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Hunley replica to pull into Effingham

POSTED: March 20, 2014 4:14 p.m.
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A replica of the CSS Hunley, the Confederate submarine that sank a Union vessel in the Charleston, S.C., harbor, will be featured in this year’s Civil War Experience, set for April 5 at Rincon’s Freedom Park.

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The second annual Civil War Experience will be held April 5 at Rincon’s Freedom Park and will feature the traveling exhibit of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley.

The event is being planned by the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, along with a committee of local non-profit groups. Chamber Director Rick Lott said last year’s event was well-attended and drew many families throughout the day.

“We are planning this as a fun event for the whole family, whether you are into the Civil War or not,” said Lott.

Another addition this year is the Woodburns Bakery from North Carolina.They dress like bakers of the Civil War period and cook with wood. They make and sell pies, scones and other treats. Lott also said the event will include children’s activities, food and arts and crafts vendors among other things. The event drew about 700 people last year and larger crowds are expected for the 2014 event.

The Hunley submarine exhibit will enable visitors to see just how small the boat was and how mechanics worked to propel it through the water by raw manpower.

The wreck of the actual submersible was discovered off Charleston and is now being preserved.

The Civil War Experience will be held at the same venue where the Chamber held its Oktoberfest.

“The great thing about this new site is that it gives us so much space that we will be able to have parking right onsite for everyone — no shuttle needed,” Lott said. “And because we have so much space to use, we can position the Civil War encampment away from all the more modern vendors and games and give it an authentic look. The cannon and rifle firings really get everybody excited at these kinds of events and make it so much fun for the kids especially.”

Admission is free to the Civil War Experience and the event will sell Coke products and water to offset expenses. Local non-profit groups will explain what their mission is to the public. Vendors will have  tents selling Civil War souvenirs.

“Our local Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp Davis, and the ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy really go all out to make this an authentic experience,” Lott said. “Although we have members from units all over the state and beyond, we couldn’t do it without them.”

Sponsors and vendors are being signed up. For more information or applications, email ricklott@effinghamcounty.com or call the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce at 754-3301.

The Civil War Experience is presented by Fuller Chevrolet and sponsored by Effingham Health System, Coca-Cola, The Coastal Bank, state Sen. Jack Hill, state Rep. Jon Burns, Geo Vista Credit Union, the city of Rincon, the Effingham Chamber and others.

The Civil War Experience golf tournament March 28 at Lost Plantation is still accepting teams. Proceeds provide funding to several local non-profit organizations.

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