69th New York Blue and Grey reenactment moorpark

Moorpark Rises!

I sure hope that you’re making plans to attend the “new and improved” Moorpark reenactment on April 1 and 2. It will be very different and vastly improved this year. Our theme will be “The Road to Antietam.”

After what might be described as a nomadic journey for the past 2 1/2 years, the Moorpark Rotary Club has located a pristine site that basically harkens back to “Old California.” This site, Hitch Ranch in Moorpark, was sitting under everyone’s nose all this time, and nobody ever thought about it. It was simply the case where it was “out of sight, out of mind.”

What is ironic is that for those of you who have ever participated in the Moorpark Country Days Parade to promote our reenactment, you have marched right past the southern border of the ranch each year. Our reenactment site, however, will be at a location on the ranch that is further north, and it is sheltered by the terrain from all evidence of modern life. Yes, dirt roads can be seen in the photograph above, but other than that, the site is almost as it was when God created it. Think of it this way, even the original Yanks and Rebs usually fought battles with more “modern intrusions” at/near their battlefields. 🙂

Entry will take place downtown adjacent to the Moorpark Post Office. A new road will run parallel to the railroad track and take reenactors and spectators directly to the site and parking.  Once you enter the site, you will see only things that are related to our reenactment–no houses, no water towers, no power lines, “no nuthin’.” The photograph at the top of this message shows our battlefield. This photograph was taken in the late afternoon on January 6. With all of the rain we have received since then, the battlefield will probably look more like an Irish landscape than a Southern California setting by April 1.

This site will be a worthy successor to the event site at Prado Regional Park that used to take place on the same weekend, and it will certainly be more authentic/rustic, given the lack of modern intrusions. If memory serves me, sun and heat were never a problem at the Prado site in early April, so I would expect no different situation here.

A School Day, something we have dropped for the past two years, will return this year. Your participation will be greatly appreciated. Not only will the effort greatly improve kids’ understanding of this great upheaval in American history, it will help raise community awareness of our event.

Sutlers, let me know if you will be there. You may arrive early for set up, as usual. Reenactors participating in the Friday School Day can arrive on Thursday after noon. All other reenactors can arrive on Friday.

As usual, hay, water, and firewood will be provided. Horsemen, I will need to know your requirements for hay by March 27. (By the way, I have criss-crossed the site on two occasions and I have not noticed one gopher hole, so, for cavalry, this is “good ground.”)

Everything seems to be falling into line with this event. Everyone on the Rotary’s end is optimistic about its prospects. I am hoping that you have the dates circled on your calendar and that you’ll be there with us at this great new site.

You can expect to see more event information as we get closer.

Please pass on this message to everyone who might be interested.

I’ll see you there!

Ed Mann