What to See and Experience at the Battle of Aiken
Travel back in time and spend a weekend at the Battle of Aiken! There are thousands of things to see. Each year is different depending on which living historians across the country are able to attend. Come early and between the battles tour at your own leisure to experience 1865! A must-see for children!
Exhibits & Campsite Tour the Confederate, the Citadel, and the Union camps to interact with soldiers. See demonstrations at stations. An old fashion gunfight scenario is featured. Crafts include woodworking, blacksmithing, soap making, camp cooking, spinning, and more. Tour an authentic one-room log cabin.
Medical: See surgeons demonstrate field surgery. See nurses give aid to the wounded on the field. Minnie ball wounds to limbs were devastating and often required amputation.
Music & Dance: Experience a full day of music. Lonely and far from home, music offered the soldier comfort and a pleasant distraction from battle. Dance instructions are offered. Learn the Virginian Reel! Stay Saturday evening to participate in the 7 P.M. Saturday Ball.
Faith & Church: In war, death could come in a moment. Great religious revivals occurred during the Civil War. See a Chaplain’s Camp. Attend Sunday’s authentic Church Service. On the field, see soldiers pray as Chaplains gave comfort to the wounded. See an 1865 funeral procession.
Women’s life: See a full spectrum of 1865 fashions. See women in battle. Look closely at faces to see if you can locate women in the ranks of cavalry, infantry, and artillery. In camp, women demonstrate crafts and cooking.
Infantry in three battles: Encourage children to ask soldiers in camp questions. See hundreds of soldiers assemble in the camps and march onto the battlefield. See musket fire and smoke. Officers lead and direct their troops with swords. Wounded soldiers are cared for by nurses. See historic flags carried by troops. Closing ceremonies feature a bayonet charge.
Artillery in battle: See Union and Confederate batteries having a duel. See how cannons are loaded. See cannons fire simultaneously in one blast, then see a battery’s guns fire left to right, and then fire at will.
Cavalry in battle: See cavalrymen charge at each other and clash with sabers. See pistol duels and carbine fire. See Infantry fight off cavalrymen.
Sutlers (merchants): Sutlers are merchants that followed the troops and have recreated an 1865 sutler village where swords, muskets, uniforms, tents, hats, and flags can be purchased. Buy a hoop skirt and attend the Ball!
Food: Authentic kettle corn, sarsaparilla, birch beer, and southern bar-b-que are available! Food vendors offer a variety of beverages and food.
Military Timeline: Veterans and Living Historians bring their collections of uniforms, weapons, tents, and vehicles for viewing. See American military impressions from Colonial, Native American, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Spanish American War, World War One and Two, Korean War, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars. Honor the veterans!