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Quartermaster Depot hosts historic event Jan. 28 & 29
YUMA, ARIZONA - This means war! Or more accurately, historically authentic facsimiles of Civil War battles staged by re-enactment groups from around the area.
The occasion is "Civil War Days," taking place Jan 28 & 29 at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park (201. N. 4th Avenue). And while there were no actual Civil War battles here, since the Quartermaster Depot was an active U.S. Army post during the period, it provides an authentic military setting that matches the period.
Sponsored by the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, the primary organizers of Yuma's Civil War Days are Moody's Battery and Battery D 5th U.S., and the event is "recommended" by the American Civil War Society.
Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. both days, with battles at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, and at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 per person, and includes a period minstrel show and access to all regular Quartermaster Depot exhibits and buildings. In addition, the participating re-enactment groups will set up authentic Civil War-style encampments within the 10-acre park.
"For twenty years beginning in 1864, the Quartermaster Depot was the vital lifeline for all the forts and military posts in the Southwest," said city historian Tina Clark. "So these re-enactments will be taking place on ground actually occupied by the Union army during the Civil War and surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in Arizona.
"This event provides a unique opportunity to experience 'living history' right in our community," Clark added. "We are delighted that we can offer a venue has real ties to the period and the modern-day facilities to facilitate the event."
During the Quartermaster Depot's early days, its warehouses on the high ground above the Colorado River held a six-month supply of clothing, food, ammunition and other goods for posts in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas - and were surrounded by as many as 900 mules and their teamsters.
With the coming of the railroad in 1877, the Depot's supply role faded and the Army closed it in 1883. But the site lived on as a telegraph and weather station, customs office and the first home of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Yuma County Water Users Association.
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is an independent nonprofit corporation governed by a local board of directors. It was among the first national heritage areas in the West to be officially designated by the U.S. Congress. The Heritage Area's master plan projects earned the Governor's Arizona Preservation Award in 2009. For more information, call 928-373-5198 or visit www.yumaheritage.com.
Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Direct travel spending in Yuma County totaled more than $566 million in 2010, supported nearly 5,800 jobs and generated $36.3 million in state and local tax revenues.
A longtime favorite with sun-seeking snowbirds, Yuma's population nearly doubles in the winter months, thanks to more than 23,000 spots in RV parks and resorts. The community also offers nearly 4,000 hotel rooms, conference and meeting facilities, and three casinos. For more details about Yuma's year-round attractions, special events - and the rarely "cloudy with a chance of tacos" forecast* - visit www.visityuma.com or call 800-293-0071.
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