Moore Park in Westfield NY will be filled this weekend as the annual tradition of the 9th Cavalry encampment takes place this weekend. “Standing Ground: A Civil War Living History Event will be running from today (Friday June 10th through Sunday June 12th. Members of the 9th Cavalry will set up camp in the park and offer a living history throughout the weekend.
Weekend events include the following:
- Flag Raising Ceremony (9am Sat.)
- Drills and Demonstrations (10 am and 3 pm Sat, 1:30 pm Sun)
- Craft demonstrations (Saturday and Sunday afternoon)
- Candlelight Camp Tours (8pm Sat.)
- Civil War Church Service at St. Peters Episcopal Church (10 a.m. Sunday)
- “Letters from the War” Readings of letters from area soldiers during their service including letters from Fredonia’s Alonzo and William Cushing. (Saturday at 2pm inside St. Peters)
The Chautauqua County Historical Society will also host its 2016 Summer Gala fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday night, June 11. That event costs $50 per person with all proceeds benefitting the historical society.
For more information on the encampment and summer gala, call the Chautauqua County Historical Society at (716) 326-2977.
In addition to the 9th NY Cavalry, other reenactment groups expected to be on hand include the 64th Virginia Cavalry, 4th South Carolina Infantry, 20th Maine Fife & Drum Corps and Cushing’s Battery A of the 4th Artillery.
The encampment weekend will continue Sunday, with the groups departing Sunday afternoon. The encampment, along with all other related events, is free and open to the public.
As part of the Civil War weekend, guests should stop by the Lincoln Bedell Statue across the street, commemorating the meeting between President Abraham Lincoln and Westfield’s Grace Bedell. Bedell famously wrote the following letter to Lincoln:
Oct 15. 1860
Hon A B Lincoln
My father has just home from the fair and brought home your picture and Mr. Hamlin's. I am a little girl only eleven years old, but want you should be President of the United States very much so I hope you wont think me very bold to write to such a great man as you are. Have you any little girls about as large as I am if so give them my love and tell her to write to me if you cannot answer this letter. I have got 4 brother's and part of them will vote for you any way and if you will let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husband's to vote for you and then you would be President. My father is a going to vote for you and if I was a man I would vote for you to but I will try and get every one to vote for you that I can I think that rail fence around your picture makes it look very pretty I have got a little baby sister she is nine weeks old and is just as cunning as can be. When you direct your letter dir[e]ct to Grace Bedell Westfield Chatauque County New York
I must not write any more answer this letter right off
Lincoln wrote back to Bedell and later asked to meet her at a Train stop in Chautauqua County.
Bedell’s former home is currently for sale through Howard Hanna Holt Real Estate. The five bedroom, 2332 square foot home is listed for 52,000. For the property information follow this link.