Civil War blue and gray on display at the library

October 7, 2008

By Jim Feehan

The people in costume at the Issaquah Library Saturday won’t be celebrating Halloween early. Representatives of the Washington Civil War Association, a Marysville-based organization, will wear replica Confederate and Union uniforms, and display guns and swords during a presentation at the library.

“This is an example of living history,” said Mark Risdon, an Issaquah member of the association.

He will dress as a member of Stanford’s Mississippi Battery, a Confederate artillery battery named for Capt. Thomas J. Stanford. Risdon, originally from Tennessee, has dressed as a member of the 52nd Tennessee Infantry in past re-enactments.

This is the first function the organization has held in Issaquah. The group held Civil War battle re-enactments earlier this year in Spokane, Port Gamble, Ferndale and Snohomish, said Tom Peloquin, chairman of the Washington Civil War Association.

Muskets, pistols and swords will be on display at the Issaquah event, as well as tents. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions.

Commemorating the Civil War is important and a valuable history lesson, Peloquin said.

“It’s the most significant chapter in U.S. history,” he said. “We’re still feeling the ramifications of it, whether it’s in race relations or the North-South schism in our country.”

The Civil War, also known as the War Between the States, took place between 1861-1865. Eleven Southern states declared their secession from the U.S. and forged the Confederate States of America. The war, the deadliest in American history, caused 620,000 soldier deaths and an undetermined number of civilian casualties.

Risdon said the organization provides a glimpse into a valuable chapter in U.S. history.

“Our biggest goal is to educate the public,” he said.

Reach Reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6434, ext. 239, or

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