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Two Battles of the Civil War

September 19, 1987|ANNE Z. COOKE

The hills at the western reaches of the Tehachapi Mountains will be alive with the sound of musket and cannon fire Sunday--all in the name of history.

At Ft. Tejon State Historic Park, about 70 miles north of Los Angeles where Interstate 5 snakes through narrow Tejon Pass, several hundred hard-core Civil War buffs will meet to breathe life and spirit into what outsiders usually consider a dry subject.

They will spend the day on the park's 17-acre parade grounds re-living the passion and drama of historic bygone battles.

No ragtag army here, these volunteers might have been welcomed by Gen. William Sherman, a man who needed no extra help.

Loaded Muskets

Clothed in authentic blue and gray uniforms and armed with polished muskets loaded with black powder (blanks only), they will clash at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in two historically accurate Civil War battles.

Spectators, usually families with picnic baskets, beach chairs and blankets, can watch the advances and retreats from behind barrier ropes while a narrator gives a play-by-play narration.

After each battle, guides will lead one-hour "living history" tours through the Union and Confederate camps. Every detail--from the square white canvas tents and fire pits to cast iron cooking equipment--aims at authenticity.

At 3 p.m., these latter-day Blues and Grays will wind up the day with a free-style battle to decide which commander's strategy has triumphed.

Entrance fees are $2 for adults, 50 cents for children. Soft drinks and public restrooms are available. The Ft. Tejon exit off I-5 is about four miles north of Frazier Park.

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