Dang! That’s the hard reality of history – once it happens, it’s done and done. No matter how much we wish, we are unable to flip back to that page in the book and get a ‘do over’. The actual conflict occurred on July 9, 1863, and has been re-enacted many times over the years. June 26th, 2010, the valiant Union militia volunteers (numbering about 50) were *overwhelmed* by the Rebel horde (numbering about 12 mounted cavalrymen), once again, just as the history books say (numbers notwithstanding). According to this historic photograph, the Rebels were accompanied by some strange self-powered vehicles with flashing lights on top, not sure what that was about, but maybe that helped convince the local boys that resistance was futile, so they ‘prepared to be assimilated’ (Star Trek, anyone?).
There were a number of townspeople onhand, dressed in their finest ‘battle watching’ finery, as well as a number of soldiers in reserve, but it appeared that the reserves would not be enough to turn the tide, and history would be served, the outcome foreordained.
One of our fair ladies was shouting defiance from a second-story window, and we feared for her safety, but she spoke her piece without incident and perhaps the ‘Southern Brigands’ learned something about Yankee spirit!
Jumping back to present day, a good time was had by all the participants and spectators, even though conditions were *very* warm and humid. We spoke to one of the re-enactors about those woolen uniforms, and he claimed that the layers helped create some ‘natural air conditioning’. We decided to stay *upwind* of him, just in case his theory wasn’t working out.
Kate was very pleased with all the costumes and uniforms, and we decided that maybe we’d put together some Civil War outfits of our own (she’s already started doing some online shopping for accessories and patterns – wodda gal!). I imagine she’ll be going for ‘plantation chic’, while I’ll be leaning more toward ‘reprobate scruffy’ ( I kinda like the authentic sunglasses on this character, by the way).
As a part of the weekend activities, we went to the Wright Interpretive Center to attend a speech by President Lincoln, assisted by Mary Todd Lincoln. The President gave a thumbnail sketch of his life, including his beliefs about slavery and the need to preserve the Union. It was very well done, and both actors really got into their parts. We gave them a good round of applause at the end.
We went out to Hayswood Nature Reserve (just south of town) for some of the fun, especially the cannon and Gatling gun stuff (they actually fired several ‘sticks’ of ammunition through the automatic gun – blanks, of course). While I was watching the cannon demonstrations, I wandered close enough to experience the muzzle blast from the nearest gun – wow! That’ll throw yer hair back, buddy!
We’re checking schedules of upcoming re-enactment events and parades in our part of the world, and with a little luck and a modest outlay of money, we’ll be out there showing off our ‘period attire’. Stand by, maybe more pictures of this coming your way.
Reporting from (still Union) Corydon, Indiana – stay cool, pardner!