Merrimack Historical Society to sell Civil War-related items

Courtesy photos Everything a well-dressed Union officer and his lady needs will be for sale at the Merrimack Historical Society’s sale of reenactment items on June 23-24.

MERRIMACK – On any weekend this summer, there is probably an American Civil War reenactment going on somewhere in the U.S., and even in Canada.

Volunteers for the Merrimack Historical Society hope some of those reenactors will be interested in what they have for sale.

Last year, Steve Closs, the chaplain of the Merrimack Police Department, donated dozens of Civil War reenactment items to the society, including swords, dresses, petticoats, leather boots and framed prints.

Closs said, “Do whatever you want” with them, volunteer Ruth Marcel said.

The all-volunteer nonprofit organization has no room to store the items in its 150-year-old building, and what it needs is money to maintain the building and to publish Volume II of the town history.

So this weekend, the society will try to sell all 60 donated items during a sale that starts Friday, June 23, from 5-8 p.m., and continues Saturday, June 24, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

It isn’t an auction, and everything will be sold outright.

Marcel is helping with the sale. Framed prints by three Civil War artists are her favorite items.

“The prints are absolutely beautiful … and beautifully framed,” she said.

Civil War buffs should be interested in 15 large reproduction volumes containing the names of those who served in New England regiments, although the society is keeping all of the books on the 18 New Hampshire regiments.

Almost everything on display was purchased in a shop in Gettysburg, Va., in 1996 by Closs, a Civil War reenactor who has published a book about New Hampshire in the Civil War.

All of the clothing looks brand new, Marcel said, including a wool officer’s uniform.

The Merrimack Historical Society’s building started as a schoolhouse in 1847 and needs constant upkeep, said society President Anita Creager, who has been painting the exterior this month.

Creager said they sent out invitations to the sale to reenactment groups and some wanted to buy items immediately, but she told them, “No early birds.”

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or