Admittedly, even though I have lived in Virginia for the past 20 years, this weekend was the first time that I ever attended a Civil War reenactment. It was sponsored by Spotsylvania County and the Mason-Dixon Alliance (MDA), in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Battles of Spotsylvania Courthouse and the Wilderness.
The original battles were actually held in these fields 150 years ago, during the month of May—so this reenactment was hauntingly real. I felt as if I had suddenly walked into the past and become a living part of American history.
The ground was muddy and soaking wet, the grass was high, and the cannon fire was so loud (completely authentic) that the horses on the field jumped a little each time the cannons were fired.
The time and effort that all of these soldiers (reenactors) put into this event was impressive. From the oldest to the youngest, their dedication and commitment was a great honor to the soldiers of the past.
Most of my photos are of the Confederate soldiers, because I could not get around to the other side of the field where the Union soldiers were positioned. The area was already taped off by the time I arrived, and I didn’t have a “Press Pass.” As a result, I only have a few photos of the Union soldiers gathered together in the distance.
After the battle ended and the smoke cleared, both sides returned to their separate camps.
As soon as they settled in, I noticed that several of the soldiers began making coffee over open fires—no Starbucks here!
The weather is supposed to be clear and cool, so I am sure that they will all get a good night’s sleep—before they have to get up tomorrow and face one more battle.
I returned to the present day with a better appreciation and understanding of what the soldiers endured during the American Civil War, so many years ago.
The cost of freedom is often life itself.
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