That was the estimate provided by Gary Polete, one of the main organizers of the event. He also said that as many as 120 re-enactors portraying Union and Confederate soldiers were there.
Polete said on Monday there was a “good, decent amount of people” there all weekend, and added that they “couldn’t have asked for better weather” all weekend. It was warm enough that people were actually asking for ice, he said.
Polete, who also runs the Futrell House bed and breakfast, said that there is a great educational and economic benefit to events of this type.
“It’s hard to put into numbers, but this is a huge economic benefit to the community,” said Polete, who stated that re-enactors and spectators alike spent money on motels, restaurants, gas and in the downtown businesses.
On Friday the school tours started, and the camps were open to the public. There was also an artillery night fire.
Among those who talked to students on Friday were Don Locke, who portrayed General Robert E. Lee and talked to them about Lee’s life and military career. Locke said he’s been portraying Lee for about 18 years.
Donna Grant of Hopkinsville and Sharon Stokes of Fairview talked to students about apparel and other aspects of everyday life in Civil War-era America.
Tony Merrick, a native of Caldwell County, is with the 46th Tennessee re-enactors, and made many period flags from the states and the two sides by hand and talked to students about the war.
On Saturday, a Re-enactor Ladies’ Tea and an Afternoon Public Tea were held at the Main Street Log Cabin, a Blue and Gray Ball and the Cadiz Baptist Church Annex on Main Street and a battle scenario.
There was also another battle scenario on Sunday, as well as a re-enactor breakfast and a worship service in West Cadiz Park. Both the Saturday and Sunday battles were held in the field across the street from the park this year.
Polete said that while the re-enactors didn’t portray an actual battle from the Civil War, they performed two realistic battle scenarios – one on Saturday where the Confederates won, and one on Sunday where the Union soldiers won. He thought the battle scenarios worked well.
And this year, there was a Union spy who was “executed” before the battle proper.
The churches made sure that re-enactors and some of the spectators were well-fed, said Polete, adding that this is a great opportunity for them to brush up on their training before the summer re-enactment season starts.
“The churches came out in fine form,” said Polete. “One thing the re-enactors told me was that this was ‘the best feed we ever had.’”