California Civil War Events


What does California have to do with the nation's Civil War? Quite a bit actually.

There's nothing civil about war, but when you watch a Civil War tribute event, civility shines through as you meet the participants and learn about their passions for honoring those who died in one America's most famous battles.

Why do Californians re-enact the Civil War in annual events around the state? There was never actually a battle on our grounds so what gives? The Civil War is part of the heart & soul of many who reside in California, a state that played a significant role in the Civil War. Though we had just become a state, our formation was one of the important playing cards in the battle that eventually united U.S. citizens under one a nation. For a fascinating journey into the world of the Civil War, see the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum in Banning.

Civil War reenactors (actors who pretend they are Civil War participants) participate in approx. a dozen Civil War reenactments each year. The events held throughout California often feature vendors selling Civil War era replica products such as books, clothing, buttons, dolls and flags. The food vendors stick with more modern eats such as soda in cans, bottled water, hot dogs and hamburgers, but sometimes include ears of corn cooked on the grill. Then there’s the main event–battles. The guns fired don’t actually have bullets and the cannons only blast smoke and noise (minus projectiles that would have been used in a real battlefield,) but the special effects are pretty convincing as soldiers drop to the ground as if they’d been struck. Children watching these mock battles do reality checks with their parents and are assured that no one is hurt.


 Knight's Ferry Oakdale, CA
The event will involve ongoing hostilities between the Union and Confederate camps from 9am until 5pm punctuated by 2 battles a day. The public is welcome, and encouraged to tour the camps during the days activities and participate with questions regarding our living history portrayals of Civil War life.
Knight's Ferry is a park in the foothills of the Sierras 12 miles east of Oakdale on Highway 108 and Stanislaus river near the Tuolomne/ Stanislaus County border.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the park which features a 330' covered bridge built in 1863, many historic civil war era buildings and home to a Native American battle in 1829

CHINO: Prado Regional Park April 2-3, 2016
Prado Regional Park
16700 South Euclid Avenue
Chino, CA
(909) 590-5797
$10 day, Weekend Pass $15, $10 parking
Battle Schedule Show Battle tentative
Saturday  1 & 5 p.m.
Sunday  11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Scout Battle - Saturday  3 p.m.
Sunday 2 at 2 p.m.
The Southern California Civil War Association and with support from the City of Chino, San Bernardino County Regional Parks, surrounding communities and the City of Chino's Boy Scout Troop 201 invite you to relive American history. Civil War Camp Site, Two show battles with living history and encampment tours daily. Also available, Infantry, Mounted Cavalry and full scale artillery demonstrations. See what life was like for a Civil War Soldier of the blue and gray during the mid 1860's and Civil War in the State of California's largest regional park.

MARIPOSA: Las Mariposas Civil War Days April 16-17, 2016
Yaqui Gulch Road
Mariposa, CA
$7 admission approx.
A true revival of this period, the Las Mariposas Civil War Days are held on the actual site of this grant on over 60 acres of Longs' Mariposa Ranch, nestled in the beautiful Sierra Foothills of Northern California. The most Authentic Civil War reenactment west of the Rockies on Longs' Mariposa Ranch, includes tactical foot and horse skirmishes and cannon fire. Saturday and Sunday are both jammed full of events including two battles each day, AND a twilight battle on Saturday night. Throughout both days there will be a multitude of other events happening at the camps which the public are invited to attend and observe. Experience first hand a medical station, a blacksmith, a civilian town, cooking and sewing, and other aspects of life during this historical period. Don't miss hearing Abraham Lincoln recite the Gettysburg Address or Jefferson Davis as he dispels the rumors from the Federal Camp. Listen to Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Clara Barton describe their lives and what it was like to be a slave. A variety of period sutlers and food vendors will be on site.

FELTON: Roaring Camp Civil War Battles and Encampment May 28-30, 2016
Roaring Camp Railroads
5355 Graham Hill Road
Felton, CA
(831) 335-4484
Memorial Day weekend event features living history demonstrations, drill and 2 battles a day over the weekend and one battle on Monday. On Memorial Day, a special flag raising ceremony is usually held along with one battle. Travel back in time to the Civil War where encampments of Union and Confederate soldiers transport visitors to the sights and sounds of cavalry charges, musket fire and artillery shells in one of the longest-running historic reenactments in the West. Ride an 1880s "iron horse" through an ancient redwood forest and witness skirmishes as the steam train ascends Bear Mountain. Glimpse a soldier’s daily life as he cooks meals over a campfire, cleans his musket and prepares for the day’s campaign. Then chow down on a Chuck Wagon Barbecue and take in the camp.

LEBEC: Fort Tejon Historical Association Civil War Re-enactment May 28-29, 2016
Fort Tejon exit off I-5
Lebec, CA
Infantry - Cavalry - Artillery Watch skirmishes and tactics used in the eastern United States during the American Civil War portrayed by authentically uniformed and equipped troops of the Union and Confederate Armies. Living History presentations include Manual of Arms, Artillery and Field Hospital demonstrations. Sunday battles are at 10:30 a.m., 12 Noon, and 1:30 p.m. Guided tours of the camps are offered between the battles.

ANGEL ISLAND:  June 2016 National Civil War Association, a Northern California nonprofit

SAN PEDRO: July 9-10, 2016   Old Fort MacArthur Days
10 am to 4 pm at Old Fort MacArthur in San Pedro.

