Civil War Battles and Encampment Reenactment

Smell the gun smoke, feel the canon shots reverberate through your body, and try to remember it is a reenactment when you hear the soldiers screaming in pain as they are wounded.  Wander the camps to talk with the Irish Brigade, Italian Brigade, and other units of the Confederate and Union forces who will STUN you with their knowledge.  When watching a patient being held down while his leg is amputated, you might grin in nervousness or stand there amazed.  You know it is "enacted", but everything is so historically accurate - including the people - that it is overwhelming.

There is absolute silence in the crowd while watching (from a safe distance) the actual battle.  Military formations, weaponry unleashed, and hand-to-hand combat are all carried out to historical standards.  

After the dramatic battles, the soldiers and their families offer their wealth of knowledge about life during the Civil War.  In fact, it may be difficult to tear yourself away from these people who are willing to share so much.  If you are lucky, you can even grab a picture with an extremely convincing President Lincoln!

We will also be able to see the Roaring Camp Railroad's historical buildings, 1880's steam train, and browse historical reproductions of merchandise.

See below the pictures for the event details - including our lunch plans.

Event Details:

COST: $5 per person & $8 per vehicle for parking (you pay there).  They accept AmericanExpress, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and ATM cards.  This does not include a ride on the steam train, but does give you a $2 discount if you wish to ride it. 

TRANSPORTATION:  Carpool is available from San Jose (first come, first serve).  Please leave a comment to reserve your spot.  Any donation for gas/parking is appreciated. :-)

If you are driving yourself, please see the very bottom for directions.

ITINERARY:

For those carpooling from San Jose: We are leaving at 10am from the Camden Avenue and Highway 17/880 Starbucks. I'll be there early and will have my sign up.  You can also call/text me at[masked]-6721.

Location and Map Detail of this Starbucks location

11am-11:15am  Meet in front of Roaring Camp Entrance (can't miss it as it is between the parking lot and park area before the covered bridge).  I will have the MeetUp sign and a red balloon.  Please call/text me if you were late and need help finding the group: (408) 307-6721.  

11:15-12:30pm Wander through the Confederate and Union encampments to speak with soldiers, doctors and nurses, and civilian women and men "from" that era.

12:30 - 1pm/1:15pm Witness the reenactment of a major battle 

1:15pm Fighting makes for hungry people.  There is a BBQ and other food available there for purchase or you may bring your own.  We will find a nice spot to rest at for our picnic.

Approx. 1:45/2pm - After lunch we will wander along the tents and town of Roaring Camp to see the historical buildings and merchandise available.  If we like, we can visit the encampments some more.

3pm Carpool for San Jose leaves.  We will wait until everyone who came is present, so please be sure to meet back at the starting point (park entrance) if we get separated. 

DIRECTIONS:

Directions from the North 
(San Jose, East Bay, Peninsula, San Francisco, Marin, Sacramento, points north):
Take State Route 1, U.S. 101, or Interstates 280, 680 or 880 south to I-880/SR-17. Continue southwest on I-880/SR-17 to Scotts Valley. Get off at Exit #3 at Mt. Hermon Rd. and drive northwest 3.5 miles to Felton. Mt. Hermon Road ends at Graham Hill Road. Turn left on Graham Hill Road and drive 1/2 mile to Roaring Camp (on right).

Directions from the South 
(Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Monterey, Carmel, Salinas, King City, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, points south):
Take State Route 1 north to Santa Cruz. Take SR-17 from Santa Cruz northeast to Scotts Valley. Get off at Exit #3 at Mt. Hermon Rd. and drive 3.5 miles northwest to Felton. Mt. Hermon Road ends at Graham Hill Road. Turn left on Graham Hill Road and drive 1/2 mile to Roaring Camp (on right).

Directions from the East 
(Stockton, Modesto, points east):
Take State Route 580 west to Interstate 880. Turn south on I-880. I-880 becomes SR-17 in Los Gatos. Continue on SR-17 to Scotts Valley. Get off at Exit #3 at Mt. Hermon Rd. and drive northwest 3.5 miles to Felton. Mt. Hermon Road ends at Graham Hill Road. Turn left on Graham Hill Road and drive 1/2 mile to Roaring Camp (on right).

Directions from the Southeast 
(San Juan Bautista, Hollister, Gilroy, Modesto, Merced, Fresno, Bakersfield, Los Angeles):
Take Interstate 5 to State Route 152 (near Gilroy). Drive west on SR-152 to SR-1, then north on SR-1 to Santa Cruz. Take SR-17 from Santa Cruz northeast to Scotts Valley. Get off at Exit #3 at Mt. Hermon Rd. and drive 3.5 miles northwest to Felton. Mt. Hermon Road ends at Graham Hill Road. Turn left on Graham Hill Road and drive 1/2 mile to Roaring Camp (on right).


Please feel free to comment or message me if you have any questions or concerns.

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  • Ted

    Great event. Thanks!

    1 · May 25, 2014

  • Himanshu S.

    It was an awesome experience. Thanks Charissa and all the group members

    1 · May 25, 2014

  • Randi

    Really enjoyed hanging out with everyone. Great group of folks. Thanks Charissa for all your hard work putting it together.

    2 · May 24, 2014

    • Charissa K.

      It was truly my pleasure! I had a lot of fun exploring the camps and watching the battle with all of you! It was also nice just being able to chat on the way over the hill!

