Monday, September 12, 2011

Civil War Reenactment - Camp Life

I love wandering the camps looking for interesting demonstrations, as well as talking with the reenactors to learn more Civil War history. These guys really know their stuff. The first demonstration we went to was the Union hospital tent. They were treating the head wound of soldier who probably wouldn't have survived.

Next we found the Christian Society, where the "married, unattractive women" were feeding the wounded soldier's stomachs as well as their souls. There was a display of a soldier's field rations as well as his marching rations. Learned that salt pork is really just cured, un-rendered lard. The kids had fun touching and smelling all the food items.

Josiah stands at attention as the Union Fife and Drum Corps go marching by.

The cannon located outside the real earthworks Civil War fort at Fort Stevens.
Josiah and his cousin Andrew were on opposite sides of the war but pretended to be brothers who found each other during battle. They ended up walking away with their arms around each other. They were really cute.

A Southern belle camp follower.

Confederate cannons.

Despite being in a blue uniform, Josiah braved the Confederate camp. He was only waylaid twice. One of the Confederate soldiers let him hold his gun. It was so heavy!

They gave the kids pickles as a dehydration test. If the pickle tasted like a pickle, you were good, but if it tasted weird, that meant you were dehydrated. Josiah and his cousins loved this test and have been practicing it often at home ;)

Checking out the different sized barrels of some of the guns in the Confederate camp.

Camp cooks stirring beans in a huge cast iron pot. I would not have wanted to have lifted that pot!

The most fascinating demonstration, and one I had never seen before, was the button maker. He had a hand forge, where he turned the wheel and it took him about 15 minutes to make 4 buttons using an antique button mold. They man was a natural teacher. 

The hot pewter in liquid form.
Kids watching with rapt attention. He showed them an interesting technique to see if something is hot before you grab on to it. The kids are now using it at home and no burns so far!

The buttons as they came out of the button mold. They were beautiful!

My mom took some pics of me in my Civil War dress I bought at the reenactment and thanks to some yard sale finds this weekend, my outfit is complete. I'll be posting those next. 



Nicole said...

Oh how fun you were able to come and see that event. We participated as a family at Ft. Stevens. The Southern belle is a sweet lady and we joined their town for dinner both nights.There is another even this season in Plain, WA, it is a cold weather event located just north of Leavenworth. Thanks for posting photos!

Catherine said...

What a wonderful experience for your children who are warriors and followers! It looks like it was great fun.

Camille said...

What a VERY cool thing to do with the children!!! Thank you for sharing all the fun photos Jackie. What a neat thing to scrap-book about...are you going to? :)

Many blessings,

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Oh yeah. I even found Civil War scrapbook stickers in one of the sutler tents!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

It was so much fun! I loved the "pickle" test!

Great post, Sis!

OurLilFullFam said...

Looks like such fun - that is too funny about the "married, unattractive women" guess nobody cared about people's feelings back then when labeling :)


Nicole said...

Thanks for coming by my blog as well. this is our first year reenacting and I am getting ready to post about all our events this summer. You can also click the label for them on my side bar :). Hope you are able to enjoy more next year. We are in Yakima and most events are on the west side but we do host one at Ft. Simcoe in White Swan. Look forward to talking to you more about this wonderful new hobby of ours.


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