Volunteers will learn to fire reproduction cannons used in the Civil War, said interpretive park ranger and black powder supervisor Gerry Allen.
“It’s living history,” Allen said. “These demonstrations are meant to show the public what life was like during the Civil War. We’re trying to educate with these programs. More than the ‘big bang’ its an education thing.”
Seasoned park employees shoot muskets and rifles during demonstrations, he said.
Allen will train artillery crew volunteers beginning on May 5. Volunteers must be 16 years old or older.
“There will be a limited number of slots,” Allen said. The park ranger said about 20 more volunteers are needed to bring the various artillery crews up to a total of 45 members. They will learn to fire reproductions of a smoothbore and rifled cannons, he said.
“The rifled cannon is more accurate,” Allen said. “They slowly replaced the smoothbores. Rifled cannons came into use just before and during the Civil War.”
The park will furnish trained volunteers Civil War uniforms and ear protection, Allen said. The park will supply them mostly Union uniforms to wear, but some of the demonstrations will require volunteers to wear Confederate gray, he said.
“It will depend on the particular occasion,” Allen said.
Volunteers will foremost be trained in safety measures, he said. They also will learn about the history of the artillery, Allen said. Volunteers must pass a written and a practical exam to be qualified for a crew.
“It’s pretty in-depth training before they’re allowed to do it,” Allen said.
For more information, call Allen at 423-752-5213, ext. 120.
Volunteer for military park artillery crew
Where: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
What: Volunteers will learn to fire reproduction cannons
Why: To participate in living history programs
When: Training sessions will begin on May 5
Contact interpretive park ranger Gerry Allen: 423-752-5213, ext. 120