Amid the dozens of grand battles being re-enacted for the Civil War’s 150th anniversary is an unusual affair this weekend re-creating the death of a single North Carolinian, a gruesome moment some say marked a turning point against the South.
Carolinian Grief Mason, 21, will be beaten to death – again – in a field near Spotsylvania, Va., by Pennsylvanian Stephen Rought, 22, the Union soldier who was determined to get the regimental flag Mason carried at any cost on May 5, 1864.
Modern-day Charlottean Rex Hovey, a Civil War historian and re-enactor, is behind the event, which calls for about 20 local men and 50 or so re-enactors from around the state to play the part of the 13th NC Troops. The group will take on descendants of the original Pennsylvania soldiers who made up the 141st Pennsylvania Infantry.
Historians say the re-enactment is among the more unusual events of the nation’s ongoing remembrance of the Civil War and its more than 600,000 casualties, because it reduces the four-year conflict down to a moment when two specific men faced off on the battlefield.