California Events


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.


  • Simi Valley Encampment at Strathearn Museum Feb. 18-19, 2013
  • Vista Re-enactment at Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum March 9-10, 2013
  • Anaheim St. Catherine's Military Academy Reenactment March 16-17, 2013
  • Chino – Prado Regional Park  April 6-7, 2013
  • Costa Mesa - Battle of Costa Mesa in Fairview Park  April 13-14, 2013 Held at Fairview Park.
  • Mariposa  Las Mariposas Civil War Days April 20-21, 2013,   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.
  • Woodland Hills Pierce College Encampment April 27-28, 2013
  • San Pedro Old Fort MacArthur Days July 6-7, 2013
  • Graegle  Living History Encampments  Jul 6-7, 2013.  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.
  • Duncans Mills Civil War Days at Duncans Mills July 20-21, 2013, Military Civil War battles, period costumes, camps, activities, food
  • Huntington Beach  Civil War Reenactment August 31-September 1, 2013
  • Fresno Annual Civil War Revisited  September 27-29, 2013  Living history at historic Kearney Park in Fresno, CA. The Fresno Historical Society and National Civil War Association present the largest living history reenactment of the Civil War in the Western United States. at Kearney Park, Fresno, California. This beautiful park is transformed into encampments for Union and Confederate soldiers and Civilians to the amazement of spectators. Two battles daily with field hospital reenactments following the battles. Our focus this year is medical history. Meet Harriett Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Clara Barton, President Abraham Lincoln, our Generals and many more historic figures!
  • Moorpark Civil War Battle Reenactment  November 9-10, 2013

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