Corydon ‘On the eve of Battle’
While an actual battle re-enactment will not take place, there will still be plenty of booms and bangs for visitors to appreciate next weekend for the 151st anniversary of the Battle of Corydon.
The Harrison County Fairgrounds in south Corydon will play host to the majority of the Civil War-era festivities instead of the usual re-enactment site at Hayswood Nature Reserve west of Corydon.
Demonstrations will include rifle, cannon and Gatling gun firing from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 12, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 13, at the fairgrounds. Parking cost is $1.
Dan Bays, Harrison County historian and Battle of Corydon Memorial Park advisory board member, said instead of the full-fledged re-enactment, the weekend will focus more on everyday life prior to the battle.
‘Last year’s 150th anniversary took a great deal of effort by many individuals, plus we had done a re-enactment for several years,’ Bays said. ‘We thought we would try something different this year. We thought we would focus more on the everyday life of an individual living in the 1860s … ‘
Exhibits and demonstrations will include how people lived in the Civil War era, a visit and presentation from Abraham Lincoln where attendees can ‘shake hands with the savior of the union’ (at The Emporium in downtown Corydon both days), Civil War Encampment by the Ohio Valley volunteers and a trip through time to see daily life at the log cabin at the Battle of Corydon Memorial Park (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday).
‘It’s a nice event for the whole family to come to,’ Ed Runden, Battle of Corydon Memorial Park advisory board member, said.
Also a big hit added last year was the 1860s-period baseball game, which will again take place this year, but as a doubleheader, beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday at the fairgrounds, pitting the Belle Rivers against the Ohio River Phoenix.
‘It’s one of the most pleasant activities that I know of,’ Runden said. ‘You can sit in the stands, eat a hot dog and drink a Coke.’
Runden first saw the spectacle while in French Lick and said he was glued to it for three hours.
The umpire of the game, David Brooks, will describe the many differences in 1860s baseball and today’s game and will provide commentary throughout. Cost is $1 for the doubleheader action (plus $1 for parking), and food and beverages will be available for purchase.
For more information about Civil War-era baseball, visit www.baseball-almanac.com/articles/aubrecht2004b.shtml.
Prior to the game, at 4 p.m., the Rivers Institute Traveling Theatre group from Hanover College will present 10-minute plays about Indiana’s history.
Located at The Emporium in downtown Corydon, the Battle of Corydon Civil War Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The exhibit features all sorts of relics from the Battle of Corydon.
Bays said the museum will have a special exhibit on display for the anniversary weekend and will host a book-signing both days featuring David Mowery, author of ‘Morgan’s Great Raid.’ Mowery will be present from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
‘We hope it will be an educational and entertaining weekend for all who come to visit,’ Bays said.
For a complete list of weekend activities, visit online at www.corydonbattlepark.com/ScheduleofEvent.pdf.
The Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, along with Battle of Corydon Memorial Park advisory board, organized the event.
The Battle of Corydon was the only Civil War battle fought on Indiana soil and occurred July 9, 1863, when 450 members of the Harrison County Home Guard attempted to delay Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s 2,400 soldiers.
‘The town has a very interesting history,’ Runden said. ‘But it’s not just interesting and fun, it’s important.’