Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Civil War Re-enactment

"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." Ambrose Bierce

Saturday last, I was invited to attend the re-enactment of the  Battle of Chickamauga, at Kennecuk Cove in Kicapoo State Park.   I was so very excited as I have been intrigued by the American Civil War for a long time, and have visited many actual battlegrounds.  I have always wanted to attend a re-enactment.

It was a beautiful day and I was absolutely in awe of the dedication of the re-enactors.  We arrived just a little early for the Ladies Tea and Fashion show, but Generals Grant and Lee were addressing the audience, explaining about the different uniforms they wore for different occasions.  Now the man playing Lee was pretty good, but the man playing Grant, was awesome.  He looked just like all the pictures of Grant during the Civil War.

The fashion show was so much fun.  The ladies had on dresses for different occasions and the host explained all the details of each outfit and the etiquette of the dress.

We then walked around the Union encampment, saw what they were cooking on the fire, looked in tents, etc.  When we got to the surgical tent, we saw all the medical instruments of the time, and the surgeon had a table of surgery set up.  He even provided models of the amputated hands and arms, which was so accurate for medicine in that time.

We visited the cavalry tents and saw the horses being readied for the battle.  We then took our seats for the battle.

It was absolutely fascinating to view the battle.  I mean I have read about them and all the strategies, but to see it played out, made so much more sense to me.  Watching the men bite off the powder packs and try to load their weapons in the midst of battle, and seeing the smoke from the cannons and the guns was truly amazing to watch.

I was looking for an appropriate quote for this post and I could only think of Ambrose Bierce who lived through the Civil War, wrote an amazing story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and was a great American author. I took this one from The Devil's Dictionary and could not help but recognize how appropriate it is for the current political atmosphere.

I certainly would recommend everyone attend one of these re-enactments at some time.

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