The blogger Mary Strong-Spaid has posted an excellent gallery from a Civil War reenactment in Virginia. For those unaware, military reenactments are not so much a hobby as a lifestyle. You have to love the period, and know your battles and gear inside and out. The folks who participate in mock battles, march in parades, and work on their uniforms are the sort of Americans that actively preserve history.
Years ago, I was lucky enough to participate in a militia reenactment in the back of a field. It was a very humid July 4 weekend. We could feel the heat through our uniforms, and our gunpowder turned rather pulpy. As a result, our flintlocks failed to strike and we couldn’t get any flashes. You’d have better luck pointing your rifle at a target and shouting “Pew! Pew! Pew!” It was around this time when we realized that none of the men had decided who got shot and who survived. Shortly after a faction was repulsed by a mock charge, a fellow declared, “Well, I guess I’m hit,” and promptly fell to the ground. That was our only casualty of the war.