Civil War buffs and enthusiasts are invited to come out to Historic Joanna Furnace on Saturday, April 6, to learn about Civil War reenacting.

On this day the PA 50th and 69th Civil War regiments will meet at historic Joanna Furnace for their annual training day. This is where participants in these Civil War groups will go over all safety aspects of the hobby including proper handling of the rifle, as well as proper rifle firing techniques.

The groups will also drill their troops, so they are ready to maneuver properly while out at Civil War reenactments. In addition, all personal reenactment equipment is checked to make sure that each member is ready to take the field safely. Guests are welcome to come out to Joanna Furnace on this day to observe and to ask questions. Plus, visitors who want to get involved in Civil War reenacting are welcome to sign up to be a part of this living history group. Admission and parking are free at this event.

The event starts off at 7 a.m. with an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast in the Joanna Furnace Mule Stable. Other light fare including hot dogs, soup and drinks will be sold throughout the day.

In the evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hay Creek Valley Historical Association volunteers will join in the festivities with a lantern-lit tour of the 18th and 19th century Iron Works. Visitors will be able to visit the old furnace store/office, charcoal barn, blacksmith shop, casting house and see the iron furnace itself.

The 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry an Irish Unit, also known as the 69th Penna. Irish Volunteers is mostly known for repulsing Pickett’s charge at the “Angle” at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. The 69th PVI fought every campaign with the Army of the Potomac from 1861-1865. Of the 1,007 men mustered in, in 1861, less the 56 still served at the surrender at Appomattox in 1865.

Today the 69th PVI is made up of individual men, women, fathers, sons, women, and families from all walks of life who are engaged in a wide variety of activities. We welcome all individuals who are interested in joining us to honor the men of the 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The 69th PVI honors the original 69th members by participating in Civil War reenactments, School presentations, Parades, Living histories programs as well as raising money for grave preservation of the unmarked graves of the original 69th PVI members.

Each year before our reenacting season starts, the 69th PVI participates in the School of Soldier. This is where we get together to refresh and to shake off the rust so to speak over the winter down time. We go over all safety aspects of the hobby including proper handling of the rifle, as well as proper rifle firing techniques. We also drill the troops, so they are ready to maneuver properly while fighting in the field. All personal equipment is checked to make sure that each member of the 69th PVI is ready to take the field safely.

The School of Soldier event will be shared with the 50th PVI. The 50th PVI is from Berks County, Schuylkill County, Lancaster County, and Luzerne County. The 50th was mostly a German unit. They were known by General Grant as “Old Reliable.” The 50th PVI was at Ft. Wagner with the 54th Mass. You may have seen the movie “Glory” which covers this battle at the end of the film.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the preservation and education of America’s iron heritage.  The Joanna Furnace site is located three miles north of Morgantown, along Route 10. For entrance turn at Furnace Road.

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