Monday, August 20, 2018

Port Sanilac 2018: Civil War Days - Turning Back the Hands of Time

It's no secret how much reenacting I do, and I believe so far I have been in period clothing this year more than any other. And even though it's August, the month that many reenactors begin their slow down, I am still going strong. This month alone I will be a part of four different events!
And the first of these is one that I helped to start nine years ago: Port Sanilac.
Now Port Sanilac, to my knowledge, never saw a real battle. But it does have a wonderful little open-air museum village on the outskirts of town that borders farm field on three sides and Lake Huron on the fourth. It is part of the Sanilac County Historic Village and Museum, and every year the Civil War unit I belong to, the 21st Michigan, hosts a reenactment on the grounds there.
The best part about being the host unit is we can come up with whatever scenarios we want. And we invite everyone to play along.
In past years we presented Gettysburg, Shilo, 1st Bull Run, and even had a County Fair and a shotgun wedding.
This year we presented the Citizens of Vicksburg on Saturday and the Battle of Brown's Ferry on Sunday.
As always, my camera was working overtime to capture, as stealthily as possible, the images to document this always wonderfully historical (and fun) weekend:
What a glorious welcome!
As a patriotic person, I love seeing the American flag in its numerous forms, 
and this is what greeted patrons as they entered.
Isn't it great?

Small town America in the 1860s opens up before your eyes as you enter the reenactment grounds. Aside from the battle and fashion show, little else is staged. We roam the grounds as if it were where and when we actually lived.
For instance - -
Some of the farm boys (and girl) in the area take a
break from their laborious duties to hang out on a bridge
over a dried up creek. Yes, the weather's been that hot
up here in Michigan!
This picture is like looking at the past. It's just...real

How about this young mother with her child taking a
trip to the store and then, once her shopping is done,
sits and watches the 1863 world go by.

My daughter, in the pink dress, attends cosmetology school
in her modern life, which can easily transcend to her
1860s life by doing the hair of the women of town.

Just a few of the wonderful ladies of the 21st Michigan.
We are so very lucky to have such top-notch reenactors in our group!

Wait---what did I just say??
Do you suppose the real Victorian women acted in such a manner?
Something tells me they just might have!
And here we have another of our fine 21st Michigan members, Mrs. Paladino.

Our town is very privileged to have our 16th President
visit, and, of course, Mrs. Paladino was honored to speak
with such a man as Abraham Lincoln. 

And Mr. Lincoln, ever the polite gent, asked for
permission to remove his coat and hat before
speaking. The heat was stifling.

Listening to Abraham Lincoln...
We enjoyed hearing the stories of his youth and of the shenanigans he and his brother pulled on his step-mother.

I mentioned that we had a fashion show for the modern "apparitions," and, for some reason, I have had the pleasure (?) of hosting it for the past few years. I really don't mind - it's kind of fun actually, for most of the fashion shows are hosted by women, so this adds to ours being that much different.
And different it is, and not only because of yours truly as the host:
Since 2011 we have tried to gear our fashion show to
coincide with the everyday needs & norms of those

from the 1860s we are representing.
I spoke about my linen farm clothes (I wouldn't wear
wool on a hot summer's day) and of how some of the
best sources for clothing comes not only from the
ever-popular CDVs, but original Currier & Ives prints.

Larissa came out as a farmer's wife and explained her clothing as well as her everyday chores from working in her kitchen garden to cleaning the house and caring for her family.

Children were not left out of the picture:
Two of Elaine's children willingly took part as she 

explained the fashions and styles of 1860s kids.

Sue spoke of her more upper class dress and of all
the, um, underpinnings she had on. Yep, she was in
seven layers on this summer day.
Jillian portrays Michigan's own Annie Etheridge,
a Daughter of the Regiment (who usually served as nurses) 
in the 2nd Michigan Infantry and was twice shot out from 
under her horse as she tried to help the men during battles. 
Oh she has stories to tell!

And Annie was followed by two ladies who were greatly affected by the siege of Vicksburg in the spring and summer of 1863:
When the 47-day siege ended on July 4, 1863, Vicksburg
women shed tears, but many remained defiant.
Margaret Lord, wife of a local minister who served in a Mississippi regiment, refused to be disheartened.
She turned down the offer of a hated Yankee to help
find supplies for her family.

