Galloping into the Past: Alliance, Ohio Surgeon Makes Civil WarHistory Come Alive

By arohmiller, posted on May 12th, 2014.
Filed under: News

Written by Peggy Sexton, Hale Farm & Village Marketing Volunteer

The 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry gathered outside the Hale House at Hale Farm & Village

The 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry gathered outside the Hale House at Hale Farm & Village.

New patients to Dr. David Mungo’s office in Alliance, Ohio would be forgiven if startled by the Civil War amputation kit and leg bone from the Battle of Gettysburg in the display case that greets them – not exactly reassuring images in your orthopedic surgeon’s waiting room. But the artifacts aren’t there to frighten, only to educate. And for Mungo, a Civil War enthusiast, it’s all about education.

The Civil War is why he spends his weekends being someone else – a second lieutenant in the 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, a Civil War reenactment group – all for the sake of telling stories and illuminating the important past of American history.

Being in the midst of a battle reenactment and seeing, hearing, and smelling what history is made of is one of the best ways to educate the public, he believes. And the fact that he gets to ride Buddy, his Saddlebred horse of nine years, into each chaotic battle, is an added bonus. The adrenaline rush that comes along with rattling sabers, firing pistols, and booming cannons, is extremely unique.

“It sounds cliché, but training and instinct take over when things get crazy,” Mungo says. “Riding quickly to the sounds of guns will get anyone fired up.”

Mungo’s passion for the Civil War started after he saw his first reenactment outside of Rochester, New York, where he was attending medical school. After opening his practice in Alliance in 2000, he hooked up with a confederate unit as an infantryman. Two years later, he joined his love of horses with his deep interest in the Civil War and joined the 6th Ohio Cavalry.

Mungo participates in Ohio’s largest annual reenactment at Hale Farm & Village each August. There, he joins over 700 fellow reenactors who put on a show for growing crowds that come to the Cuyahoga Valley to experience the fascination of horses marching in formation and galloping into battle. Last year, Hale Farm & Village received the Ohio Civil War 150 Heritage Award during the 25th anniversary of its annual reenactment. The honor was made possible by the knowledge and passion displayed by the entire reenacting community.

This spring, the reenacting community will once again be honored at Hale Farm & Village during its annual Legacy Award Benefit on May 17. Mungo will be among the group of command staff members accepting the honor, but feels as though his true purpose is to continue to motivate visitors to go and learn about history themselves.


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