special our county is when they visit the annual battlefield reenactment. The Battle of Richmond Association (BORA) has a very special role in preserving our history and I'm grateful for their leadership," Taylor said. "I think when people come to visit, they expect something more than the norm. BORA does that with all of their programs and this year's events are no different. It is about educating, entertaining, preserving our history, and showcasing Madison County. I'm grateful we are able to share our history and bring so many people to our community."

The gates will open at 10 a.m. at Battlefield Park on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28. Saturday will feature the first-ever Battle of Richmond Patrick Cleburne Cup held between two vintage baseball teams out of Cincinnati — the Red Stockings and the Buckeyes. The game starts at 10:30 a.m.

Vintage baseball uses the same rules applied to the game in the 1860's. Specially-made bats and balls are used and players catch balls with their bare hands. A period accurate trophy has been made for the winner of the game at Battlefield Park to take home.

"Baseball came of age during the Civil War. It was a lot different, but the basics were the same. We've been wanting to have a vintage baseball game for some time," Seyfrit said.

The park is also doing its part to help flood victims in eastern Kentucky.

Inspired by the Battle of Richmond Visitor Center's yearly sock drive, a two0day version of the event will be held on both days of the reenactment.

Donations must be a new, prepackaged pairs of socks. They can be dropped off at the reenactment information tent from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sock drive will also be taking donations on the days of the reenactment at the Battle of Richmond Visitors Center and Mount Zion Baptist Church.

"Everybody wants to help. I've always thought that people want to do the right thing — they just don't always know how. We're giving people an opportunity to make a difference and giving them an easy way to do it," Seyfrit said.

In 2018, The Battle of Richmond Association published a cookbook full of local recipes titled "Recipes from the Pleasant View Kitchen." At this year's reenactment service, a companion cookbook called Recipes from the Rogers House Kitchen will be sold.

Apart from over 250 recipes, the new cookbook will also feature information on Civil War medical procedures and pictures of the field hospitals used during the actual Battle of Richmond. The book takes its name from the Rogers House, which served as a hospital during the battle and became the Battle of Richmond Visitors Center in 2008.