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Civil War re-enactors bring new movie to life

Karl Horeis

Like characters off the screen come to life, two union soldiers from the Civil War spoke with moviegoers at the Northgate 10 theater Saturday. It was the Nevada Civil War Volunteers, looking for recruits from among those who watched the new movie “Cold Mountain.”

Standing tall in his blue uniform with brass epaulettes on his shoulders and stripes on his arms, 1st Sgt. Harry Ehrman was looking authentic right down to his worn, black boots. He was planning to see the 7:30 p.m. showing.

“I haven’t seen it yet but the input I’m getting from people coming out is that they’re enjoying it,” he said.

“Cold Mountain,” starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, tells the story of a wounded confederate soldier making his way home to a sweetheart at the end of the war. It was released Christmas Day.

On a table at the theater Saturday, Ehrman set up books, handcuffs, a candle lantern, canteens and flags. Leaning against the table were two, .58-caliber rifles – an 1861 Springfield and an 1853 Enfield. A blue banner for Ehrman’s re-enactment unit – the 2nd U.S. infantry – had been hand-painted by Carson barber-artist Adam Baker.

The Nevada Civil War Volunteers do living history events and school presentations.

“Instead of having to read it out of a book we bring history to life right in the classroom,” Ehrman said.

The group is hoping to do a full-size battle scene and encampment at Carson High School in September. Members sometimes dress up like historical figures. Wally Earhart does a pretty good President Abraham Lincoln and another member portrays freed slave Harriet Tubman.

Mike Creager, a sergeant, dresses up as a cavalry soldier. He wore tall boots at the theater Saturday and brought one of the shorter rifles used by horsemen in the Civil War.

Creager rides with the Nevada Territorial Volunteer Cavalry during battle re-enactments. He is the outgoing commander of the re-enactor group while Ehrman will lead the group for the next year.

The 2nd U.S. Infantry actually served in this area, exploring the region before the Civil War and escorting immigrants over the Continental Divide, Ehrman said.

For information on living history presentations by the Nevada Civil War Volunteers, call Ehrman at 885-0358.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or call him at 881-1219.