An army of re-enactors is at this weekend's Civil War re-enactment at Tunnel Hill in Whitfield County, Ga., organizers said.
The annual event commemorates the wartime action around the town, which changed hands between Union and Confederate forces several times, according to Janet Cochran, executive president of the Tunnel Hill Historical Foundation.
Parts of the town were used as a hospital after the Battle of Chickamauga, and Union Gen. William T. Sherman planned part of his fiery march to the sea from the Clisby Austin House, according to Cochran.
"The history of this area covers more than just one event," she said.
The weekend will feature cannon and rifle demonstrations as well as a sutler's market selling antiques and Civil War regalia. At 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, as many as 500 re-enactors will stage skirmishes between the blue and the gray.
While many events, like the Chickamauga re-enactment, occur on a two, five- or 10-year basis, Cochran said Tunnel Hill chooses to host the faux battle annually.
IF YOU GO
* What: Battle of Tunnel Hill Civil War Re-enactment
* When: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; skirmishes at 2 p.m.
* Where: Clisby Austin House on Clisby Austin Road in Tunnel Hill
* Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for children under 12, free for children under 3
"It has just been a popular enough event that we thought it was feasible to do it every year," she said.
And that's good news for local merchants, according to Brett Huske, executive director for the Dalton Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
"Like any visitor, they need places to eat and sleep and do some shopping," he said of the re-enactors.
Whitfield County, along with many other groups in the area, is working to promote its Civil War history as the 150th anniversary of the conflict nears.
Huske said the county will host a Sesquicentennial Kickoff on Nov. 13 and 14, followed by a Civil War trade show in February and celebration of locomotives in May.