      May 25, 2014

  • Valorie

    So interesting,educational,and historic...everyone was so friendly and our group was too!

    1 · May 25, 2014

  • Pamela A.

    Very interesting!

    1 · May 25, 2014

  • Lou Chiaramonte, J.

    Fun meetup! The group members were all incredibly nice, cerebrally engaging, and fun. The displays and presentations at the encampments were very informative. I was surprised to see so many genuine artifacts related to the war. Once the battle got into full swing, it was definitely all engrossing.

    3 · May 24, 2014

  • Meetha

    Very fun, interactive, and educational event!

    2 · May 24, 2014

  • Sandy C

    would love to catch a ride with someone if there is room in a car. Looking forward to it.

    May 20, 2014

    • Sandy C

      Sounds great. I'll see you Saturday morning.

      May 20, 2014

    • Sandy C

      I sent Charissa a note this morning. I have a lot to get done in San Jose so it is better that I stay closer to home for the day. Thanks for the offer of a carpool. Enjoy the day. See you at another event.

      May 24, 2014

  • Lou Chiaramonte, J.

    I actually worked as a railroad conductor on the "beach train". My dad was a part-time engineer on the line for about 15 years, and he worked with Rod Dirdon in the 1980s on trying to rebuild the rest of the line into the Santa Clara Valley.

    May 18, 2014

  • Lou Chiaramonte, J.

    The Civil War reenactments are always great. A fitting tribute, considering that a good deal of the gunpowder utilized by the Union Army was actually processed at the Hercules Powder Works just a couple miles south of Roaring Camp. The rail line that the beach train runs on was then used to ship the powder to one of the Santa Cruz wharves so that it could be loaded onto sailing vessels bound for the East Coast.

    May 18, 2014

  • Krystal H.

    Sorry guys :C My friend's having a birthday that day. Post pictures if you can : D I always wanted to see a reenactment!

    May 14, 2014

  • Narjit

    Charissa, do you know if the exit off 17 to Felton is on the Freeway portion of route, or the regular highway portion where cars sit for half an hour trying to get onto 17 (the drive back)?

    May 9, 2014

    • Narjit

      Meetha, Ted, you can ride with me. I'll be heading to same Starbucks pickup location at the same time as Charissa.

      1 · May 14, 2014

    • Meetha

      Thanks!

      May 14, 2014

  • Ted

    Hi Narjit. Count me in for a ride.Much appreciated!

    May 14, 2014

  • Charissa K.

    Narjit, Ted, and Meetha - the first car is full, but would one of you offer to use your car as the second carpool? Both cars (mine and potentially one of yours) can meet and leave from that Starbucks together.

    May 3, 2014

  • Narjit

    I'm in San Jose also and would like to carpool as well.

    May 2, 2014

  • Ted

    Hi I'm in San Jose. If anyone is carpooling, please count me. Happy to help pay for gas

    May 2, 2014

  • Noelle

    Clockwork Alchemy steampunk convention is also going on this weekend. Might be able to do both, will see what I want to do, later.

    April 6, 2014

    • Jeannie

      Hi Charissa, I have to cancell my spot for the Civil War event in May. You can open up my carpool spot for someone else. Have a great time, and see you at another event. Jeannie

      1 · April 27, 2014

    • Charissa K.

      Hi Jeannie. Sorry you can't make it, but thank you for the notice!

      April 27, 2014

  • Valorie

    I'll take the spot if still open=D

    April 27, 2014

    • Charissa K.

      Hi Valorie. Yes, you were next on the list, so your carpool spot is reserved. :-)

      April 27, 2014

  • Michelle S.

    I'm driving up from Salinas...if that helps anyone I am willing to pick you up on the way.

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Charissa K.

    Please let me know if anyone is willing to open their car for an additional carpool to this event. Both cars can all meet at a coffee shop together and caravan from there to the event.

    April 6, 2014

  • Valorie

    is there room for another in the carpool?

    April 6, 2014

    • Charissa K.

      Hi Valorie - My car is completely filled, but I will put you as the first person on standby incase someone cancels. I will also put a comment out to see if anyone else wishes to put together a carpool.

      1 · April 6, 2014

  • Jeannie

    I have been to Roaring Camp more times than I can count. My son loves the steam train. I will also join the car pool gang.

    April 6, 2014

    • Charissa K.

      Hi Jeannie. Your carpool seat is reserved.

      April 6, 2014

  • Narjit

    Hi Charissa,

    I would like to carpool also if there is space. I'll chip in for costs as needed.

    Narjit

    April 6, 2014

    • Charissa K.

      Hi Narjit. Your carpool seat is reserved

      April 6, 2014

  • Shauna V.

    Hi,

    I would like to carpool!!!
    Shauna

    April 6, 2014

    • Charissa K.

      Hi Shauna. Your carpool seat is reserved!

      April 6, 2014

  • Pamela A.

    Charissa - I would like to car pool - and of course I will help with the costs! See you at Starbucks! This sounds so interesting.

    April 6, 2014

    • Charissa K.

      Hi Pamela. I've reserved a seat for you. See you then!

      April 6, 2014

    • Pamela A.

      :))

      April 6, 2014

  • Michelle S.

    Thanks for scheduling another wonderful event!!

    2 · April 6, 2014

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