PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – On April 15, 1861 President Lincoln called for volunteers to defend Washington, and three days later the first Philadelphians left for the capital.
To commemorate this historic event and raise public awareness of Philadelphia’s pivotal role in the Civil War, approximately 500 infantry, artillery and cavalry re-enactors and civilians that include Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Octavius V. Catto will march in a parade led by Mayor Michael A. Nutter. The parade will also include period and modern bands and the Armed Services and will be the largest Civil War commemorative event in Pennsylvania that week.
The parade, sponsored by the Civil War History Consortium of Greater Philadelphia, will begin at the National Constitution Center, 515 Arch Street, Saturday, April 16th at 10:00AM. The parade follows the route taken by those first troops. After a brief program at the Union League of Philadelphia, the parade will end with an encampment and living history demonstrations at the intersection of Broad Street and Washington Avenue, where the soldiers left for the front in 1861. Military re-enactors will provide vignettes of life as a Civil War soldier, including drills and demonstrations of horsemanship, scenes of camp life, demonstrations of horsemanship, weapons care, medical and surgical procedures, and related activities. Civilian re-enactors will portray domestic and leisure time activities. The day’s events will end with a gala dinner and period Civil War ball at the Union League featuring 1860s music, dancing, and costumes.
Other activities planned by the Consortium for 2011 include hosting the statewide traveling exhibition, the Civil War Road Show, in July and August, and a historic battle re-enactment the weekend of August 20-21. Consortium member institutions are also planning a wide range of exhibitions and events.
Additional information, including the parade route and a calendar of area events from April – early July, can be found at http://www.civilwarphilly.net/parade .