Two sides, one country, the largest number of casualties sustained in a war involving Americans. The Blue and the Gray. The Civil War. Gettysburg. 51,000 casualties over three days. July 1, 2, and 3, 1863.
Today we watched the Confederates win a battle over the Yankees, it was the battle on the cornfield of Gettysburg, at the end of four and a half hours of battle, 13,000 were dead. The cornfield was covered in bodies from both sides. We didn’t actually get to see the battle, that happened 150 years ago, what we watched today was a re-enactment.
The Civil War re-enactment is hosted by the Moorpark Rotary Club, over 2800 re-enactors were in attendance, hundreds of spectators, food and drink vendors, mercantiles set up to sell Civil War era garb to all. The event was very cool, very well organized, enjoyable for not just the entertainment, but for the overall effect.
My favorite was the encampments, both the Yankee camps and the Rebels. There were canvas tents for as far as you could see. As we walked through, each was set up with as much authenticity as they could muster in this day. From weapons to costumes to tents and tables. The wool felt blankets and cotton quilts, the shoes and spats, the hats and black powder rifles. I was fascinated by the passion and effort put in by all. In all the re-enactors we saw, not a single cell phone was visible.
This was my first Civil War re-enactment, I fully intend to find out more about them, but it also reminded me of many other things I want to see….a Mountain man exhibition, a Scottish Games competition, do you have any other suggestions? Anything that displays a level of passion that is not found in everyday life is welcome.