Lessons From The Civil War

Attending a civil war reenactment has taught me many things over the years.

-Deserters will be shot – and then their boots will be stolen.

-General Grant never wanted to be a solider.

I don’t know what this man does when he isn’t General Grant but he does an amazing job. A natural story teller with an encyclopedia of knowledge!

-Some doctors are better at cleaning their instruments than others but all of them will cut your leg off if they need to.

Notice Ivy on the fanning assist in the background?
Patient was a young girl that was hit by a stray bullet. No bones broken, she kept her leg and she had one of the best doctors, I think she’ll be fine.

-The horses are amazing.

For real. The training they do with these guys is impressive!

-And never say the last bend has been taken out of these instruments so that the “noise” carries back to the marching soldiers. That’s music that comes out of those horns.

Or so I have been told…

Meeting General Grant

I took my children to meet General Grant last weekend. 

He was pleased with the way the war was going and quite willing to tell us all about his writing desk, fancy tent and even show us a picture of his wife. Kids meet General Grant

Later we watched his troops oust a group of Confederate soldiers from their earthen work line of defense, so it seemed his confidence was well placed.confederate soldier

The battlefield was very loud but not too intimidating. Of course by that time we had already met a few of the horses. Abe, in particular, had been loved and petted while we heard all about his training.DSCN0948-(2sm)

And we had visited the artillery camps, on both sides, and learned that they traveled with far more horses than the cavalry, when to plug our ears and who owned the cannons.

That's not an out of focus picture that's smoke from the cannons!

That’s not an out of focus picture that’s smoke from the cannons!

The 1st Tennessee Partisan Rangers had shared a few contraband juice boxes when we visited their camp earlier, so they were a lot less intimidating than they could have been when we saw them rush into the battle.  Confederate TroopsAnd since they had also walked us through how their guns loaded, fired and what they were and were not putting in them we knew just what these guys were doing.

Union troops

Watching the first “casualty” fall was a bit of a shock but yet another soldier had prepped us well on such things when he let us handle his bayonet.

Union Troops

That was right before he introduced us to a few southern belles that taught us everything we ever wanted to know about war time fashion. Which was after we talked to the woman spinning wool but before we spoke to the lady about quilts made for the underground railroad.Aunt Helen and Ivy

So yes, the battle was loud and a little bit intimidating but we’ve already got plans to go back next year!


Maybe we’ll see you there? Wade House Civil War Weekend

As a happy coincidence this weeks Go Play, Go Learn challenge is all about engaging with history!