Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Civil War in Port Sanilac

Okay, so my title is a bit misleading.
No battle during the American Civil War was fought in Port Sanilac (which is in Michigan, located in the thumb portion of our state - hold your right hand out, palm facing toward you. Do you see where the crease of your thumb knuckle is? Yeah, the right side of the crease...that's roughly where Port Sanilac is located - right along Lake Huron. It's wonderful to live in a state where we can just whip out our hand for a state map!).
But we did our best to bring the past to life here in this tiny rural village.
It's unfortunate, however, that, though we almost always get a large contingency of civilians that will attend these smaller events, the military tends to stay away in droves. As you can tell by the photos posted here, there were hardly any soldiers - not nearly enough to make any sort of an extended battle.
My hat is off, however, to the Union and Confederate soldiers that did show up, for they made it worthwhile for the visitors who came to see some guns.
And there was shooting, with musket fire and cannonading - enough to give those watching a hint of what it might have been like 150 years ago.
What is really nice about the Port Sanilac event is that we can do what we want - whatever battle or scenario we decide to do. If we want to include civilians, the historical open-air museum village, or just the battlefield, the choice is up to the participants and not some board.
Except for next year: I have something very special in mind for next year...
Anyhow, I'm going to post a few photos here from the Port Sanilac event and let them do most of the talking. After all, it's said that pictures are worth a thousand words:

 We held a period fashion show. Here are just a few of the "latest" fashions for 1862 - - - -
Miss Konrad and Miss Lamkin speak of their clothing
Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Edison spoke of their clothing as well as their young son Thomas.
Rebecca shows her morning wrapper to the audience during the fashion show
Our models spoke of everyday life of the 1860's as well as their clothing.

Stemming from its popularity at last year's Port Sanilac event, we had another shotgun wedding again this year:
This young miss looks on as her "father" found the man who put her in a family way
They will not get away with these handcuffs on!
The preacher is also a surgeon. It was quite the wedding!
The young miss felt only shame in what she did
And soon, to her disbelief, she was a married woman

President Lincoln and Michigan Governor Blair inspects the troops

We also had a battle...
With so few military showing up, it was more of a small skirmish...

No matter the size of the military, the men still put their all into it

...and had a great time.

The public enjoyed it, and that's what counts!
So many fighting men did not make it home...
...except in a pine box.
The new young bride was ever-so-happy that her husband survived the skirmish and ran to him.
Papa looks on and she hugs her man.
The men of the 21st Michigan stand behind the grave markers of Sanilac County men who fought in the Civil War. The grave markers here are representations.
A snake oil salesman made his way through the village selling his cures to ailing people. It worked, as you can see the man "resting" after trying some of Dr. Gagalot's medicine.
Letter writing in camp
Yours truly (with the carpet bag) and a friend

The period church service was wonderful for all attendees
We took some time to visit the 19th century Port Sanilac light house

Here are some of the 21st Michigan members that participated in the Port Sanilac event
And we mustn't forget about our local ghost!

By the way, maybe no actual Civil War battles were fought here in Port Sanilac, but this tiny village does have some interesting stories of its own:
The great storm

See you next time!



Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Well, it seems a great time was had by all, and I really love the snake oil salesman and the shotgun weddings!

Gina @ VictorianWannaBe said...

Hi Ken! Another great post from you! I always enjoy reading them and seeing the period fashions. Love the ghost photo, how did you do that?!