Cabarrus

Re-enactors to fight at Bost Mill

Turn off N.C. 200 at the Bost Grist Mill, and you'll feel as if you've gone back in time.

The quiet of the countryside, the 19th-century wagons parked nearby and the old mill building itself transport you to the days when the mill was the heart of a community.

But Saturday and Sunday, the peace and quiet will be replaced by the Battle of Bost Grist Mill, a historical military campaign carried out by a bevy of Civil War re-enactors.

Gene and Brenda Bost, managers of Bost Grist Mill, said the re-enactment is about more than just the battle. There will be a full schedule of events at and around the mill.

Beginning at 10 a.m. both days, visitors can stroll through Civil War-era camps, check out period wares sold by "sutlers" - re-enactment vendors - and visit the mill's tenant house, which will become a medical facility for the weekend. There you can learn about battlefield medicine in the 1860s.

Activities planned include a ladies' tea and fashion show, a church service Sunday morning, and presentations by local authors. Anna Jackson, wife of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, is scheduled to make an appearance, played by Nora Brooks. The Bosts said they hope Gen. Robert E. Lee will be there as well.

At noon Saturday, local historian Deacon Jones will give a talk on black Confederate history. At 1 p.m. another local historian, retired judge Clarence Horton, will speak on the history of Bost Grist Mill.

The battles will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Gene Bost explained that these battles aren't just replays of other Civil War battles. The generals will meet the night before to plan their strategy. The troops won't know the battle plan until it's time to enter the fray, just like the real thing.

Also just like real Civil War battles, spectators are invited. Brenda Bost told me people bring their lawn chairs and picnic lunches and settle in to watch the battle, just as locals did at some battles in the 19th century.

To find the full schedule of events for the Battle of Bost Grist Mill, visit battleofbost.tripod.com/index.html.

While you're at Bost Grist Mill, be sure to visit the mill itself, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary. You can learn about the importance of the grist mill in the history of local communities, see the first millstone the Bost family used to grind grain, enjoy ice cream or a cold drink and browse through the display of gift items and the ground cornmeal and grits the mill produces.

At the mill's website, www.bostgristmill.com, you'll find pictures, history and more details about the Battle of Bost Grist Mill.

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