DUNCANS MILLS July 16-17, 2016
$12 adult admission, $5 parking. Time: 9a-5p Saturday; 9a-3p Sunday.
Freezeout Rd.
Duncans Mills, CA

SANTA ANA:  Civil War Roundtable Events
Heritage Museum of Orange County
3101 West Harvard Street
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 540-0404
The Heritage Museum of Orange County, 3101 West Harvard Street, Santa Ana, CA 92704, (714) 540-0404.

LEBEC: Fort Tejon Historical Association Civil War Living History Demonstrations, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, August 6, September 3, October 1, November 5, December 3, 2016
Fort Tejon exit off I-5
Lebec, CA
No battles included with this event

SAN FRANCISCO'S FORT POINT Civil War Days TBA 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Infantry drills occur almost every hour on the hour. Artillery discussions occur every hour on the half hour. There are also concurrent demonstrations throughout the day - medical demos, musician--fife / drum and brass band-- and civilians, camp laundress, sewing, and more. Join Civil War reenactors in the Sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War 2011-2015, as they bring Fort Point to life with music, marching, artillery drill, musician demonstrations, and the colorful uniforms of Civil War soldiers and civilians. Talks and demonstrations are held throughout the day. Take a tour by a Park Volunteer to learn about California's role in the Civil War. Call (415) 556-1693 or go to for more information. FREE admission.
Location: Long Avenue and Marine Drive, Building 999, Presidio of San Francisco, CA.

HUNTINGTON BEACH: Sat. and Sun., Sept. 3-4, 2016
Huntington Beach Reenactment
10 to 5 Saturday and 10 to 3 Sunday at Central Park on Gothard between Slater and Talbert Huntington Beach. Battle Times: Sat: 1:30 and 4 PM / Sun: 11 and 2 PM. Free admission.

FRESNO: October 24-25, 2015 Fresno Annual Civil War Revisited
Kearney Park,
Living history at historic Kearney Park in Fresno, CA. The Fresno Historical Society presents the largest living history reenactment of the Civil War in the Western United States at Kearney Park, Fresno, California. American Civil War Association (ACWA) is the Historical Society's partner

RANCHO DOMINGUEZ: Sat. and Sun., October Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum
10 am to 5 pm Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum, 18127 Alameda St., Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220. The annual 1846 "Battle of the Old Woman's Gun" Reenactment.

WILMINGTON: Sept 20 - 21, 2014
Drum Barracks
Living History
Wilmington, CA
Drum Barracks
ACWS Supported

MONTEREY October 3-5, 2014 free admission.
Date: Friday, October 3, 2014 to Sunday, October 5, 2014 Location 113 Cpl Ewing Road Monterey, CA. Event includes two firing demos a day, at 11:30am and 2:30 pm on public days , on school day, only at 1:30pm . CHAS , and Norfolk Light Artillery Blues on Cannon firing detail, and SVR on rifle detail, tent displays of living history and Exhibits of artifacts of the Civil War and GAR. by the SUVCW, ASUVCW, Citizens and Soldiers Society, and Civilian Professional Guild. Oct 2nd is available for early tent set up and arrival. Public hours are Oct 4th and 5th, 10-4pm , Public days for the citizens is FREE ADMISSION and FREE PARKING, Participant parking is only 125 yards from event area. ALL CIVIL WAR ORGS (UNION & CONFEDERATE) are welcome to fall in and participate in any aspect, firing detail , exhibits, living history displays. Contact Encamp Director : Tim Reese at (831)596-8056

SAN FRANCISCO'S ALCATRAZ: September 26, 2015
Living History Day

HELENDALE: October 4 - 5, 2014
Helendale, CA
ACWS Sponsored

CORONA: Tom's Farm
A Civil War Alliance event
October 17-18, 2015
23900 Temescal Canyon Road
Corona, CA 92883

MOORPARK: November 8-9, 2014
Los Alamos Canyon, Moorpark, CA
Three Battles on Saturday (12, 3, 5:15)
& Two on Sunday (12, 2:30)
After 12 years at the Tierra Rejada Ranch, The Civil War Alliance and the Moorpark Rotary successfully negotiated for the use of Los Alamos Canyon for the event starting in 2014! This site offers a lot of terrain for battles and bivouacs.

SIMI VALLEY: Nov 11, 2014
Regean Library
Veteran's Day
Simi Valley, CA
ACWS Supported

WILMINGTON: December 6 - 7, 2014
Drum Barracks
Christmas Theme Event
Wilmington, CA
Drum Barracks
ACWS Supported

December 13
Calico Christmas Party


  • Simi Valley Encampment at Strathearn Museum Feb
  • Vista Re-enactment at Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum March
  • Anaheim St. Catherine's Military Academy Reenactment March
  • Chino – Prado Regional Park April
  • Costa Mesa - Battle of Costa Mesa in Fairview Park April at Fairview Park.
  • San Pedro Old Fort MacArthur Days July
  • Graegle Living History Encampments Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. No battle scenarios, but there are history scenarios and recruitment for your units. In-Town Dance on Friday, parade on Sunday. Usually held 4th of July weekend.
  • Duncans Mills Civil War Days at Duncans Mills in July. Military Civil War battles, period costumes, camps, activities,
  • Huntington Beach Civil War Reenactment August Labor Day Weekend
  • Fresno Annual Civil War Revisited October

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