History comes alive at Blue and Gray

PHILIPPI – The Blue and Gray Reunion came to a close Sunday after a weekend packed with history and


The reunion celebrates the rich history of Barbour County, including the very first land battle of the Civil War, which many know as the “Philippi Races,” because of the haste in which the Confederates retreated.

The annual reunion focuses on the first land battle of the civil war and some of the circumstances leading up to the battle.

Throughout the weekend, that history was celebrated with various reenactments, including the Sunday reenactment of the first land battle. For some participants, their role in historical

reenactments is about more than just dressing up and shooting powder from guns and canons.

“History is so precious to preserve,” Jay McCord of Fairmont, Captain of the First Virginia Cavalry Company B for the Blue and Gray Reunion, said. “You are supposed to as a human society, an American society, you’re supposed to be able to learn from the mistakes in your past and your history in order to survive in the future. That way you do not repeat your mistakes.”

McCord donned a gray uniform to reenact as a Confederate.

“I reenact to help preserve the history, to help teach people the history of one of the country’s bloodiest turmoils,” McCord said. “And to teach the younger generations what it was like, and what the soldiers of that time period went through.”

Union soldier reenactor Lee Miller, of Fairmont, who also was representing the Jacob’s Meadow organization, said he has reenacted for several different historical events that remember various eras in time. He said that he reenacts to preserve the history of West Virginia and teach it to the youth.

“This is our heritage here,” Miller said. “In Philippi, everybody’s really nice; they’re always helpful. All the people who organize it are very helpful down here. We’ve been doing it every year, coming down here. I think in 20-plus years we’ve only missed a reenactment here or there. I hope it keeps going.

“I hope we can keep going as long as I can keep walking. Hopefully, I’ll be here another 20 years. We’ll just have to see what happens. History – you know how history does. History, it comes and goes,” Miller added.