Hear the Canons Roar!

  • Visit North Central

The quiet fields of a Phillipston farm will turn into a noisy battlefield in July, when the armies of the North and South face off in the Battle of Red Apple Farm.

Drumrolls, bugle calls, rifle shots and cannon booms will echo through local orchards as soldiers attired in blue and grey demonstrate for 21st-century civilians the frightening dangers faced by their 19th-century forebears. While no real Civil War battles took place on local soil, nearly every town and village in Johnny Appleseed Country has a monument to residents who lost their lives in that bloody conflict.

Although the last shot of the Civil War was fired more than 150 years ago, re-enactors throughout the country remind today’s Americans of the anguish it created. Sgt. Mike Flye of the Liberty Greys, a Massachusetts re-enactment company, is working with Red Apple Farm owner Al Rose on the event to be held on July 26 and 27 on Highland Avenue in Phillipston.

The weekend event, Flye says, will include both Confederate and Union military encampments, as well as a camp of “suttlers” or supply merchants. The re-enactors traveling to Phillipston for this event will also include a minister, surgeon, seamstress and other “living historians,” including wives and children.

Visitors to the farm can watch military drills throughout the weekend, as well as battles that will take place at 2 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be cavalry and artillery demonstrations, cooking, camp music, period games, surgical demonstrations, and a church service at 9 am on Sunday. Those attending can also participate in a public dance on Saturday night.

There will be a $10 per a car entry fee, with parking at the event and at the Red Apple Farm with hay wagon’s running the half-mile or so between the two farms. Red Apple Farm will have seasonal berry picking and the store open with a lunch pavilion.

photo courtesy of Pat Gale