History comes alive at Long Pond Ironworks

| 11 Oct 2012 | 01:13

— The historic Long Pond Ironworks, founded in 1766, was the scene of a Civil War reenactment by the 6th New Hampshire Volunteers last weekend, complete with tents, drills, equipment displays, campfires and informative talks. Surrounded by the historic buildings, it was a living history lesson. The 6th New Hampshire Volunteers was the only regiment to fight in all theaters of the Civil War (1861-1865) and return with their regimental colors.
Based mostly out of Northern New Jersey, the 6th New Hampshire Volunteers reenactment troop is the largest such unit in the area. They attend battle reenactments as well as parades and history demonstrations and they carry with them all the historic trappings. An afternoon spent with this unit provides a valuable teaching opportunity for children as well as a brush-up history lesson for adults.
Brother against brother, the Civil War resulted in the loss of 620,000 lives. According to author James McPherson, “The Civil War was started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states.”
With the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, seven southern states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. By July of 1861 eleven states had seceded.
While the legality of the secessions was argued at the time, it wasn’t until 1868 that a ruling was handed down by the Supreme Court that said “…The ordinances of secession….and all the acts of legislature intended to give effect to that ordinance were absolutely null. They were utterly without operation in law.”
On the battlefields, thousands of soldiers killed in action were buried where they fell. Many were later disinterred and reburied in National or Confederate cemeteries. Still, it is estimated that there are many thousands of Civil War soldiers, who died fighting for what they believed in, scattered and buried in unmarked graves throughout the theaters of the war.