Friday, June 28, 2013

Battle of Craney Island Weekend

Editor's Note: HRNM summer intern Brian Sagedy composed this article
Over the weekend, the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Craney Island was celebrated in Norfolk and Portsmouth. The event took place inside of Fort Norfolk which included officer quarters and Civil War ordinance building. Other events were held at Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve, and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
The weekend included reenactments in period uniform by both American and British soldiers. The reenactors fired cannons and muskets to demonstrate how the battle would have been fought back in 1813. The big event of the weekend was the Victory Ceremony with a twenty-one gun salute, three minute victory bell peal from Norfolk and Portsmouth churches, wreath laying, and mayoral Victory Proclamation. There were exhibits by the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, National Museum of Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army Corps of Engineers.

The Hampton Roads Naval Museum exhibit was a fun, exciting, and interactive exhibit that appealed to all ages. It included puzzles with questions on the back that people could find the answer by using a spy scope to find the answer in the exhibit. The exhibit also covered the War of 1812, the Battle of Craney Island, Craney Island today, and what the Army Corps of Engineers plans to do with it today. The exhibit also included a small cannon that people could practice swabbing out. Parent, kids, and the boy scouts all enjoyed the exhibit and the festivies that were on Fort Norfolk on June 21 and 22. The bicentennial of the Battle of Craney Island represented the collaborative efforts of the Portsmouth History Commission and the Norfolk Historical Society. Both cities that were saved by the forces on Craney Island joined together to celebrate the 200th Anniversary. It was a great weekend with high spirits that celebrated the Battle of Craney Island.

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