Sunday, May 06, 2012

Civil War Battle Re-enactment (Jefferson, TX)

My 13-year-old granddaughter has succumbed to the romantic elements of Civil War history as a result of her recent exposure to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (both movie and book versions) and a couple of weeks studying its actual history in 7th grade.  So, we made a 475-mile roundtrip up to Jefferson yesterday for that historic little town's annual Civil War battler re-enactment

The pictures from yesterday that I'm posting give a feel for the dedication and expense expended by the re-enactors that participated in the fight.  I cannot even estimate how much these guys must have spent on the ammunition expended yesterday- in addition to thousands of blank rounds fired from rifles and pistols, there were dozens of cannon shots that included explosions on the ground a few hundred feet away to simulate actual cannon balls landing (and they do it all again today for a new crowd).  Those things were so loud and powerful that we could feel the compressed air striking us and the ground tremble where we stood thirty yards away to the side of them.

This was great fun, and because the guys wandered around town in uniform during the day, very educational since they were all very willing to answer questions about their hobby and the authentically copied uniforms they wore.

A few pictures from the day (click on the images for larger versions):

I highly recommend these things to everyone interested in American history - but I want to stress that you should bring earplugs - and not forget them in the car like I did.


  1. Civil War re-enactors are a breed unto themselves. I went to college in Gettysburg, and though I've never actually witnessed the re-enactment there, I was friends with a bunch of re-enactors, girls for whom getting a corset as a gift for the their birthdays was an amazing treat. LOL!

    But seriously, it's amazing what pains these people go to to bring history authentically to life. Having known so many re-enactors, I really should go experience a real re-enactment!

  2. You really should, Megan. These things, when done correctly, are a lot more impressive than people expect them to be. I envy you the time you spent so near one of the most important battlefields in world history. What happened at Gettysburg in 1863 really did change the course of world history, not just U.S. hisotry; no doubt about it in my mind.

  3. I had the pleasure to attend one reenactment in Fresno, California. My son was about 10 at the time and absolutely loved it. It was a great opening for me to teach him some US History and he got to enjoy the gun and cannon battles!

  4. Looks like we might be heading to VA, Kathleen, so that I can show Lindsey my favorite battle sites...especially Shiloh where our grandfather (twice and three times) was wounded and captured.