Mercersburg Home

***Civil War Weekend***

Schedule of Events for
140th Commemoration of J.E.B. Stuart's Raid through Mercersburg

On October 11th, 12th and 13th of 2002, a 3-day event is planned that will include history, pageantry, and a view into the life and events of our forefathers.

Friday, October 11th

7:00 p.m. - Civil War Forum
(Star Theatre - 23 W. Seminary St.)

Saturday, October 12th

9:00 a.m. - Camp Open to Public
(Lions Club Park)

9:00 a.m. - Fall Festival - First United Methodist Church
Silent Auction & Bazaar
(11 North Fayette Street)

10:00 a.m. - Historic Recruitment/Reenactment On "The Square"
(Main Street)

2:00 p.m. - Battle
(Lions Club Park)

3:30 p.m. - Civil War Wedding
(Pavilion - Lions Club Park)

5:00 p.m. - Civil War Camp Closed

7:30 p.m. - Remembrance Ball
(Edwards Room, Keil Hall, Mercersburg Academy)

Sunday, October 13th
(Lions Club Park)

9:00 a.m. Civil War Camp Open

9:00 a.m. - Worship Service

11:00 a.m. --- Civil War Music Concert

12:30 p.m. - Memorial Service Honoring All Services and Wars including Mercersburg's 54th Massachusetts

1:30 p.m. - Battle

3:00 p.m. - Civil War Camp Closed

Details of the Weekend Events


On Friday evening at 7:00, the 11th of October, there will be a presentation entitled . . ."J.E.B. Stuart - The Man, The Times, and The Raid". The discussion will focus on the Raid in the context of the war at that point, the individuals involved, and the effect of the event on Mercersburg and the surrounding towns. Of interest to those who are well versed and those who wish to be well versed on J.E.B. Stuart and the Raid, this presentation by leading by experts will cover the personalities of the key figures and how, in detail, the Raid took place.

Scheduled to speak will be Ted Alexander, noted Pennsylvania historian and co-author of  "They Came This Way", John Thompson, local historian and author of "Horses, Hostages and Apple Cider: J.E.B. Stuart's 1862 Pennsylvania Raid", and Robert Trout, Civil War expert and the author of the newly published book, "Galloping Thunder - The Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion". We expect the evening to be the definitive discussion on this historical event. The event will be held at the Star Theater at 23 W. Seminary Street. This event is free.


Saturday, the 12th, will be the first full day of the event. Morning events are concentrated in downtown Mercersburg. At 9:00am there will be a Silent Auction & Bazaar at the First United Methodist Church on Fayette Street.
At 10:00 visitors to the town square will be treated to a Union Recruitment March down Main Street for PA Volunteers -- including dancing, fife & drum, and period music by the renowned Amoskeag Players.

At 11:30 spectators will experience a reenactment of the events that occurred 140 years ago when General J.E.B. Stuart drew his horse artillery into the square and threatened to blow up the town. The square will be filled with cannons and as many as 50 horses, as the Confederates "secure" the town, taking hostages and looting local stores.
The event will be staged as an open-air play with actors mingling with visitors and interacting with the characters on the "stage". This is a reenactment on historic ground. This event is free.
: As the streets will be closed to all traffic for these events from 9:30am to 12:30 it is important that spectators arrive early. Free Shuttles buses will take visitors to and from Battle Field to the events on "The Square". Refreshments will be available.

At 2:00 in the afternoon, visitors will gather on the grounds of the Lions Club Park and the field adjacent for a "black powder" event. Here visitors will be able to wander through a Civil War encampment, and see, first hand, how our soldiers lived during the war.
In addition to the black powder event, which will include mounted cavalry charges, cannon barrages, and infantry skirmishes, there will be "living historians" that will speak to subjects such as medical practices, arms, and battle tactics.
Tickets are required - $8 adults & $5 children.

At 7:30 in the evening, a Civil War Remembrance Ball will be held on the grounds of the Mercersburg Academy in their grand Victorian Room (Edward's Room in Kiel Hall).
The Ball, under the direction of a Nancy Walker, an internationally known expert in Civil War dance will include, period music, refreshments, and of course dancing. Music will be provided by the Amoskeag Players. Many attending the ball will be dressed in period costumes.
Tickets are required - $20 adults.


Camps open at 9:00am at Lions Club Park. At 9:00 there will be a traditional "Civil War Camp" church service.
At 11:30 there will a concert by the Amoskeag Players of traditional Civil War music.
At 12:30 there will be a 21-Gun Memorial Salute honoring all Services & Wars, including a minute of silence for the victims of 9/11 and Mercersburg's own "54th Massachusetts" (Afro-American regiment), many of whom are buried in a local cemetery.
At 1:30pm there will be a cavalry demonstration, "living history" events, and a final "black powder" skirmish. Tickets are required - $8 adults & $5 children..

Refreshments, Free Parking, and Transportation between events will be available. Specifics, Tickets and updates are available at: and The Chamber of Commerce 717 328 5827.  Please check back here often!

Note: Times may vary and all tickets sales are FINAL. Although the 140th Commemoration will be held rain or shine specific events may be added (or deleted) as deemed necessary, at the time, by the coordinating committee.



Because of recent concerns regarding event public safety, no parcels, backpacks, bags or coolers will be allowed through the event gates. Please leave these items at home or in your vehicle in the nearby parking lot. All carry items will be subject to search prior to entering the event. Please allow extra time so we can enhance your safety!


Arrive early at least 1 hour before the events begin or plan to spend the afternoon at the site. While there is plenty to see and do, all over the site, traffic peaks just prior to event times. Anticipate delays and consider staying on site to relax and stroll the camps and food areas following the battles.


If you are bringing your own seating, arrive early to find a good place to sit. Everyone will see some distant as well as close-up action. Bringing a pair of binoculars will help you see the action in more detail. Feel free to take all the pictures you want! However, Video/Film equipment may not be used in the spectator areas if it requires a tripod or is shoulder held, such as larger camcorders. Only handheld recorders can be used. No one may stand on chairs for filming and of course, you may not wander out on the Battlefield at any time to take photos.


Young children are often afraid of very loud noises and being close to the cannons can be a scary experience for kids under 5 years old. Cotton helps dull the noise and may be a good idea for anyone near the big guns. Strollers are allowed but may have a more difficult time on the grassy park grounds.


Bicycles may be ridden to the parking areas but not on site. We do not provide security for bicycles. We advise against bringing them, but this is your decision.


No Pets are allowed on site or in the parking areas and never to be left alone in parked cars. Service Dogs Only.


Sufficient toilet facilities will be provided for the Square and Battlefield activities.

These rules and regulations are for your comfort and safety. We appreciate your cooperation!