And here is the grandmother of Lucy McRae.
She explained that the family of her granddaughter
had to quit their house for the safety of a cave.
The new residence nearly proved fatal to Lucy,
as she later explained:
 “A shell came down on the top of the hill, buried itself about six feet in the earth, and exploded. This caused a large mass of earth to slide from the side of the archway in a solid piece, catching me under it…As soon as the men could get to me they pulled me from under the mass of earth. The blood was gushing from my nose, eyes, ears, and mouth.” Lucy survived her close call with death, and so did the family home – it still stands at 822 Main Street in Vicksburg.

And Mrs. Gooden speaks of her ball gown.
I called her up at the last minute so I caught
her off guard, but she did wonderfully!

Some of the fashion show participants.
I enjoy taking the aspect of a fashion show to another level rather than only speak of the clothing, for I believe it keeps the interest of the public a little they learn a thing or two about everyday life of the past.

What would a Civil War reenactment be without a battle?
Well...we had more like a skirmish, which is just fine, for the folks always enjoy watching and hearing the big guns:
The cannons are always a favorite...and really get the crowd 
a-running over to watch the fight!

This year's depiction was the Battle of Brown's Ferry.
Early on the morning of October 27, Federal troops under Brig. Gen. William B. Hazen floated down the Tennessee River on flat boats, passing beneath the Confederate guns on Lookout Mountain before landing on the opposite shore.  
After driving in the Confederate pickets, the landing parties were set upon by Col. William C. Oates and his Alabamians.  

Oates's men were too few, however, to drive the Yankees back into the river and a Union bridgehead was established.  In the next few days reinforcements from the east under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker arrived and supplies began flowing into the city.
To stop this, troops from Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s corps attacked the Union rearguard at Wauhatchie on the night of October 28.  
Though fighting continued into the next morning, Longstreet’s men failed to unhinge the Federals.  With the Union supply line well established, the Confederate siege of Chattanooga was all but over.

Though the military participants were small (why, guys?), those who came had a great time and gave the public a good showing.

And...the modern folk also were able to see Annie Etheridge in action!
Jillian does a wonderful job as Annie - she puts her all into it.
Marty portrayed a rebel...and as he rode toward the Union lines...

...a gun was fired and he was shot... 

...falling off his horse...dead...(yes, we do know how to put on a reenactment!)

The Blue Bottle Respite Tent~
Water for the thirsty
Food for the hungry
Healing for the soul

The Sanilac County Historical Museum...where even
a President can find time to take a breather.

Robert Beech is our resident wet-plate photographer, using original equipment and processes to capture the images of our living history representations of 1860s America.

Here is one of Mr. Beech's tintypes taken of my son, Robert.
The image is actually much better than what you see here, but the glares from a variety of sources kept rearing its ugly head!
Other than that, it's a great example of mid-19th century photography.

Is this proof that time travel is real?'s our good friend Carolyn sitting with my modern-dressed wife. Patty broke her leg in three places, on my birthday, no less, when our 85 pound chocolate lab pup ran into her, knocking her over. She has been convalescing all summer long and wears a boot, uses a walker, and, more recently, walks with a cane.
She came out to Port Sanilac for a day and was elated to visit with so many friends.
Robert Beech snapped this interesting shot, of the past meeting the present, of which I am thankful he did. 

Why...Victorian women didn't laugh!
Relaxed...natural...that's what the participating reenactors try to be like at our Port Sanilac event.
Note that I did not say that farby is acceptable in any way. By relaxed I mean not putting on airs or coming off "Hollywood" or stiff or scripted. It's just us trying to be normal Victorian people. And it's those two adjectives together that makes a difference: normal Victorian.  Yes, the Victorians (it's a noun now) did act quite differently than we do today in their morals, mores, and attitude. The let-it-all-hang-out I-will-speak-my-mind-because-I-have-a-right-to-do-so attitude was not nearly as prevalent during the mid-19th century, especially among women, as it is today. In fact, it wasn't very common even in my own 20th century youth!
And yet, those pesky Victorians we seek to emulate were human. Oh, they may have been more proper and filled with etiquette and all, for they were of their time, but they really aren't as far removed from us as some would think. They cried, joked, wondered, became excited, had fear, needed time to think, and they, um, laughed...sometimes uncontrollably...just as we do today (and just like Beckie is doing in the picture above).
And isn't the point of reenacting to make the valiant attempt to live and act as those who came before in the varying ways and personalities? Not be stiff and scripted? And, by the way, if you throw your 21st century attitude into the mix, then you blow it.
For everyone.
That's my take...

