Make us your home page

Brooksville Raid visitors will find more than a battle re-enactment

SPRING HILL — With nearly 1,500 Civil War re-enactors descending on the Sand Hill Scout Reservation this weekend, the director of the 34th annual Brooksville Raid Re-enactment will tell you that the event isn't all about staging the battle.

The torrid exchange of musket and cannon fire is just part of the draw to thousands of visitors who want to see what life and American culture were like during the mid 1800s.

"If you're a history buff, this is the place to be," Joan Casey said. "We provide a lot to do and see in between the battles. It's always a fun event to be part of."

Casey, who has been involved with the raid re-enactment for more than three decades and has been its director for five years, said the festival has gained a reputation for various activities that bring spectators closer to the action.

Away from battlefield, visitors can find plenty to do, including Civil War period music from the "7 lbs. of Bacon Mess Band," a formal ladies tea and an anvil shoot demonstration. They can tour the camps and see for themselves how soldiers of that day lived.

"We've always been focused on being a family-oriented event," Casey said. "It's a wonderful place to bring kids because everything is new and exciting to them."

This year's event marks the 150th anniversary of the original skirmish that began just off Hernando County's coast near Bayport when a small battalion of Union soldiers arrived on a mission to destroy crops, salt works and cattle ranches that were supporting the Confederate war effort.

Long considered the largest Civil War re-enactment in Florida, the raid got its start in 1980 on a 90-acre site owned by former Hernando County Commissioner Murray Grubbs. It moved to its current site 10 years later.

Casey said the event, which draws about 4,000 spectators each year, has undergone some subtle changes through the years but remains essentially unchanged. And that's what keeps people coming back.

"People like the thrill and noise of the big battles," Casey said. "And for our county, which has so much history surrounding it, the raid fits in perfectly. I imagine it will still be going on 30 years from now."

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.



9 a.m.: Gates, camps, sutlers open

9:30 a.m.: Battlefield colors demonstration

10:30 a.m.: Ladies tea (period dress required)

11:30 a.m.: Artillery demonstration

1 p.m.: Music by 7 lbs. of Bacon Mess Band

2 p.m.: Brooksville Raid battle

3:30 p.m.: Anvil shoot

5:30 p.m.: Camps close


9 a.m.: Gates, camps, sutlers open

9:30 a.m.: Battlefield colors demonstration

10 a.m.: Church service

11 a.m.: Anvil shoot

1 p.m.: Music by 7 lbs. of Bacon Mess Band

2 p.m.: Brooksville Raid battle

4:30 p.m.: Camps close

Brooksville Raid visitors will find more than a battle re-enactment 01/14/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 6:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 28


    Alabama: The country music all-timers hit the road for the Southern Drawl tour with openers, the Charlie Daniels Band. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26-$86. (813) 301-2500.

    Handout photo of Alabama, performing 5/28/17 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Credit: Alan Messer
  3. Find serenity at Grand Cayman Island's Cemetery Beach



    Hey, cruisers, if you've been to Hell and back, snuggled with the stingrays and taken photos with the turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre, you might be looking for something different on your next trip. (Guilty!)

    Good snorkeling can be found off shore at Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman.
  4. Karen Bail, who helped Gibbs kids get to Broadway, retires


    ST. PETERSBURG — When neatnicks retire, they leave no trace behind. Their desks are clean, like a runway after the plane has taken off.

    Karen Bail warms up seniors Jonathan O’Brien, left, as Juan Peron and Addam Setzer as Che Guevara before the dress rehearsal of Evita in April.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 27


    Tampa Bay Margarita Festival: The Barenaked Ladies will headline this festival with opener Cowboy Mouth. Enjoy more than 50 varieties of margarita drinks including a Sriracha strawberry, a bacon rita and even a jalapeno Cabo rita. There's beer and vodka for the non-tequila drinkers. Noon, Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N …