Civil War re-enactors to mark 150th

1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry to drill in Vancouver on Saturday

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter



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First Oregon Volunteer Infantry

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What: Veterans Affairs commemoration of Civil War sesquicentennial.

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Veterans Museum at Vancouver’s VA campus, 1601 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.

Who: Re-enactors from the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry.

To commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial, a re-enactment group will represent the soldiers who protected this part of the United States about 150 years ago.

The 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry will drill and display its gear and weapons Saturday at the Veterans Museum on the Vancouver Veterans Affairs campus.

It is part of a national Civil War commemoration sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The 1st Oregon was recruited to serve in the Pacific Northwest after regular Army units went east to fight in the Civil War.

Re-enactor Greg Moore said the 1st Oregon kept an eye on regional Indian tribes as well as Northwest groups sympathetic to the Confederacy.

The 1st Oregon was headquartered at Vancouver Barracks, and its companies were sent to posts in Oregon, Washington Territory and Idaho Territory.

The event will include black-powder firing demonstrations at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

"Part of that is speed-loading: see if you can load and fire three times a minute," Moore said. That was the goal of an infantryman in that era, he said.

Their re-enactment group has another identity, Moore added. Since the 1st Oregon Volunteers didn't fight in any Civil War battles, its members also portray soldiers in the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment, which saw plenty of combat. That gives the regional group a chance to participate in Civil War battle re-enactments, including Gettysburg, where the 20th Maine played a pivotal role in 1863.

A Civil War exhibit produced by the VA will be on display in the Veterans Museum. The museum is near the Huey helicopter (visible from Interstate 5) that is part of the Vietnam War Memorial Garden.

The exhibit will be on display until Sept. 5. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Tom Vogt: 360-735-4558;;