Saturday, September 10, 2011

Civil War Reenactment - The Battle

Even though we are going to wait until October to start homeschooling this year, we took advantage of a wonderful homeschool opportunity. We had the opportunity to go to the Civil War reenactment held at Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria, OR. There are usually near a 1000 reenactors who show up. This is the 5th time we've gone, and we love it! We would love to get into it, but buying the tent, the gun and clothing is very expensive. Every time we go, we usually try to pick up at least one more item we would need. Someday we're going to make our family dream come true and become real Civil War reenactors instead of wannabes (story of our lives, LOL). This time around, my dream came true as I was able to buy a ladies dress for a screamin' good deal!

Fort Stevens is the perfect site for a Civil War reenactment since it has the only Civil War fort built in the west. It was an earth works fort at the mouth of the Columbia  River whose purpose was to keep the Confederates from invading the west. It never saw action, but the WWII batteries did. Fort Stevens has the distinction of being the only part of the mainland that was fired upon by the Japanese. They fired a few shots back and the submarine disappeared.  

When we go to the reenactment, we always stay at Camp Rilea, an active National Guard Camp where we can stay in really cheap housing and "camp". The kids have lots of places to ride their bikes, we can go to the ocean and we found a WWII bunker there, too. 

This a reenactment of the charge of General Stevens (whom Fort Stevens is named after). You can click on the link for more info about him. He died leading the 79th New York Highlanders in a charge during the Battle of Chantilly.

 They had at least 5 cannons there, maybe more.

The Union troops getting into formation with the mouth of the Columbia River in the background.

Confederates lining up and skirmishing with the Union Sharpshooters in green.

79th New York Highland Regiment. They got slaughtered in this battle.

Union Sharpshooters.

The Union Marines are in the white pants. It was a hot day, I felt bad for the guys who "died", although some of them managed to crawl to the shade and take a nap for the rest of the battle. I don't blame them, LOL.

Confederate Mounted Calvary demonstration. It was explained that several million horses were killed during the Civil War. It wiped out whole breeds, especially in the South. Very sad. Confederate cavalrymen were not issued horses, they had to come up with their own.

Calvary saber training demonstration.

I'd never seen this before. Apparently one of the Confederate privates got into trouble and was forced to run messages between the regiments with shackles and chains on his hands and feet. Hum, quite interesting. 

Next, I'll be posting pictures of Civil War Camp life. Hope you all had a great Labor Day Weekend!

God Bless, 


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

What a grand time we had! I am still pinching myself! It was also fun shopping for Civil War Dresses and going to Ross with you.

I will always cherish the memories of this vacation!

Grandma Becky said...

Civil war re enactments are great. There is one close to us every 4th of July. Maybe this next year we'll go instead of the rodeo! Fort Stevens is a great place to visit. Been there with our children years ago. Fun and would go again! Hugs!

Ellen said...

This looks awesome! Shame on me for being so close to Gettysburg and Antietam,but never actually seeing a reenactment. I just love the clothing of that period!

Jenn said...

What a great learning experience for all of you!!


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