Civil War Re-enactment at Knott's Berry Farm

Civil War Re-enactment at Knott's Berry Farm

Thunder from the firing of an 1862 Confederate cannon set off car alarms all around. President Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" was nearly drowned out by screams from the nearby GhostRider. And rain clouds threatened to wash out the entire weekend event.

Civil War Reenactment, Ferndale, Virginia, USA

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But a hardy band of Civil War re-enactors braved the elements and the challenges of telling a 150-year-old story in a modern setting over the weekend during Knott's Berry Farm's annual Civil War living history lesson.

About 120 people playing soldiers, buglers, military officers, cooks and laundresses – and one playing the 16th president – set up camp on a grass field across Beach Boulevard from Knott's on Saturday and Sunday.

The field was too small to re-enact full battles, but guests could wander the camps to see how soldiers slept in white canvas tents, to see the rifles, cannons and sabers they used on the battlefields and to see the hardtack they ate and the washboards they used to scrub soiled uniforms.

"I've read about this in class, but to see it up close gives you a whole new appreciation for how they lived way back then," said Joey Anderson, 13, of Anaheim, who is studying the Civil War in his eighth-grade class. "You can't really imagine how powerful a cannon sounds until you hear it up close like this."

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