Since 1995, thousands of spectators travel to Aiken each year to see hundreds of soldiers, and living historians recreate one of the last Confederate victories of the war: The Battle of Aiken. The event commemorates battles that were typical of the engagements during Sherman’s march through Georgia and the Carolinas. The rare Confederate victory in Aiken saved the town from being burned in 1865.
This annual weekend event has been awarded the SC Parks, Recreation, and Tourism’s Governor’s award for Best South Carolina Event. In addition, The Battle was also awarded the Dr. James Butler National Award for being the nation’s Best Living History Program. In addition, Reenactment Guide selected the Battle of Aiken as one of the top 10 Reenactments in America. Each year, up to 4,000 children attend one of South Carolina’s largest school field trip programs on Friday to see history come alive! Any public school, private school, or home school may attend the educational program.
On Saturday and Sunday, families can step back in time and hear, see, smell, and feel the thunder of cannons, muskets, and horses! Families can tour through numerous stations to interact and learn about Civil War music and dance, Medical Field Hospitals, Uniforms, Confederate and Union Camps, Artillery Batteries, Saber Demonstrations, Cavalry Camps, 1861 Women’s Fashions, Blacksmithing, and other 19th Century Crafts. Spectators can tour an authentic 19th-century log cabin as well as a recreated one-room schoolhouse, jail, and country store. Sunday will feature a historically accurate 19th century Church service.
The highlight of the Festival is the weekend’s three dramatic recreated battles on a historically accurate battlefield. Hundreds of historically accurate soldiers recreate the Battle that saved the Town of Aiken from Sherman’s Cavalry. These recreated incidents of the past put up an entertaining dramatic show while educating the public about the War Between the States.