Anyhow, until next time, see you in time.

~   ~   ~

But wait---there's more Dept:'s Sunday late's been a mighty hot weekend, we're all a bit sweaty and maybe even a little cranky - - so, since we're this *I=I* close to Lake Huron, a few of us decided to hit the beach and stick our toes in the water for a little cool down.
Larissa took this picture of us heading to the beach.
And then afterward...
Even more of us caught up with each other at the Lexington (Michigan) A&W restaurant.
Yeah...we're just plain and boring people in modern clothes...sigh...

One More Thing Dept:
My friend, Fred Priebe, began writing a blog. He and I put it together the other day and, well, it's now up and running. It's called "In Lincoln's Time," and, as he describes: "This In Lincoln's Time blog will focus on Abraham Lincoln and the times in which he lived; the social culture of the times, the etiquette, the political atmosphere; and so much more."
Now, if you scroll up in today's posting, you will see a few photos of Fred.
What? You couldn't pick him out?
Why, he's the guy who looks uncannily like President Lincoln himself!
I've been to his house numerous times (yes, he actually lives in a log cabin house!) and the man's gigantic library is filled with books all about our 16th well as the times in which he lived. So I believe we're all going to be in for a real treat!
Won't you please check out Fred's blog?
And if you are so inclined, please feel free to 'follow' him.
Click HERE to visit "In Lincoln's Time."

In closing Dept:
You may have noticed a change in the mast head of this Passion for the Past blog. My previous photo has been there since early 2013, so I thought it time for a change.
It seems fitting, for I have been leaning heavily toward the colonial period in our history of late...I'm not leaving the 1860s, mind you, but adding to my time-travel adventures. There is plenty room for both.
The premise between the two pictures, however, is relatively the same: Historical Ken sitting in period clothing amidst a historic setting holding a writing utensil to paper, preparing to write the next posting for Passion for the Past.
But isn't it interesting to note the differences from the 1770s to the 1860s - a 90 year time span?
Writing my latest Passion for the Past blog post: 1776
And the previous mast head picture:
Writing my latest Passion for the Past blog post: 1863
Putting these two images together really does seem to give us a sense of history and time, doesn't it?
And that's what I'm all about - -

Again, until next time, see you in time.

I would like to thank the many photographers for taking so many wonderful pictures. Besides me and my stealth camera we had my wife Patty, Larissa Fleishman, the Sanilac County Historical Society, Mike Gillett, and Carrie Kushner taking some pretty nice shots as well.
Carrie, who rode to Port Sanilac with us, took this picture
of our one year old pup, Paul Anka, as we wound
northward on M-25.
AND....if you are interested reading about previous Port Sanilac time-travel excursions, please check out the following links:
Our own Gettysburg 150th
County Fair
Shotgun Wedding
1st Bull Run

~   ~   ~

Monday, August 13, 2018

18th Century America Comes Alive at Old Fort Wayne, Indiana

Before we get into the excitement of one of my more recent reenactments, you may have noticed a change in the mast head of this Passion for the Past blog. My previous photo has been there since early 2013, so I thought it time for a change.
It seems fitting, for I have been leaning heavily toward the colonial period in our history of late...I'm not leaving the 1860s, mind you, but adding to my time-travel adventures.
The premise between the two pictures, however, is relatively the same: Historical Ken sitting in period clothing amidst a historic setting holding a writing utensil to paper, preparing to write the next posting for Passion for the Past.
But isn't it interesting to note the differences from the 1770s to the 1860s - a 90 year time span?
Writing my latest Passion for the Past blog post: 1776
And the previous mast head picture:
Writing my latest Passion for the Past blog post: 1863

~   ~   ~

As reenactors, we do our best to represent the past as authentically and accurately as we can. At least that's what most of us strive for. And lucky for our modern visitors, the majority of folks I time-travel with usually give it their best shot...and do very well. And I believe you will agree after seeing the photos in this week's post that I do take my journey to the past with the best.
You see, when something looks and feels right in the reenacting world, there is little that can compare. For those of us who were at Old Fort Wayne in Indiana on this late July day, much of what occurred just seemed right, just like the stories we shared helped to make American History come to life for the many patrons.
A division of beliefs cannot split these friends, even though one is a Queen's Ranger, and the other is a Pennsylvania Regiment of Foote soldier as they walk to Old Fort Wayne.
The reconstruction of the long-gone original fort was begun in 1964 by using early 19th century sketchings.
Two guards posted out the front entrance.

