Reenactors to be part of Lincoln train exhibit

By Cecilia Fox -

TROY — When President Lincoln’s funeral train arrives in Troy, it will be met by a color guard of living history reenactors who will carry the president’s casket

Over the four days that the train will stop in Troy, the Sons of Union Veterans will bring to life Civil War history, with an emphasis on Miami County’s involvement in the war.

“When we heard that the train was coming, we decided to see if we could scare up some living history reenactors,” local historian and reenactor Terry Purke said.

The group aims to provide an immersive experience for visitors and will appear in period garb. A color guard of these living history reenactors will take the casket to and from the train several times a day. A bugler will play bugle calls of the Union Army.

The reenactors are the descendants of Union Army veterans, said Purke, whose great-great-grandfather was a Convington soldier wounded at Gettysburg. The local chapter of the Sons of Union Veterans is based in Dayton.

In between the funeral train on Short Street and the Lincoln statue on the plaza, will be an encampment of reenactors who will provide visitors with a sense of how people lived during the war, both soldiers and civilians, Purke said.

Visitors to the exhibit will have a chance to see reenactors in historical uniforms as well as artifacts from Overfield Tavern and the Troy Historical Society. In the reenactors camp, there will be displays of common soldiers gear.

Many of the reenactors are also historians who have researched and written books on different Ohio regiments. They will share their knowledge of local involvement during the war, including the 71st and the 147th Regiments of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which had many members from Miami County.

“There was always a good turnout of volunteers from Troy and Miami County,” Purke said.

Purke and his wife Karen will appear in period garb to provide information about local civilians’ contributions to the U.S. Sanitary Commission, a precursor to the Red Cross.

On another quadrant of the courthouse lawn facing the train, there will also be displays from different historical societies and museums, including the Miami Valley Veterans Museum.

This exhibit will take place over a four day period, Sept. 10-13, and will be located on Short Street.

The fee to view the inside of the train will be $5 per person, young children and students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade will be admitted free. There will not be a charge to view the exhibit from the outside. Exhibit hours for the general public will run from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

By Cecilia Fox