06/08/08 — Civil War-era days come alive on county battlefield

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Civil War-era days come alive on county battlefield

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 8, 2008 2:05 AM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Civil War reenactors who came to refight the Battle of Whitehall ended up battling a new foe Saturday -- the heat.

Less than 100 reenactors showed up for the presentations at 2 and 9 p.m. Many who had planned to participate called and canceled because of the forecast of soaring temperatures, and half the cannons left after the afternoon performance.

Reenactors wear the same type of uniforms as their counterparts in the 19th century -- wool and heavy -- and carry equipment that would have been part of the drill for a Confederate or Union soldier at that time.

Organizers Bobby and Karen Mozingo said they plan to hold the next re-enactment in the fall.

"Our reenactors are old, older than me and Bobby, and we're 65. They can't stand the heat," Mrs. Mozingo said. "Everywhere you could see shade, that's where the spectators were."

Mozingo said last year's participation was much better. Although the 2007 reenactment was also held in June, more than 200 participated in that event.

"We've got to find a better time," he said. "We don't want it cold or hot."

The original reenactment was held at the time of the actual battle, which was fought on Dec. 15, 1862, over the Confederate ironclad CSS Neuse, which was being built at the time.

The town was burned to the ground during the two-day battle. Historians say both sides claimed victory. Some say the Union lost 126 men, and the Confederacy lost seven. Others say the Union had 1,200 casualties, and the Confederates had about 100.

Mozingo thinks there were 13 Confederates who lost their lives in the Battle of Whitehall. He has ordered 13 monuments to honor them in the Whitehall Landing Memorial Gardens near the waterfront.

"When they come in, we'll have a big time memorial service," Mozingo said.