Every year, the town of Philippi commemorates the First Land Battle of the Civil War which took place right in town.
“It’s important for the people to remember this is actually what started the state of West Virginia was the civil war. As everybody knows, West Virginia became a state in 1863, because of the Civil War,” said Kevin Skaggs, reenactor for the Union Troop.
The actual Battle of Philippi happened on June 1, 1861 at 2 p.m.
Organizers try to make the reenactment as close to the real thing with only a few minor changes.
“If we were actually doing the historical battle of Philippi here. This thing would last about 10 minutes, because the vast majority of the confederates, didn’t even have guns,” said Skaggs.
Reenactment groups from all over come to be a part. Union Troops march into town and face the Confederate Army in a battle as they make their way down Main Street.
“We’re trying to live the history and keep the history alive here in West Virginia as well as in Philippi, especially in Philippi, but that’s what it means to us, it’s history,” said Edgar Brown, reenactor from the Confederate Troop.
“It means a lot to the people in this town, as to what went on. You’ve got to remember, back then, we were still Virginia. We were not West Virginia at that time. It means a lot to the public, and they enjoy it thoroughly and these gentleman do a great job,” said Ed Larry, chair of the Blue and Gray Reunion.
“The reenactors love coming here because the community is extremely supportive of the event. They treat us beyond belief. They are great. All of the people that show up really enjoy themselves here,” said Skaggs.