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Huntington Beach Civil War Days Returns for Its 30th Anniversary

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Huntington Beach Civil War Days Returns for Its 30th Anniversary

Reenactors demonstrate a typical Civil War battle during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Sophie Li

Sophie Li

9/4/2023

Updated: 9/4/2023

Thousands gathered Sept. 2 and 3 at Huntington Beach Central Park in Orange County, California, to celebrate the Civil War Days reenactment’s 30th anniversary.
The living history event, hosted by the Huntington Beach Historical Society for this year’s 160th anniversary of the war is the largest of its kind in Southern California.
Audiences watch a reenactment of a Civil War battle during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Audiences watch a reenactment of a Civil War battle during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Reenactors demonstrate a typical Civil War battle during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Reenactors demonstrate a typical Civil War battle during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of volunteers recreated some of the most important moments in the war that split the country between the north and the south and played a role in the ending of slavery in the United States.
The two-day event started each day with the Richmond Howitzers Battalion Band—the largest Civil War artillery reenactor unit in California—followed by reenactment battles. played out on both days marked its highlights.
Additionally, historical figures like former President Abraham Lincoln, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee were also present to give presentations and answer questions.
The Abraham Lincoln reenactor poses for a picture with children during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

The Abraham Lincoln reenactor poses for a picture with children during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

A reenactor played as Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant talking to the audience during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

A reenactor played as Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant talking to the audience during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

The second day additionally featured a reenactment of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to close out the festivities.
A fun addition to the battle scenes was a reenactment of a Harper’s Weekly’s war correspondent—who documented the two battles and interviewed soldiers.
An actor posing as a Harper’s Weekly’s war correspondent documenting a Civil War battle reenactment during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

An actor posing as a Harper’s Weekly’s war correspondent documenting a Civil War battle reenactment during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Reenactors demonstrate a typical Civil War battle during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Reenactors demonstrate a typical Civil War battle during the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Civil War Days was founded by Maureen Rivers and Carl Clink in Huntington Beach in 1993 with one cannon and no more than 30 participants, according to the Huntington Beach Historical Society. Today, the event brings together actors from all across the country and attracts tens of thousands of spectators.
“My grandmother was from Lexington, Mass. and I think she felt surrounded by American history in Massachusetts,” Darrell Rivers, Historical Society’s vice-president, told the Los Angeles Times in an Aug. 29 article. “When she moved out here, she wanted to kind of continue that tradition. She worked on the bicentennial in Massachusetts in 1976, and I think she was interested in bringing that out here.”
A reenactor at the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

A reenactor at the 30th annual Civil War Days event at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Sophie Li

Sophie Li

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Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

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