Monday, August 29, 2016

Jackson 2016: And the Rains Came...But So Did the Sun!

This was just one of those scenes
 that just begged to be captured, 
and I am certainly glad I did!
As the saying goes, "It wouldn't be Jackson if it didn't rain!"
And that is, for the most part, a true statement. There have been a few dry years for this Civil War event, but, for the most part, it seems that the rain does fall and it falls on Jackson.
So as we sat there underneath the fly of a good friend and 21st Michigan member, Jackie, the sky seemed to open up on us and buckets-full of water drenched the entire area, the wind kicked up pretty wildly, and we all attempted (successfully) to secure the tent and the items inside. Then the rain would slow down and eventually stop...then a few minutes later it would begin again. And that's how it went for two to three hours on the Saturday afternoon of the Jackson Civil War Muster event.
But guess what?
There was no other place I would rather have been!
Seriously - - I was in period clothing at an awesome reenactment with some of my very best friends. Who could ask for anything more?
P-shaw! Away with you! It rained in the 1860s, too - you're not going to ruin our good time! I'm with friends...and that's much better than being at home in front of the computer or TV set, right?
Even though the downpour did prevent me from doing much of what I wanted to do, including visiting the many other friends I have that were camped up on "the hill" - and taking a lot more variety of photographs - I still was able to watch and take part in a few presentations.
And for those who there on Sunday - - clear skies!

So let's begin with Jackie, who put together a wonderfully informative presentation on female spies of the Civil War. It's unfortunate that women who participated as spies during this time did not, until recently, get the attention they deserve. But that's beginning to change, and some of the stories coming out now are showing that these ladies have done some very heroic deeds.
Although the exact number isn’t known, it is believed that hundreds of women served as spies during this time.
According to the book "Women During the Civil War," female spies on both sides of the conflict often gathered information about the enemy’s plans, troop size, fortifications and supplies on scraps of paper or fabric and sewed them into their blouses and petticoats or rolled them into their hair.
To smuggle goods such as morphine, ammunition or weapons, they often attached them to the frame of their hoop skirts or hid them in baskets, packages and even inside dolls.
Jackie put together this presentation for the visitors to learn of the heroic deeds of these unsung heroes.
Of course, I was there with camera in hand, documenting it all for posterity (to learn more about the spy, please click the name under the picture):
Bonnie (left) was Emma Edmonds, and Jackie (on the right) played Sarah Slater.

Larissa was Olivia Floyd

Beckie was Kate Thompson
And then Jackie had the audience play a game based on the old television game show "To Tell the Truth."
Who was the real Pauline Cushman - - -
"My name is Pauline Cushman."
"My name is Pauline Cushman."

"No, my name is Pauline Cushman!"
Will the real Pauline Cushman please step forward - - - 
Why...the real Pauline is portrayed by Patty!
So...who are the other two ladies then?
Violet was Sarah Thompson,
and Rosalia was Hattie Lawton

Next up:
since I was at Jackson for only one day, I did miss quite a few picture-taking opportunities. But fear not! There is a gentleman named Kerry Dennis who recently came upon the scene and has been venturing out to most of the reenactments in our general area and snapping some amazing images. Mr. Dennis has kindly allowed me to post a few here.
Since most of my pictures are of civilians, I was glad to see Mr. Dennis snapped a few of the military:
Members of the 102nd US Colored Troops.
Photo by Kerry Dennis

Morning marching and drilling...
Photo by Kerry Dennis

The miltary at Jackson always do a fine job setting up authentic-looking camps.
Photo by Kerry Dennis

The Cavalry
Photo by Kerry Dennis
Involving the cavalry really does add the touch of realism not seen at many other reenactments.
Photo by Kerry Dennis

Hey! It's "Cousin" Charlie - - and he's on a horse!
Photo by my son Robbie

The Union and Confederate men always do a fine job in their battle reenactments. Add to that the... 
Photo by Kerry Dennis

...cannons - I count eleven of them - and you have quite a battle scenario. By the way, they sounded awesome!

The Confederates
Photo by Kerry Dennis
Let's take a few moments to look at these excellent photos taken by Mr. Dennis:
Photo courtesy of Kerry Dennis
Photo courtesy of Kerry Dennis
Photo courtesy of Kerry Dennis

And now, let's head to the citizens of Jacksonburg, Gettysburg, and the White House:
The Lincoln's at church service
Photo by Kerry Dennis

The Citizens of Gettysburg Fashion Show is a presentation I came up with a few years ago at our Port Sanilac event and it's something that I am very proud of, for the participants really studied their characters and presented themselves in a 1st person manner as they spoke to the audience, giving true stories of actual people that lived in Gettysburg during the battle back in July of 1863.
And I was honored to be asked to reprise this presentation here at Jackson.
Now, you will see some of the same people who were just on this same stage as spies - - pay no attention to that.
They're now different people.
For more information on the actual Gettysburg citizen, please click the name to link you to an on-line source:
We began the presentation by having Mrs. Giffin, here, tell and show the audience about her 1860s women's clothing...from the inside out, and me telling the audience of my 1860s menswear.
It helps to set the stage for the rest of the program.

Jackie as Mrs. Hettie Shriver

Samantha as Tillie Pierce

Rory as Nellie Auginbaugh and Vicki as Mrs. Martin the milliner. Young Rory, by the way, did a stupendous job considering she was asked to play her role only an hour before.

Larissa as Evergreen Cemetery caretaker Elizabeth Thorn, and her mother, Violet, as...well, Elizabeth's mother Mrs. Masser (her story is in the same link as Elizabeth's).

The Wade Family: Georgie, on the left (sister of Ginnie)...

...mother MaryAnn Wade on the right...

...and that's Ginnie Wade in the center. Yes, it's Ginnie (or "Gin" as her friends called her) - not Jennie, as the papers had misprinted.
(For the story of the Wade family, please click HERE)

And here is the "cast" that put on the Citizens of Gettysburg Fashion presentation. Thanks so much to each person here! I so appreciate their hard work.
(For an excellent book giving thorough accounts of the lives of the Citizens of Gettysburg during that summer of 1863, please click HERE)

Here we see the ladies of town fawning over Elizabeth Thorn, who is with child.

But this is the History Channel! Aliens!!!

The boys and girls - typical boys and girls - played in the stream. Since it was a pretty hot and humid day, the adults were a bit envious.

My daughter, on the right, and one of her "besties."

The Assenmacher home: I do believe they could survive a winter in this tent!

Carrie (aka Agnes) relaxes with Bernadette the Dog.

"This is what happens when a Reb enters our camp!"

Notice that the Rebel soldier is no longer "in the picture."

"I'd walk a mile for a camel."
"I'd rather fight than switch."
"Is that what we're fighting the Rebs about?"
"I don't know, but I think we'll soon find out!"
Yes, bad jokes, I know.
That's why I write 'em.

Mr. Nemeckay Sr.

Mrs. Hoover settles in for the evening.

Evening has come to pass...the time of day doesn't last

"Jacksonburg" at night. It's a beautiful sight seeing the tents with the candles and oil lamps lit from across the pond, isn't it?
Photo by Robert Beech

It was unfortunate that I was only at the Jackson event for the day and didn't have the luxury of more time to enjoy. But, still, we made the best of what we could. Even with the rain.
Maybe - just maybe - we'll spend the entire weekend there next year...

Until next time, see you in time...


1 comment:

Cincinnatus said...

Looks like another great event. The site is beautiful.