Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Humboldt's Civil War Days

On Saturday Jun 13, I had the opportunity to experience some of the events during the three day run of Humboldt's Civil War Days. This event, which is held every 3 years is meant to feature some of the happenings during Sept and Oct, 1861, when Humboldt was raided and then burned during 2 seperate attacks by Missouri guerrillas and Confederate Calvary.

Saturday's events were held in Camp Hunter Park. First, all the participants paraded into the park next to the false front buildings set up to resemble Humboldt of 1861. Next, there was a reenactment of the Sept 8.1861 raid featuring actors from the local and regional areas, including black powder guns and rifles of the era.

I then watched Jimmy Johnson, from Kansas City, portray his great-great grandfather, who escaped slavery in Missouri and joined the First Kansas Colored Infantry. This was a fascinating look at the devisive issue of slavery and the events of the Civil War era.

Bob Horn performed some Civil War songs on his homemade instruments and some of the black powder actors showed us some military drills so we might understand the Civil War soldier better.

Food was available from several local organizations and after lunch, I watched a play "The Court Martial of Private Driscoll". After this man was convicted by the court he was executed. Then, Tom Leahy took the stage as Abraham Lincoln and gave his impressions of our president.

We were treated to 2 performances by the Plainsmen, involving black powder guns, about 1860's Wild West Kansas. These skits were humorous but also informative about early Kansas. The Plainsmen are mostly local performers.

Finally, the afternoon closed with a reenactment of the burning of Humboldt on Oct 14, 1861 by the Confederate Calvary. This involved more black powder guns as well as torches to simulate the burning of the town. I left for home after this event, but there was also a film and dance held Saturday evening in town.

I have visited Humboldt several times now and am impressed with the way the town embraces it's past history and wants to share.

For more about Humboldt, visit the chamber of commerce page:

To view more of my photos, visit the following gallery:

1 comment:

Frank Thompson, KE #3128 said...

Very nice, Larry. I had no idea Humboldt's Civil War Days was this big a production. Too bad it doesn't get more press.