A pipe bomb was found on Sunday at the Civil War Reenactment in Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Virginia.
According to Frederick County Public Information Officer Karen Vacchio, on-site personnel of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and Middletown Police Department were alerted to the suspicious item at approximately 4 p.m.
Evacuations of the immediate area began and a safe zone was established, according to a news release Vacchio sent Saturday evening.
The Virginia State Police Bomb Squad rendered the device safe, but according to the release, K9 units continued to search the battlefield.
Officials have not given a description of the device.
Hundreds had gathered at the battlefield to celebrate the 153rd anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek, which took place on Oct. 19, 1864. It was the culminating battle of the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of 1864 and the largest Valley battle during the war. A re-enactment of the battle, which took place at 3 p.m. Saturday, drew in participants from all over the country.
Following the evacuation, a portion of Valley Pike [U.S. 11] near the battlefield was blocked off.
Re-enactor Carol Makdad with the 46th Pennsylvania Re-enactment Band said the evacuation of the field began right as the event’s attendees were getting ready to eat their supper.
Evening events that were supposed to take place on the site, including a re-enactor’s ball were canceled.
“Due to this unfortunate situation our event staff is unable to fulfill the required logistical needs to continue the event on Sunday,” Joe D’Arezzo, president of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, said in the release “It is regrettable that a nice family event would be disrupted in this way.”
The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation announced earlier this week that it had received a letter threatening bodily harm to attendants of the re-enactment. As a result, security was increased.
“It’s unfortunate, but we all knew when we came in the possibility of this,” Makdad said. “Hopefully people aren’t too upset. We are trying to do something good.”
As a result, all events that were scheduled for Sunday were canceled.
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