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Presenting Living History

The Infantry Division, from left: Rolf Madole of Clifton, Bob Brewer, Rob Griesbach of Ellicott City, Md., Neal West of Waldorf, Md., Paul Goss of Fairfax and Bryant Kincaid of Manassas, Va., participating in New Year's Day "Living History" at Manassas National Battlefield Park.

The Infantry Division, from left: Rolf Madole of Clifton, Bob Brewer, Rob Griesbach of Ellicott City, Md., Neal West of Waldorf, Md., Paul Goss of Fairfax and Bryant Kincaid of Manassas, Va., participating in New Year's Day "Living History" at Manassas National Battlefield Park. Photo Contributed

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The Infantry Division prepared to fire the 10 pound Parrott Gun. Each soldier had a specific job; Rolf Madole of Clifton was piece gunner (arm the piece), Neal West, Waldorf, Md., was primer lanyard (to fire the gun), Paul Goss, Fairfax, was thumb stall, Bryant Kincaid, Manassas, Va., was sponge ram, and Bob Griesbach, Ellicott, Md., was load projectile.

The Manassas National Park Battlefield heralds in the new year with a living history lesson. Sponsored by the national park and narrated by park ranger John Reed, the rest of the event is entirely organized, run and funded by volunteers.

A modest crowd of visitors were treated to live demonstrations of artillery and musketry firings. Park ranger John Reed provided an explanation of the time period, the soldiers and their jobs and lives. Held on Henry Hill behind the visitor center, the first musket fire cracked the quite sky followed by a tremendous boom from the 10-pounder Parrot Gun known to most of us as a cannon.

If you missed this year's Living History event, there are still a couple more opportunities beginning in July with “The First and Second Battle of Manassas."