Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

A call to arms!

This weekend was the annual Civil War reenactment at nearby Roaring Camp. It's a beautiful place and if you're ever in the area I highly recommend a visit.

But this weekend it was a battlefield. Literally! And what better way to invoke reflection on Memorial Day weekend than to be reminded of the war that, in many ways, defined us as a people. Americans vs. Americans. Rivers running red. Families sundered. Grudges that are still held between North and South. It was a rift in our history that is still healing and prompts us all to pause and consider our roots -- blood, rotting flesh, tears and dreams. Of course, that's being a bit grim but it's hard not to be when dealing with the war in which more of our countrymen and women were slaughtered than any other.

A woman portraying Mary Edwards Walker gives a talk about female surgeons during the war. The beebees in the metal bowl to the left represented how many soldiers were treated in a half hour, if I heard her correctly.

Bloodied water. Shame they didn't know about germs and sanitized nothing!

Severed limbs

Surgical instruments

The North and the South both had encampments set up but I only got the chance to photograph the Northern encampment before the battle began and the camps were sectioned off.

A soldier finds a moment of peace. He has a nice rocking chair.

Someone's lunch!

Beautiful dresses but... can you imagine being trapped in that hoop skirt and sinister corset?!!!! I don't know what would've become of me had I lived back then. I couldn't even survive the clothing!

These soldiers saw me with a camera and instinctively posed.

Three gentlemen and a lady

We just don't have signs like this anymore. It's a bit of a shame.

He looks pretty good!

I'm glad I don't have to spin my own yarn!

Here are the few shots I managed to get of the Confederate Camp:

Soon the battle began. The cannons are so loud that you literally feel your chest quake from the boom. All were advised to protect their ears.

The Union Army advances

Union soldiers ending their break before the battle

The Union Army forms ranks:

The Confederates prepare to fire

The smoke from the cannon creates a ghost-like atmosphere

The Union retaliates

As do the Confederates

Union soldiers are already dying

Some British officer looks on... maybe he's hoping the Yanks will all kill themselves and England can colonize America once more.

Got his hat blown off!

A soldier helps a wounded comrade

Confederate causalities

A confederate fights back

Perhaps her husband is out there

Both sides exchange fire.

Then all at once, the Confederates charge! Watch the little kid in the Union army -- he kicks butt!

A Confederate casualty screams fro help

The Confederates have won! The raise their hats in triumph as belles watch in the distance. The sickos.

The victorious men of Robert E. Lee's army

The Confederates have won the battle... but not the war.

Reenactments are wonderfully entertaining, educational experiences that bring history to life. I adore them and attend this one every year. Though I must admit, the sounds of the cannons carried rather far, and as I listened to them from my lawn, I got a cold shiver. It reminded me of that spooky scene in The Patriot when the family hears booms and steps outside to see the Revolution literally being fought outside their front porch. Here's to hoping we never again have war on American soil, feeble as that hope may be.

To all our fallen soldiers -- thank you for your sacrifice and may you be at peace.

Happy Memorial Day!
(white doesn't work on a white background)

melissa - I can't believe you also know about Herbie Barnes! That is so cool! :oD And best of luck finishing up all your work! Hope you get some sun soon. :o)

1 comment:

Mo said...

I'm Canadain, of course I know :D

We finally got sun, and I got burnt....I was floresent red for 3 days straight, until I soaked in Tea and it went slightly away. Its been like 2 weeks and I'm dark red still!

I'm still working on my paper-well, by working, I mean pretending that I am; I am always the good student :D