By Daniel Baldwin
HERKIMER – People from near and far put on old 18th Century clothing and gathered at German Flatts Town Park, last Saturday, to train for upcoming Civil War re-enactment battles.
New and old re-enactment soldiers learned how to use old Civil War artillery. They also practiced basic marching drills and battle tactical maneuvers. But before anyone got into action, they first had to understand the safety precautions for using artillery and fighting in battles.
“This event here is to train and recertify new troops and the safe act of loading canons and artillery pieces,” current Civil War re-enactment soldier Everett Reynolds said. “It’s also used to train the new recruits for infantry on the field, so that way we can have a safer event.”
Firing and loading old weaponry is definitely dangerous for many recruits. Civil War Re-enactment Deputy (teacher) Mike Karnitz said that he has dealt with a few accidents in the past.
“It’s inherently a dangerous job firing Civil War artillery,” he said. “It can be dangerous. Accidents happened in the past and people were injured. If you fight at an event and have an accident, it’s going to cost you a lot of money for insurance and everything else.”
According to Karnitz, any person could become a reenactment soldier. They simply have to go through a training process in order to be safe on the battlefield first.
“We’re training the National Civil War artillery drill, which is safety,” Karnitz said. “If you pass it, then we’ll give you a card stating that you understand the safety and you understand the drill. That allows you to go to a re-enactment.”
While many reenactment soldiers were out training, event organizers held a craft fair and goulash dinner for the people who were watching this event from the sidelines.