On the weekend of July 15-17, we participated in the 159th Re-enactment of the Battle Of Funkstown. This is always one of our favorite events. For many reasons. And In this article, I would like to point out some of these reasons that are quite unique! This year it was also much bigger, since our commanding organization, Longstreet’s Corps, declared Funkstown a priority event to support the organizers and the town. More on that further down. Usually, our articles focus on the camp life, battles, and the funny/hilarious that happens during events. But Funkstown deserves a different spotlight:
The first reason that makes the event special, is the STREET BATTLE. Actually rather a skirmish than a full-blown battle. But nowhere in the entire mid-Atlantic have spectators the opportunity to be THIS close to the action. The troops from both sides, infantry, and cavalry could theoretically be touched by the spectators, only maybe 3-5 yards away. That alone is worth the visit for CW enthusiasts. Creating an experience that can be had nowhere within thousands of miles! And this is on top of the two main battles Sat/Sun.
But what do I type? I’d rather have you witness it in this media gallery, have fun:
The 2nd reason that makes Funkstown unique is something else that is happening nowhere else in the mid-Atlantic: Troops foraging for rations/food. A wonderful tradition, held up by the amazing folks of Funkstown! Always on Saturday morning, the soldiers on both sides roam the streets and neighborhoods of Funkstown, looking for food! And the Funkstowners DELIVER. The generosity, the kindness, and the enthusiasm are heartwarming! People decorate and flag their homes and yards, they set out food and drinks, candy and baked goods, and snacks, and all are served with a smile and a warm greeting. Not only does it make sure every partaking re-enactor is fed for the day, but it also makes the re-enactor community feel welcome and appreciated.
Here are some impressions from the foraging in town:
It is my urge to THANK the amazing population and residents of Funkstown for their hospitality, kindness, and generosity towards us and the event! You are amazing, Funkstown!
The 3rd reason why everybody, re-enactors, and spectators alike, should be raving fans is the event and the organization. The overall title of the event, A DAY IN THE PARK, is very multi-faceted: street battle, foraging, two main battles, open-air live concerts, a classic car show, huge firework on Saturday night, make this event a MUST-ATTEND fun weekend for the entire family!
Last but not least, I, the 4th Maryland Light Artillery, and the entire re-enactment community attending the event would like to extend a HUGE shout-out to event organizer John Phillips, all his volunteers, the LE officers, the Funkstown Fire Department, and everybody involved, for the outstanding job you are doing. From the site to organization, facilities, generosity, the looking out for all of us!
We can’t wait to come back for the 160th anniversary in 2023!
Speaking of: The event will substantially grow in the future. Additional property was acquired, about 10 times bigger than the current event site at the community park. The main battles were already held on that property, where future re-enactments will take place. Stay tuned for updates and additional info.
And for our farewell, we also want to give you some general impressions of the 4th Maryland! (enlarge gallery for best viewing pleasure)
Until next time, sincerely,
Cpl Jack Mager
4th Maryland Light Artillery
Credit for additional photos goes to Joy Thompson and Rebecca Webb