CLINTON — The Clinton Fairgrounds will be turned into a Civil War encampment this weekend, as members of the 20th Maine come to town to help pay tribute to a Clinton resident who was killed at Gettysburg.

Brave Boys Are They: Clinton Remembers the Civil War, hosted by Brown Memorial Library with a donation from the Clinton Lions Club, will be held Saturday and Sunday. The name of the event comes from the title of a song written by American composer Henry Clay Work during the Civil War.

The event commemorates the 150th anniversary of the end of the war, which concluded on April 9, 1865, with the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Union Forces at Appomattox Court House, Virgina.

Starting on Saturday morning, a camp set up by members of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment will be open for visitors to the fairgrounds. Throughout the day, the re-enactors will hold drill demonstrations and be on hand to talk to visitors about the life of soldiers in the Civil War and the role of the 20th Maine with authentic uniforms, clothing, equipment and weapons.

A centerpiece of the event will be the rededication of a monument to Clinton resident Capt. Charles W. Billings that stands in the Riverview Ceremony.

Billings was a 37-year-old captain who fought in the 20th Maine and died from a wound he suffered while fighting on Little Round Top on the Battle of Gettysburg’s second day.


During the battle the 20th Maine turned aside a Confederate force after running out of ammunition, an effort that has been made famous through movies and books. Billings was one of 250 men who enlisted in Clinton to fight in the war.

Volunteers plan to place a wreath at the base of the monument. Distant relatives of Billings are expected to attend the ceremony. According to library director Cheryl Dickey Whitish, Clinton Historical Society President Buddy Frost will say a few words about Billings, and the re-enactors will fire a volley.

Festivities at the fairgrounds will continue throughout the day with food provided by the Clinton Fire Department and live traditional folk and spiritual music by Two for Tea, Steve and Danielle Fotter and the Old Liberty String Band starting at 1 p.m.

Staff members from the L.C. Bates Museum at Good Will-Hinckley will hold a program, Children’s Activities of the Past, at 3 p.m. Children can dress up in clothing and play with old toys from the period.

Re-enactors from the 20th Maine will be at the campground for a few hours starting at 9 a.m. Sunday, and visitors are welcome to attend.

The event is free and open to the public.

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