Well, Yesterday was the kickoff to the Civil War re-enactment season around here.
Our friends, the Tellups and the Zumbrums, have been active in a group of Christian Re-enactors that do an encampment twice a year. They do the big reenactment at Harper's Ferry, once in the Spring and in the Fall. So the Tellup kids thought that to inspire interest in the kids in Harford County, they would host an introductory "Civil War Day"
here in Havre de Grace. We heard about it because we expressed interest in going to the big one last Fall, but couldn't because of another commitment.
The Tellups had been planning to host the event, but at the last minute a change of location was necessary because Michael, their 11 year old son, had gotten the flu.
Since it was cold and they knew that the kids would need the privy, they asked for another family to volunteer their yard for the event.
Barbara Moore, who lives just down the road from us, offered her yard and the woods behind her house so that the troops could skirmish.
What a beautiful place that is, and I didn't even know it was there!
As General Buford would say it was "Lovely ground."
He would have been proud!
The kids put the whole thing on. It was amazing!
The girls made their own bandages and were dressed as nurses in period clothing. They made "hardtack" and had beef jerky for the battle field. They had a jug of water and cups.
"Colonel" Zumbrum, had to step in for Colonel Tellup, stricken with the Influenza, and train all the troops to march, stand for inspection, reload their weapons and be brave in the face of the enemy.
Fortunately for these soldiers, the nurses outnumbered the troops, so the medical personnel were able to be so attentive that everyone who was wounded recovered.
They fought up and down all day long. Sometimes the Rebs would drive the union back and the the Yanks would push them away and take the high ground. I was "embedded" photographing the battle. It was dangerous work, but very revealing. Those nurses are pretty much the boss on the battlefield.
We could hear them, late in the day, singing on the hills, "Bonny Blue Flag" and "The Battle Cry of Freedom"
Paul came running back from the battle field and triumphantly proclaimed "I was victorious! I won the battle for Guinea Pig hill!"
He was totally in his element.
Many of the parents lamented the fact that our children were divided in their sympathies and were in the battle on opposite sides.
John and Paul chose the Confederate side, mainly because it's a lot easier for mom to put together a costume on short notice!
Brendan, however wanted to fight for the Union, and was just as happy as could be in his Blue.
The temperature was mild enough in the middle of the day that the boys were able to go out in just the Flannel and undershirts that they had. They were going all day!
All of them were injured.
Shoulders, legs, Paul even had a bandage around his torso.
The nurses just kept patching them together and sending them back out.
The amputation went very well.
The wagons also held the ammo, dried Chick-Peas. Each soldier was issued a sandwich bag with their ammo measured out. When they had to drop one with each shot, and when they were out, had to run back to the wagons.
At 5:00 the troops headed for camp and an authentic Civil War encampment meal.
Hot Ham, Potato and Green Bean stew, and a wonderful Lentil soup. There were also Corn muffins and more "hard tack". Paul surveyed his choices, no pizza or hot dogs, and said "this Hard Tack is actually really good!" He ate an awful lot of it!
After dinner there was a "yard dance", for lack of a barn.
Brendan was at his soccer game, but John and Paul were conscripted to duty as male partners. I think at first John wished he had died on the battle field. Paul, as always, was very enthusiastic and dove right in! They both learned the "Virginia Reel" and the "Snowball Reel". After John learned the routine, he just loved it! He was "Dosey Doeing" and Promenading like a pro. Neither of them wanted to stop!
I'll have to post the video tomorrow because I am out of space in this post!
It was dark and freezing and the kids were just having so much fun! Brendan came back from soccer and was very disturbed to learn that the fighting was over and, even worse, all the enemies were consorting all over the place. What a mess! He retreated, glowering as only Brendan can, and proceeded to keep watch.
It was such a great time, with such great people.
I am really looking forward to April, when we can go to the one in Harper's Ferry!