All about this weekend’s 28th annual Civil War reenactment at Union Canal Tunnel Park

3 min read 143 views and 18 shares Posted August 22, 2018

One of the nation’s most historic pieces of transportation infrastructure, the Union Canal Tunnel, will provide a scenic backdrop to this weekend’s 28th annual Civil War reenactment.

Saturday & Sunday afternoon at Union Canal Tunnel Park
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Reenactment battles will take place on the south side of the park at 2:00pm on Saturday and 1:30pm on Sunday.

The event is hosted by the Lebanon County Historical Society and the 93rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry of the Federal Volunteers Brigade.

This weekend’s battles are expected to involve as many as 100 soldiers from the region. Throughout the weekend concessions will be available as well as narrated canal tours for $8 per adult, $4 for students age 6 to 17, and free for children age 5 and under. There will also be “sutlers” (vendors) with different Civil War related merchandise.

There is no charge to watch the battle, however you are advised to bring your own seating & encouraged to carpool if you want to save on the $4 parking. You are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food to be donated to Lebanon Rescue Mission.

The historic 93rd Pennsylvania, known as the “Lebanon Infantry”, was headed by Col. James Maryland, who had been a minister at a Methodist Episcopal in Lebanon before the war. The regiment trained at “Camp Coleman”, now called Monument Park, at 8th and Lehman.

93rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment veterans at the dedication of their monument at Gettysburg Battlefield, October 30, 1884. Library of Congress Photo.

The 93rd was involved in Gettysburg, Fair Oaks, Antietam, Fredericksburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and other battles. It was disbanded on June 30, 1865.

Reenactors in front of the 93rd’s monument at Gettysburg.

Here is the weekend’s full schedule of events:

Saturday:

  • 9:00am Camp opens to public
  • 2:00pm Scripted battle
  • 3:00pm Civil War trivia game
  • 8:45pm Camps close to public

Sunday:

  • 9:00am Camp opens to public
  • 10:00am Civil War church service
  • 1:30pm Scripted battle
  • 3:30pm Camps close to public

Although the Union Canal Tunnel played no role in the Civil War (and arguably was obsolete by the time hostilities began) the park has additional historic merit as having been visited by President Washington during the canal’s early construction in 1792 and again in 1794 as he was headed to western Pennsylvania to deal with the whiskey riots aftermath. At the time, he recorded in his diary that he was able to, “view the canal from Myerstown towards Lebanon and the locks between the two places, which appeared admirably constructed.”

A historic post card showing the Union Canal Tunnel. The tunnel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994.

Exploring the park before the day’s events? Use this handy map to find your way. Please note, pets will not be allowed in the southern portion of the park during Civil War weekend, however they will still be allowed on the northern portion.

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