At the invitation of Major Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (1836-1881), a native of Wantage, over forty thousand veterans of the American Civil War and guards were treated to four days of festivities from August 25-28, 1878. On the final day of the encampment, a re-enacted battle involving four thousand men, took place. The roar of cannons was heard over twenty miles away.
Kilpatrick, an 1861 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, was unsuccessful in his campaigns for Governor of New Jersey and the U.S. House of Representatives. He was twice appointed Minister to Chile, and died serving in this post in 1881.