The weekend of the 24th-25th, three of my friends and I went to a Civil War Re-enactment down in Middletown, CA. It was a town even my GPS had trouble finding and we almost ended up in Middleton instead. Turns out Middletown is near Clear Lake, which I drove past to reach Fort Bragg and Glass Beach.
It was hot while we were there, to put it mildly. (It was a 106 the first day.) We were considering going in costume until we saw how hot it would be. We felt bad for the soldiers, two of whom fainted from the heat.
This red-head in the left corner was really into it. He kept clicking his heals and snapping to attention and would even jerk his rifle back every time he shot.
During our first battle we sat beside one of the re-enactor's wife. She filled us in on the meaning behind a lot of the different colored uniforms. According to her, these were not French soldiers, but a unit from Pennsylvania. The men from there believed the war would only last a few months and wanted to be the best dressed out of all the units, so they wore flashy red pants. They did get a lot of girls, but had to wear their ridiculous pants throughout the war.
This was the Sutler's camp, basically settlers. They had goods for sale and it was through them my friends and I bought fifes among other things.
This was the son of the lady who we sat in behind and told us all the historical facts. He carried his little pop rifle around, with his little hat, and cried when his daddy marched off to battle and tried to follow him.
How they rested the flag when not carrying it.
Confederate marines. They wore white pants because originally they were on ships before they marched inland to join in the fighting. They couldn't wear wool as it would shrink so they wore white cotton. We made friends with the marine captain.
The two on the left were clearly best friends. They kept smirking at each other every time the major looked the other way. (The major really got into it too and pretended to chew out one of the men when they lost one of the battles. He is the man in red on the right.)
Some Confederates. Because they didn't have an "official" government they had no government issued uniforms like the North. Some of them had gray uniforms, which faded over time, but most just wore whatever they had at home.
I would like this one more if it weren't for the orange cones and yellow tow truck in the back.
The man who kept jerking his rifle when he shot to make it look more realistic.
Our marine friend. When I went to inquire about volunteering in future re-enactments he was ready to recruit me on the spot. He's pretty much drafted me for the upcoming one in July.
The Yankee camp
This was an adorable family of about six or seven kids who were all in costume and character.
Before the battle
A WWII vet, author, and historian whom we got to talk to before he did his speech on the battles at the end of the war and what helped change the tide.
Following are pictures from the battles.
The man in green was a Yankee sharp shooter
Us at the Yankee camp
One of the Confederates surrendering during the last battle. He was taken to the Union side as a prisoner, only to die during a Yankee retreat. Later the Confederates won the battle by storming the cannons.
It was a great weekend in spite of being so hot and I am planning on returning in July, this time as a re-enactor.