Re-enactors, historical artifacts, period music and more will be part of a new community event next Sunday: Trumbull Remembers: The Civil War. The June 14 event is a collaboration between the Trumbull Historical Society, the Lions Club and the town’s own Civil War buff, Kevin Drake.

Drake, who owns Gettysburg Battlefield Books & Collectibles in Gettysburg, Pa., and started Gettysburg Publishing, wanted to bring a historical event to his hometown.

“One day, I was on Little Round Top — the only person there, which is very unusual — and the sun was setting and it was just so beautiful,” he said. “I thought, ‘how do I bring this picture home to Trumbull.’”

Drake was grabbed by what he calls “the tentacles of Gettysburg” back in the 1990s. He wrote two books on the subject and then studied the publishing world when other authors began contacting him for help.

“I wanted this to be an educational event and a fun community gathering,” he said. “It’s also a mini-Halloween in some ways, with the costumes.”

The Sunday, June 14 event is from 11 to 5, rain or shine, at Abraham Nichols Park, 1856 Huntingon Turnpike. Admission is $5 for adults; children under 12 are free. There will be re-enactors, a display of authentic guns and swords from the era, as well as a Civil War medical exhibit. Food, music and speakers, including Drake and Civil War collector Jeff Cook, will also be part of the event.

“When I do speaking engagements I usually talk about the human interest stories of Gettysburg,” Drake said.
One of his favorite stories is of Sallie, a little brindle bull terrier, who was given to the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

“She marched with them and lived with them,” he said. “Some stories even say she would run to the end of the line and bark in formation.”

During the Battle of Gettysburg, the regiment had to retreat during battle through the town, but noticed Sallie was missing. Three days later when they went back to the where some of their men had fallen, they found Sallie, guarding the bodies of their comrades who were dead or dying. She growled at anyone who came near.

Sadly, Sallie was killed in the next battle. But a monument built to honor the 11th Pennsylvania, includes a small statue of Sallie, as requested by the surviving members.

“Those are the stories that make war real,” Drake said. “That’s what I like to talk about.”

In fact, animals are another passion for the Trumbull resident, who is aiming to raise money for the ASPCA during the Trumbull event. He often holds fund-raisers for pets at his Gettysburg store.
Trumbull Remembers

Drake, with the historical society and Lions Club, would like Trumbull Remembers to be an annual event. Next year, the focus will be on World War II, the year after on the Revolutionary War. He is working on a project to interview surviving veterans of World War II on their experiences.

“There are a lot of important people from our neck of the woods who made this country what it is,” he said.

For more on Trumbull Remembers: The Civil War, visit TrumbullHistory.org.

To learn more about Drake’s publishing business and store, visit gettysburgpublishing.com or gettysburgbattlefieldbooks.com.