The Gettysvburg Battlefield is known worldwide. On the third weekend in August our reenacting grup, The Liberty-Greys takes on the task of presnting a living history. For a reenactor it is a dream come true.
The national park service allows the group to stay overnight on the field, to actually sleep in the most haunted place in the world.
We set up tents on Friday and sent into town for dinner. My husband and I ate at The Farnsworth House, a period mansion used by Confederate sharpshooters then for a field hospital. It is a lovely place and the food excellent, especially the game pie and bread pudding.
Saturday we spent the day talking to tourists. Its interesting when a person from Germany or France asks for a reason why we fought the War. Not something for a five minute speech.
The soldiers acted as soldiers did in camp, cleaning rifles, drilling, playing cards or just taking a nap.
There was music provided by Miss Liz. She played period songs and sang softly so she didn’t disturb any of the speakers. It was a lovely background for both days.
I talked about women’s roles during the Conflict, especially women in the South. It was a wonderful weekend despite the few rainshowers and needing to dry our tent anfter we arrived home.
The sad part is leaving all my friends. It takes a few minutes to drop the tent, a couple hours more to pack and load everything into the vehicles. The memories stay forever. My good friend took these pictures and gave me permission to post them. The sepia tone adds a golden glow to this sad time.
I can’t describe the feelings during this re-enactment. Excitement at the beginning of the five year cycle, sadness at the terrible losses suffered during the Conflict and the echoes of longing for a time lost in the fog of destruction and recovery.
We’ve come so far as a nation. I hope the lessons learned by the participants help all of us.
Next week we’ll be leaving for the first battle of the 150th Civil War reenactments. First Manassass or First Bull Run depending on which side you favor, is mid-July outside of Washington D.C. The 145th ran over 110 degrees on the field of battle and I’m hoping this time will be cooler.
I’m packing my authentic trunk with the dresses, petticoats, stockings and shoes I need to wear to be a participant. My parasol is ready to shade me from the sun.
Am I crazy? Yes, but you have to be to sleep in a canvas tent, with wool blankets, on the ground and cook over an open fire.
Reenacting is the most fun in the world. No radio, no televison, no PHONES or modern newspapers make it a trip away ffrom the problems of this time.
I have met the most wonderful people. History buffs who can talk over every detail of the impending battle. Those who honor their forebearers by portraying the event as honestly and authentically as humanly possible. The ladies who love to sew their clothes and parade the grounds stopping for pictures from the tourists.
I’m going to be with medical for this battle. My husband portrays a civilian doctor caught in the fever of war. He and his comrades follow the troops into battle, attending the wounded. This isn’t all pretend. They check the soldiers who have fallen for real injuries and help them if needed.
A huge crowd is expected. Like the original battle, they’ll watch and picnic and be amazed at the events. What a tribute to both sides. I plan to post regularly about the battle.
I’ve been working on a contemporary romance about reenacting and ‘War is Heck’ is currently under consideration by The Wild Rose Press. Keep your fingers crossed for me.