However, the opening ceremony saw no colors or enemies - - - -
The 13th Pennsylvania Regiment of Foote marched into the Fort to take part in the opening ceremony.

My son, Rob, who you see in the middle here, is part of the 1st Pennsylvania, but seeing no other members of his unit in attendance, was welcomed warmly by the 13th Pennsylvania.

I included this shot because it shows the interesting architectural style of the buildings within the walls of Old Fort Wayne.

Raising the flag.

My son was asked to play a period piece on the fife during the flag-raising ceremony, so he played "Jefferson & Liberty," with the melody originally from an old English air known as "The Gobby O."
It is also known as "Paul Revere's Ride" in some circles.
The tune became popular in American fife and drum repertory.

A variety of British military representatives are in this photograph, including 49th Regiment of Foot, the Grenadier Company, and the Queen's Rangers.

Speaking of the Queen's Rangers, here are members of the Michigan reenacting unit that was founded in 2014.

Inside the fort we find the preacher (on the left) and Robert Rogers himself. Scott Mann could represent the "Turn: Washington Spies" version of Robert Rogers, eh?
Throughout the day I came and went as I pleased, for I was portraying an ordinary citizen, though they were suspicious of me.

Caleb is prepared for any "snakes in the garden..." 

In the kitchen we find Roger''s wife cooking a meal over the hearth. Hearth cooking is an art not many folks today can say they've experienced. But the food prepared in this manner is amazingly good - that I know from personal experience.

The kitchen has always been the one room in the home where almost all of the activity would take place; more than the parlor, the necessary (indoor bathrooms are a fairly recent commodity), or the bedchamber, life has always tended to center around the kitchen. 

There were plenty of Loyalists who were staying inside the fort, and I took it upon myself to visit a few of them and maybe even learn a thing or two...
I spotted ladies spinning on their wheels nearby.

My wife spins regularly as well, though she was not here on this day, and so I am always interested in the homespun crafts.

Bakery goods were kindly offered to me as I moved among those who were loyal to King George. I used to be, but as time continued on, I found myself becoming disenchanted with the ways of this tyrant and looking forward to a future of, dare I say it, independence.
I wonder if such a thing could ever occur, for I had heard talk of it...
Jan and Sheila offer period treats to folks passing by.
Jan also hosts the... 

...period fashion show, allowing the modern "apparitions" to witness and learn of the clothing people from the 1770s wore.

Outside of the old fort we find a different political belief system - one that wants to do away with the parliamentary monarchy of England and move toward one not seen before... 
The camp of the 13th Pennsylvania of Foote.

The 13th Pennsylvania were prepared to keep the King's army at bay.

All of the members the 13th were very friendly and welcoming, 
and I do appreciate that.
To me, when civilians take part, it adds that much more to the whole picture.

There were various outbuildings situated outside of the fort that included many of the necessities for folks living in the 18th century, including...
The Woodwright shop...

...where we find the man crafting his skills in making such necessary 18th century items as small writing desks, candle boxes, storage boxes, and other items found in homes in the 1700s. 

Next up we have...
...the blacksmith shop.
Knowing that my 3rd great grandfather was a blacksmith in Detroit during the 1880s has piqued my interest in this occupation. No, this is not my 3rd great grandfather - - 
And, I was able to watch a wheelwright work his craft, which was a first for me at an actual reenactment.
I've only seen this at Colonial Williamsburg, so naturally I went to their page to garner more information on this much needed occupation:
No, this is not Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, but Colonial Fort Wayne, Indiana.

"Made of wood and bound with iron, the wheels of the carriages, wagons, and riding chairs that navigated rugged colonial roads had to be strong and tight. But first and foremost, the wheels had to be round.
Producing wheels requires strength, ingenuity, and the talents of both a carpenter and a blacksmith. Precise measuring skills are mandatory.
Wheelwrights who practice the trade start with a hub fashioned on a lathe from properly aged wood such as elm. A tapered reamer opens the center to receive a metal bearing.

The wheelwright uses a chisel to create rectangular spoke holes around the circumference of the wheel (the wheelwright in this picture is using a saw to work on a different part of his wheel). Carved from woods like ash, the spokes radiate to meet a rim of mortised wooden arches, called "fellies," 
that join to form a perfect circle. 

