PHILIPPI, W.Va. – The annual Blue & Gray Reunion is back. On Sunday, volunteers got to reenact the first land battle of the Civil War. Organizers said that this year they scaled down the events because they only had two months to plan instead of their usual year. 

Blue and Gray Reunion 2021

Volunteer Chad Benson said everyone is excited to be back. He portrays surgeon Major James S. Robinson. Robinson was a Civil War surgeon who performed a successful amputation on James Hanger. Hanger was the man who made the first prosthetic leg. Benson got to perform his speech for Hanger’s descendants who came to the event this year.  

Reenactment of the first land battle of the Civil War

“This is a passion hobby if you will,” Benson said. “It takes a lot of time to round up and build all the equipment to make a presentation. Different reenactors do it for different reasons, obviously. Some of us it’s just the joy of getting out and doing it. For me, it’s an opportunity to teach a little bit of history and being able to talk about James Hanger at this, for his family, is just an honor. I’ve been in the medical field for 32 years and to get to speak on a legend in medicine is great.” 

Organizers said they are always looking for donations so they can make next year’s event even better. You can donate on their website here.