Civil War re-enactor pleads guilty, must take gun course

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A 30-year-old Civil War re-enactor pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of reckless handling of a firearm in regard to a shooting in September while filming a battle scene.

Joshua Silva of Norfolk must complete a gun safety course and pay $1,200 in restitution before his scheduled return to court Sept. 16. If he completes those requirements, the charges will be dismissed, Commonwealth's Attorney Wayne Farmer said.

Silva was a walk-on in the Civil War documentary "Overland Campaign Web Series Project." He carried a replica of a 19th-century .45-caliber pistol with live ammunition. When he fired the gun, the bullet struck Thomas R. Lord Sr. of Suffolk. Lord was flown from Heritage Park on Courthouse Highway to a Norfolk hospital.

Lord was portraying a Union soldier; Silva was on the side of the South. The shooting happened during one of the scenes that involved a volley of shots between the two armies.

Farmer said officials believe Silva did not know the gun was loaded.

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