The blacksmith supplies a big hoop of iron precisely matched to the distance around the fellies. The wheelwright heats the iron tire, which expands just enough to be coaxed on with a heavy hammer. He then douses the wheel with water, which causes the iron tire to shrink a bit, which in turn binds the assembly."
I was quite pleased to be able to speak with the wheelwright here, and he was a wealth of knowledge - very willing to speak about his occupation. I find the trades of long ago much more interesting than nearly anything modern-made today. There is such talent in the world of the past and from those who try to keep it alive...whether watching a wheelwright, blacksmith, gunsmith, spinner, or even a farmer plowing a field behind a team of horses, that's where my interests lie.

~   ~   ~

We did some living history at the fort (you know me well - - of course we did!), and gave a showing of what it may have been like to have seen the Declaration of Independence broadside for the first time.
Let's see how it went - - - 
It was not too far past noon when I stormed into the fort, holding a broadside and making myself known by loudly informing everyone inside: "Citizens of the American Colonies! (Nice plug, eh?) A courier just rode in with news from Philadelphia - - On July 4th in this year of 1776, Congress had declared independence from the tyrant King George! No longer are we his subjects but, instead, are independent people! We are now our own country: The United States of America!"
As I notified the public of this important document, I also prepared them to hear a reading of the words herein. It was unfortunate, yet expected, that the military men still under the ruling of the monarchy did their best to prevent me from delivering the words written. They abused much; but I was then told to not be afraid, no one should hurt me. I told him they would miss their aim. After searching me for arms, he said they should not. 
"Sir, may I crave your name?" an officer asked. 
Instead of giving my name, I told then that I was "a Son of Liberty."
Delighted to find he had bagged one from the infernal patriot mob, their commander "clapped a pistol to my head," and said, "he was a-going to ask me some questions, and if I did not tell the truth, he would blow my brains out."
However, before he could...
...I pulled myself free and, seeing the gates of the fort locked, I scurried into the kitchen and dashed up the stairs to the balcony, where I proceeded to lock the door behind me.
Another of my kind had followed me to help and protect me from the tyrannical army of England.

I then pressed on with the words written upon the document (much to the chagrin of the British officers below):
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That, to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government...
And that's just about the time that they broke through the locked doors and tried to snatch the broadside from my hands.

And they pulled me off of the balcony where they wanted to hold me for questioning...

They also roughed up the gentleman from the 13th Pennsylvania who planned to join me in the reading.
Fortunately for me, he got the brunt of their brutality.
Unfortunately for him, he got the brunt of their brutality.

As for me... promised, they held me for questioning, though I did not feel the brunt of their ruthlessness.
I was undaunted by their inquiries and told them of the thousands of militiamen then gathering in the area, warning them away from the fort, where trouble and colonial forces would be a-waiting for them. I assured my captors I was telling the truth, and they believed my warning, particularly when they heard gunfire from the same direction of my pointing. What my inquisitors did not know was the gunfire they heard was not the 13th Pennsylvania attacking as thought, but actually just the men emptying their loaded weapons before entering the local tavern - a time-honored American rule.
Rather than face the wrath of the 13th Pennsylvania, the men of the fort seized us in no easy manner and shoved me toward the fort gates.

A confrontation nearly ensued between the two military forces as my captors pushed me toward my freedom.
But, aside from a small shoving match, little else occurred.
And the 13th Pennsylvania marched on toward their camp, rescuing a 
proud Son of Liberty.
Little did I know then just what was about to happen due to my insolence toward the tyrant king and his forces
The pewterer got busy melting down unnecessary wares
into bullets, for, as we found, my arrogance on presenting our own
Declaration of Independence had unforeseen consequences.

Musket balls with the British army's name upon them.

Preparing for a skirmish...

Someone from the inside of the fort let the Continentals know that their was 'movement' among the men of the King's army, and they prepared themselves for any possible eventuality. 

The British occupied the fort and made the attempt to hold the surrounding grounds with about 100 regulars, and had plans to search the shops for supplies.
Some fun historical facts thrown in some of the captions:
This first establishment of the Continental Army, from 1775-1776, consisted of 10 companies of riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia who served a one-year enlistment.

The Continental Army was also supplemented by local militias and troops that remained under the control of individual states.

The Continental Army had a number of advantages over the British army. Their biggest advantage was that they were fighting for a grand cause, their independence and freedom, which was a very motivating factor.

