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AUGUST 5 & 6

The Patriot Center is filled almost to capacity. If everyone inside had a horse, a saber, and ungainly facial hair, it might approach the scene at Brandy Station in June 1863, where 10,000 Confederate and 8,000 Union horsemen fought the largest cavalry battle ever on North American soil. Today, 150 riders and 2,000 artillery and infantry footsoldiers will do their best to duplicate that day: They’ll don hot, itchy costumes, wear leaky boots, sleep on the ground, and eat unpalatable chunks of cornmeal and bacon fat for the sake of history. On Sunday, they’ll do justice to the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. Music, cavalry, and infantry drills, as well as lectures and exhibits, will complement the clash of arms from10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Oatlands Plantation, Rte. 15 off Rte. 7, Leesburg. $7. (703) 777-3174. (Andrew Webster)