Monday, May 6, 2013

a silly tradition.

One of the items on my bucket list (particularly since right now I'm living in the 'south') is to experience a Civil War reenactment.  Being from Northern Virginia we've got a bit of a different twist on the subject. Depending on who you talk to we're not actually considered the south but all you have to do is drive an hour or so out of the beltway and there's no question about it. But with the Civil War (aka the War Between the States or if you go deep enough south, The War of Northern Aggression) commemorating its sesquicentennial over the next couple of years, I figured this was the perfect opportunity. So,I gathered a few friends and we drove to Spotsylvania to witness the reenactment of the Battle of Chancellorsville.

The only thing I really know about reenactors is what I've seen in movies and on TV, which is highly caricatured; the participants being portrayed as obsessive and ridiculous, often along the lines of ComiCon attendees. Well, that's not far from the truth! Take the conversation I had with General Lee all about the devil incarnate, Abraham Lincoln.  I was also schooled in the thought that the war had nothing really to do with slavery and how our country was no longer a democracy. And this was all after he'd stepped out of character!

There were a lot of informational booths about life during the time period, the people who were involved and how one can support and participate in keeping history alive as well as traditional vendor booths with food and t-shirts and confederate flags galore!

It was great fun to see the troops mustered for battle, the tents and encampments lined up for miles and the variety of beards on display.

The General himself

We also had a chance to march with women advocating temperance, witness the battle itself (well, most of it), eat delicious food and do some terrific people watching.  It was a highly entertaining excursion and if you ever get a chance to attend one, do it!

And since this scene was mentioned at least a dozen times throughout the day (and overheard in the conversations of others at least as many times!) I figured I'd better share it as well.

Start whistlin' 'Dixie' and practice your best rebel yell and I'll meet ya'll at the next battle!

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