Although the King's army had the British government and the Crown to fund them, the Americans had no such source of wealth to draw from in the early days of the war and were always short on money.

One of the major advantages of the British army was that it was one of the most powerful and experienced armies in the world. During the previous 100 years, the British army had defeated many powerful countries in war, such as France and Spain, and seemed almost unbeatable.

One major disadvantage or weakness of the British army was that it was fighting in a distant land. Great Britain had to ship soldiers and supplies across the Atlantic, which was very costly, in order to fight the Revolutionary War.

Accounts of the time usually refer to British soldiers as "Regulars" or "the King's men," however, there is evidence of the term "red coats" being used informally, as an everyday expression. During the Siege of Boston, in January of 1776, General George Washington uses the term "red coats" in a letter to Joseph Reed..

General John Stark of the Continental Army was purported to have said during the Battle of Bennington (16 August 1777), "There are your enemies, the Red Coats and the Tories. They are ours, or this night Molly Stark sleeps a widow!"

Members of the Queen's Rangers, a British provincial unit that fought on the Loyalist side during the American Revolutionary War. In 1778, the British introduced the red coat as a common color for all regiments, provincial and regular. Simcoe, however, appealed to the authorities for permission to retain the green uniform of the Rangers. He said ‘green is without comparison the best color for light troops; if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves preserving its characteristic of being scarcely discernible at a distance.” Simcoe’s request was granted and the Queen’s Rangers retained their green jackets.

Death on the battlefield~
This may seem odd, but there are two kinds of military reenactors:
those who die a "good death" and remain motionless on the field after they've 'taken a hit,' and those who 'get shot' and then lie on the ground, up on their elbows, watching the rest of the battle.
The deaths you see here are "good deaths." In fact, most reenactors die a "good death" on the battlefield.

By the way, we see a woman - perhaps the dead man's wife? - on the field after the battle had ended to be with the fallen man. Too often we do not see the grieving that goes with a soldier's death, so when it is portrayed, it hopefully will get those in the audience to think a little more about the humanistic aspect of the War, no matter what era is being portrayed. 

My cocked hat is off to the folks who showed these touching moments while bringing the past to life 
Like most Rev War reenactors, the 13th Pennsylvania Regiment of Foote is a living history group that recreates both military and civilian life in colonial America.  They include marching and military drills, as well as period cooking and sewing demonstrations. At this event at Old Fort Wayne, they welcomed my son, Rob, as one of their own. Rob is a member of Michigan's 1st Pennsylvania unit, so he fit in well with the Indiana representation of the 13th Penn.

The skirmish is over...the march back to camp...

Historical reenactments, whether large or small, are such a wonderful way to give an idea of what it was like to live in another era. It could be representing battle scenes or everyday-life scenes, as long as the researched knowledge is there.

And so it goes...'tis only another day on the 18th century frontier...

Me & my son.
Like me, Rob also does Civil War reenacting and will
find himself in the 1770s one week and the 1860s the next.

Grown men and women reenacting the past seems kind of silly to many on the outside. But it's actually no different than an avid car collector spending his life savings to purchase a perfectly restored 1964 Ford Mustang, or the music collector remortgaging his or her house to get The Beatles 'Yesterday...and Today' butcher cover LP.
It's in our blood.
While at the Old Fort Wayne in Indiana, I did come out a few times as Paul Revere and had numerous opportunities to chat with modern visitors, making my valiant attempt at busting some of the many myths about the man. At one point I drew a goodly crowd of interested listeners, one of which surprised me with a note in my Facebook messengers page a few days after:
Thank you so much for what you do. My kids enjoyed the enactment, and the special audience with 'Paul Revere'. This will forever be etched in our minds; the courage, the passion, the resistance and grit of our early Americans. I am proud to have known them through your reenactors. Thank you for preserving this piece of history, and personalizing the American heritage. On the field, more than reenactors, you all were true American heroes!
Enoch ----
A note not just to me, but to all of us who are preserving this piece of history.
What an honor!
This is why we do it.

Until next time, see you in time.

Some of the information captioned 'neath some of the battle pictures came from THIS site
Other information came from HERE

And here are a few other postings you might enjoy:
In the Good Old Colony Days
Paul Revere - Listen My Children...
Preventing Tyranny in Salem 1775
With Liberty & Justice For All
Declaring Independence
Printing the Declaration of Independence

~   ~   ~