People from all around the state gathered in Snoqualmie to participate in the Washington Civil War Association’s third annual Battle of Snoqualmie re-enactment at Meadowbrook Farm on Sept. 16 and 17.
At 11 a.m. on Saturday, the first cannon was fired, marking the beginning of the fictional battle. WCWA members, dressed in period accurate uniforms, began their staged fight between the Union and Confederate camps. Soldiers ran through the hills to get to their battalions where each side stood in line to fire on each other. Others dressed as medics, ran to take wounded soldiers in to treat their wounds, while cavalrymen patrolled the battlefield.
Dan Rike, WCWA member from Stanwood, gave commentary throughout the battle for the audience, explaining the methods of engagement during the Civil War, the conditions the soldiers fought in and the context for skirmishes similar to this event.
“I was letting people know that there were unrecorded battles, skirmish engagements, two battalions would cross paths on the way to a bigger event and they would have these kinds of skirmishes,” Rike said. “I was expressing what was happening on the field as it happened, understanding the flanking maneuvers, trying to end the bloodshed as fast as you can so you can preserve your own army and put the other army in check. To dismantle the other side so they cannot engage in war any more.”
Rike, who has been a part of the WCWA since 1997, said he finds a lot of value in helping bring history to life through these events as well as other activities like giving presentations in classrooms.
“The club takes a lot of pride in its educational part,” he said. “There are things you are going to learn here that you are not going to learn in the classroom. It makes history come to life.”