Punishing the Union forces in Charleston Harbor will be no problem for Vernon Terry of Rock Hill thanks to his original Civil War cannon on loan from the Chester Historical Society.
"If you give me four or five rounds, I could easily hit that flagpole," he said, referring to Fort Sumter, more than a mile away.
Of course, he won't be lobbing 10-pound conical bullets at the fort from his "parrot rifle" perched at the Patriots Point Confederate encampment. But it will sound like it as an array of historic military weapons comes to life in Mount Pleasant and on James and Sullivan's islands.
An initial cannon barrage at 7 a.m. Tuesday will be followed by one or two cannon volleys per hour until 7:45 p.m., when continuous firing will happen until 8:15 p.m., the town of Mount Pleasant said.
"It will be dang loud, I guarantee it," Terry said. "Daytona, Fla., will hear me when I start shooting."
The Confederates have 350 pounds of gunpowder and 26 pieces of artillery for their display of might to mark the 150th anniversary of the shelling that began the war.
Terry, a re-enactor holding the rank of lieutenant colonel, is in charge of about 400 Confederates camped here this weekend. He is driven by a desire to keep war history alive.
"Once you start doing this, you can't stop," he said. "It gets in your blood."
His adversary is Mark Silas Tackitt of Seattle, who will re-enact the role of Union Maj. Robert Anderson, the commander at Fort Sumter. Tackitt will lead a contingent of 50 U.S. soldiers stationed there. He was a history major in college, but he can't easily explain his passion for Civil War re-enactment.
"It's like somebody hit me over the head and made me stupid," Tackitt said.
"I don't know why, but it just draws me and pulls me in."
The Confederates began their re-enactment at Patriots Point on Friday, sleeping on cots in tents and eating steak. In contrast, the Union soldiers slept on hard concrete at the fort, where their meal was salt pork, rice, corn meal and molasses.
Jeff Antley of Charleston, chairman of the 150th Firing on Fort Sumter Committee, said participants paid to cover their expenses. The only thing they receive in return is firewood, water and bathroom facilities.
"We're not re-enacting," he said. "This is living history."
H.G. Clapper of Marion, who holds the rank of sergeant major in the Confederate forces, likes to re-enact the Civil War because it's like a vacation from modern-day pressures.
"I think it redefined everything," he said.
"It's not a celebration. It's a commemoration."