Civil War re-enactments moved up amid 150th hoopla

By the Associated Press | July 11, 2011 | 3:59 PM EDT

In a June 18, 2011 photo, Confederate Civil War re-enactor, Trystan Bennett, bottom, of Fredericksburg, Va., and Union re-enactor David Cauffield, of Charlottesville, Va., work on a chimney during a period re-enactment of Civil War hut construction at Montpelier in Orange, Va. Fearing that they’ll only get one chance to make the most of the sesquicentennial fever, some historic sites are conducting the 150th anniversary Civil War re-enactments this year rather than waiting, making a big deal out of their 147th or 148th anniversaries instead. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — For nearly the next four years, Americans will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, with the first major land battle on the calendar later this month at Bull Run near Manassas.

As the commemorations get under way, some organizers at historic sites at the end of the Civil War timeline are wondering if public enthusiasm will be as strong by the time 2014 and 2015 roll around.

As a result, some are jumping the gun, planning ceremonies this year to capitalize on the wave of enthusiasm, rather than waiting for the actual 150th anniversary to occur.

Organizers at places like Spotsylvania County in Virginia and Franklin, Tenn., also see the early commemorations as a way to build up their events ahead of the actual anniversary.