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1,000 to re-enact Civil War Battle of Ball's Bluff

Saturday - 10/22/2011, 7:14am  ET

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - A thousand re-enactors are gathering in Leesburg to recreate a Civil War battle nobody planned.

Saturday's restaging of the Battle of Ball's Bluff also includes the death of the only sitting U.S. senator killed in battle.

Sen. Edward Baker of Oregon was a U.S. Army colonel. Historian James Morgan III says Baker was among the Federal officers who provoked Confederate fire after they were told to gauge the intentions of Confederate troops in Leesburg.

Maj. Gen. George McClellan had ordered only a "slight demonstration" by Union forces stationed on Maryland side of the Potomac River. But confusion and misinformation prompted them to cross the river and engage the Confederates on Oct. 21, 1861.

About 1,000 Union troops were killed, wounded or captured. The Confederates suffered less than 150 casualties.


(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)