Civil War reenactment turns potentially deadly

Blank ammo and cannon rounds producing harmless blasts and smoke apparently weren’t serious enough ammunition for somebody who paid visit last weekend to a nearby Civil War reenactment.

As a result, the FBI is now seeking the public’s assistance after the incident Saturday at the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, which falls under the jurisdiction of Shenandoah National Park.

During the reenactment, an unspecified dangerous “device” was located on the grounds of the park west of Front Royal. The device was discovered during the annual reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek. The FBI says it cannot provide specific information about the device at this time, as the case remains under investigation.

However, the Rappahannock News understands there were two devices, one fake, the other genuine that was subsequently rendered safe by the Virginia State Police. No injuries were reported.

Anybody who may have witnessed any suspicious activity, or may have information pertaining to the incident, is encouraged to contact the FBI at 804-261-1044.

The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Virginia State Police, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and the Middletown Police Department are investigating.

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John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at