PLEASANT HILL — The white smoke of black powder will roll through the valley of the Stillwater on Aug. 23-24, as the North-South Skirmish Association (www.n-ssa.net) brings the competitive sport of Civil War skirmishing to the newest shooting range in west-central Ohio. T
Although it is done in uniform, skirmishing is not re-enacting. It is, rather, a live-fire competition with Civil War-era guns. Hundreds of skirmishers, clad in the uniforms of soldiers who fought in that national conflict nearly a century and a half ago, will gather at Pleasant Hill VFW Post No. 6557, 7571 Fenner Road, to engage each other yet again.
ocks, which teams of skirmishers will compete to shatter in the shortest elapsed time. The prizes will be medals, and bragging rights within the skirmishing fraternity.
The North-South Skirmish Association (N-SSA) for nearly 60 years has preserved the firearms heritage of the Civil War with more than 3,500 members nationwide, the N-SSA hosts nearly 100 skirmishes, or shooting matches, each year throughout the eastern United States.
N-SSA competition will take two forms.
Starting at 8 a.m. Saturday morning there will be carbine company event, featuring such short-barreled single-shot firearms as Smiths, Sharps, Maynards and numerous muzzle-loading varieties.
At 10 a.m., there will be the smoothbore musket match, where competitors bring out the workhorse muskets that many Yankees and Rebs carried when the war.
From noon to 4 p.m., particpants will hold individual small arms matches will be held. These matches are for individual N-SSA members to shoot paper targets for score.
Sunday morning the skirmishers will assemble in ranks for the presentation of the colors. Then starting at 8:30 a.m., the main match of the weekend will commence, a competition among shooters firing single-shot, muzzle-loading rifles and muskets — the workhorse firearms of the Civil War.
While participation in the shooting is limited to N-SSA members, there will be guest shooting area available where the public can try their hand at shooting the firearms of the Civil War era. Spectators can elect to watch the matches, visit the sutlers selling period wares, or meet and mix with the competitors and discover the sport of Civil War skirmishing.
This is a free event for spectators, parking is plentiful and there will be food service available on the range.