Historic Brattonsville Calls Off Civil War Re-Enactment

Sep 19, 2017

Historic Brattonsville in York County,  S.C., says it's canceling a planned Civil War re-enactment next month amid the national debate over Civil War memorials and concerns over visitors' safety.

The history museum had planned the event for Oct. 28 and 29. But Carey Tilley, executive director of Culture and Heritage Museums, announced Monday that organizers decided to reconsider their Civil War programming because of the political climate and the fact that no Civil War battles were fought on the site.

“We continue to believe that military reenactments are an effective tool for teaching history to the public; however, in light of the fact that there were no Civil War battles at Historic Brattonsville, the historical and educational benefits are outweighed by the potential danger and risk to public safety of hosting the event in the current political climate.

“We also believe that the current National discussion surrounding the Civil War creates a greater sense of urgency for us to step back and reflect on our Civil War programming to ensure that going forward it aligns more closely with the site mission at Historic Brattonsville in linking the story of those tumultuous years to the actual Brattonsville community – including those who were enslaved there.”

Civil War reenactment at Historic Brattonsville in 2016.
Credit Culture & Heritage Museums / Mike Watts

Tilley had said last month the museum was studying whether to go ahead with the event. In an interview with WFAE, Tilley said the organization was concerned it might attract hate groups and those who are upset with such groups, creating a volatile situation.

"When you're talking about the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazis, groups like that, they're gonna stir up strong emotions when they get out there," Tilley said.