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Fort McAllisters living history marks the 4th
Ft. McAllister July 4
Scott Lawson (red plaid shirt) and Chandler Anderson practice loading Civil War-era rifles as Dillan Lee, right, historical interpreter at Fort McAllister, gives instructions. The demonstration was just one of many during the fort's 'living history' program marking Independence Day. - photo by Ted O'Neil

Dillan Lee called out commands as Chandler Anderson and Scott Lawson loaded their Civil War-era rifles Saturday at Fort McAllister.

“They would use a 10-step process known as the commands of instruction to teach new soldiers how to load a rifle,” said Lee, a historical interpreter at the fort. “Once they learned that correctly, it would eventually be reduced to four steps.”

The trio was giving demonstrations as Confederate soldiers circa 1861 and standing guard at a quartermaster area Saturday as part of the fort’s “living history” demonstrations to mark Independence Day.

“Of course, on the battle field they would load and fire as fast as possible,” Lee said. “Their lives depended on it.”

Activities continue throughout the day at Fort McAllister, including guided tours of the fort, musket and cannon firings, a watermelon eating contest and a Civil War-era baseball game.

The day wraps up with a cannon firing at dusk to “mark our nation’s birthday,” Lee said.

The fort also is a good vantage point to watch the city of Richmond Hill’s fireworks display for those who don’t want to fight the crowds at J.F. Gregory Park.

“We were watching fireworks all the way from South Carolina Friday night,” Lawson said.

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