Town of Union celebrates town's rich Civil War history - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Town of Union celebrates town's rich Civil War history


The sound of marching boots and canon-fire was heard throughout the town of Union, Saturday.

The historic Elmwood plantation played host to a reenactment of the 1864 occupation of the home and town by the Union Army.

It's known as the "Plundering of Elmwood,” when in 1864 Union troops are said to have entered the home during a tea party.

But with women and children present, the union troops had mercy on the residents, slaughtering all of the cattle, except for one: a dairy cow.

"They had to eat, so they killed the cattle, but they were pretty nice about it,” said Christopher Wszolek.

Wszolek purchased the antebellum home in 2001.

"Younger and energetic owners get old and the house runs down a little bit,” Wszolek said. “So when we bought Elmwood, it needed a bit of work and preservation, which we were glad to do."

History buffs of all ages were excited to see the events they'd read about come to life.

But Wszolek and others were unsure of the response the reenactment would receive this year.

"Considering what happened in Charlottesville several weeks ago, but we've had absolutely nothing but kind endorsement and respectful participation from everybody in the community," Wszolek said.

Those involved in the reenactment hope the town of Union can serve as an example to the rest of the nation.

"We have very sensitive opinions and people who feel very strongly,” Barbara Ziegler said. “It's their family history, not just United States history. So, this is a good place to learn how to live together and respect."

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