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Civil War Reenactment In York County In Question After Charlottesville Violence

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

Since the violent clashes earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia, communities across the South have been debating the future of their own Confederate statues and monuments.  The recent events have also raised questions about another long-standing tradition -- reenactments of the Civil War. In Manassas, Virginia, safety concerns prompted organizers to cancel a two-day reenactment that was scheduled to begin Friday. 

Reenactments are also part of the programming at Historic Brattonsville, a living history museum in York County, South Carolina.  A Civil War reenactment is scheduled there for October 28-29, but the venue is evaluating whether to proceed with this year's event.

"Things are evolving fast, just on the heels of what happened at Charlottesville," says Carey Tilley, director of Culture & Heritage Museums, which includes Historic Brattonsville. "We need to take a moment to make sure that we can provide a safe event for the public," Tilley adds. 

Tilley says the organization is concerned that the local event could 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," says Tilley. He says that brings the potential for violence.