War breaks out in Virginia City for Civil War Days
For the Nevada Appeal
The 8th annual Virginia City Civil War Days takes place Friday, Sept. 3 through Monday, Sept. 6, offering locals and visitors alike the opportunity to be immersed in history.
Hosted by The Comstock Civil War Reenactors, the weekend focuses on “the battle that never was,” said Izabella Hunt-Jones, event coordinator and reenactor.
The premise is that a large silver payroll is on the Virginia & Truckee train, leaving Virginia City. Confederate troops have captured the city to protect the railroad convoy. It is feared and hoped that Union troops stationed at nearby Fort Churchill will attack the train and try to capture the shipment. Both armies have sent out a call for reinforcements.
This is the primary focal point, with the battle played out for riders of the V&T, but other events, including street battles, the Victorian High Tea which includes a fashion show, performances of the play “John Brown’s Body,” a Sunday night dance, school day and of course the annual Labor Day Parade, round out the weekend. These events take place at venues throughout Virginia City.
“You know, Virginia City is in the Guiness Book of World Records for having the most parades,” Hunt-Jones said. “We begin the weekend Friday with school day, where our (local) students visit the encampment at Miners Park and learn the history of the period, as well as what everyday life was like.”
The historically accurate encampment will be set up throughout the weekend and is free to visit. There will be tents, reenactors, a medical practice in the camp following each train battle, as well as a camp cook, Hunt-Jones said.
The Sunday dance is open to all by donation and features music by the Fort Point Brass Band playing period instruments. The band will also perform at other venues throughout the weekend.
The train battles put visitors right in the middle of the action and includes narration about the Civil War and what life was like during that time. Hunt-Jones, who is an archaeologist and well-versed in the area’s history, will provide the narrative.
“This event has grown each year and it’s good for Virginia City to have events like this, where people book accommodations,” Hunt-Jones said. “And it’s also a fun way for everyone to experience the history of our area.”
For more information, contact Hunt-Jones at 775-786-9754; or Col. Jack at 707-616-3507. Visit the Comstock Civil War Re-enactor’s Web site ccwr.us at or Virginia City Convention & Tourism Authority at VisitVirginiaCityNV.com. For overnight accommodations and more information on this and other events go to VisitVirginiaCityNV.com or call the Virginia City Visitor Center at 775-847-4386 or 800-718-7587.