Sunday, February 14, 2010


I can't believe it's been so long since I posted here. Well, with the break down of my car in November, I went to no events until the January 31st meeting of the Third Maine. I continue to do their newsletter and I maintain the Maine Rebels page, too.
This year's calendar is set for both units and my Civil War life planned out for the next 6 months!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Save the Date!!

Second Annual Rally for Norlands Civil War Reenactment Weekend
Scheduled for June 12 and 13, 2010

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cedar Creek

145th Anniversary of Cedar Creek
Oct 17-19

My sister lent me her VW bug. I love driving this car! It has automatic headlights and gets great milage. I arrived around 4pm and was happy to find that Dick and Marcia had already arrived and had kindly set up a tent for me to dump my things in. They also carted my clothing to the event since I flew down a few days before. It was cold and drizzling off and on but as usually, Chef Bray had dinner on the fire and plenty of wood.
2nd Vermont Leader & Captain Lawson

Marcia and I were sleeping at a hotel...yes I am a “Ramada Ranger”. On the way back to the hotel I got stopped by law enforcement. I knew I wasn’t speeding! Well, the automatic headlights on turn on the headlights, not the rest of the running lights. He very kindly (as if talking to a child) explained to me that I needed to turn on all the lights. (Ouch?). Marcia and I couldn’t stop laughing on the drive to the hotel.

Day 1 Battle
Ok, I am all for realism, but does it have to be cold and rainy? The ladies were busy writing fun letters to the soldiers. We fell in with the 2nd Vermont And these guys are great! I can see us working together again. During lunch I got a real surprise (of the best kind!). My sister and brother-in-law surprised me by showing up. We had lunch together then headed to the Suttlers (also known as the canvas mall). The prices were scary at times but I did manage to by...*insert drum roll here* black under-sleeves and pocket watch holder.
Day 1 Lining up for Battle

Soon after it was time for the battle. I took lots of pictures and as always, was itching to get onto the field. An entertainingly cold evening. I did not attend the dance but chose a warm bed and hot shower instead.
The rain finally stopped by 8 am but was replaced by a strong cold wind. I attended an 1860's Catholic field mass. It was awesome! The priest did a great job and the Latin was explained to us during mass. Even the singing was in Latin.

The battle in the afternoon was great to watch. I watched from the Artillery vantage point and spoke at length with a member of the Rhode Island Battery B.
Lining up for day 2 battle

Too fast the event was over and we were having to pack up. But as always, we spent the weekend connecting with old friends and making new ones.

General and Mrs Grant

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Adventures in the South

Adventures in the South
October 2009

I was lucky enough to head south in Mid -October and during that time I visited many Civil War Sites.

Chatham House
I stopped here first, not because I had planned to but because there Fredericksburg Website sent me to Chatham Road and this mansion. I would love to visit this place in nice weather. The gardens must be beautiful. The staff here were excellent. Although the focus of this house is not the CW, Lincoln and Washington both are said to have slept here.
Chatham garden

The staff were awesome and the film about the battle was well done. Because of rain, I didn’t venture too far from the Visitor Center. I did drive along the car tour and was amazed how many trenches were still visible for miles. I think there was more digging then fighting in these parts! Kind of odd, but there is a pyramid in the park!
vistor's center


Spotsylvania Courthouse
No Visitor center here. Again lots of trenches. At least the rain had stopped long enough for me to get out a walk some here. Though the wind made it mighty cold. Record breaking cold in the area that day.
Bloody Angle


No Visitor center here. There is no doubt in my mind about how hard it was to travel in the woods here. The underbrush is dense. I read that it was worse 150 years ago. Lots of trenches. I wanted to go here before Walmart built a new store outside the gates. I gotta tell you, there is enough stores at that intersection where Walmart won’t make it that much worse. Still, would rather Not have more buildings there.

Wilderness VT Monument


Again, great staff. I really liked the museum, though the film was a little dated. I visited the house that the area is named after.

Cedar Creek
Although I was on the battlefield for the 145th Anniversary Event, I never got to the plantation or the visitor center. I had planned to after the event on Monday. Although both places had posted they were open Mondays, neither were that day! Bummer.
On the Battlefield

Arlington Hou
OMG! I got a personalize tour of the building, despite it being under renovation. There was CW graffiti and ghost stories.

Arlington National Cemetery
I went to section 1 and the Confederate cemetery. Also saw the changing of the guard and a wreath laying cemetery. I didn’t realize the shear size of the place. There are 25 burials each day.

I was honored with a tour of the Battlefield by the former Superintendent of the park. Bob is now the Chief Historian of the National Park Service. This man has an amazing knowledge of Manassas. We were privileged enough to visit areas of the park not open to the public, including visits to closed buildings. Bob also explained how and why the park is set up the way it is. We even drove to secluded areas of the park. The Visitor center has a great battle map and I recommend seeing the movie offered there (at an additional cost). I even got to see graffiti carved into the wood floor of Stone House by wounded men from the second battle.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Train Robbery, Again!!

October 1oth
Yet another train robbery. Look at the soldier nearest to us. He was impaled by a sword!
Once again Mosby's raiders and the Federal army met. I "turned on the blond switch" for this event, trying to confuse the Rebels. Thank goodness the surgeon had something to help my nerves!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Catching Up!

September 5th
Once again, the 15th Alabama and the Third Maine clashed at the Portland Narrow Gauge Museum. As always The Federals made every attempt to keep the payroll and dispatches from Mosby's men. This included having patrons sit on the dispatch case. One of the runs, we hid ladies under garments in the payroll box while the money stayed in my basket. Imagine the Captain Pratt's face when he opened the box! I did manage to convince him that the paper money in my basket was from the sale of my farm.

September 19th
The Third Maine spent the day at the Willowbrook Museum. It was a beautiful day and there were many visitors. The highlight was when I was accused of following a man. It's my fault of course for going unescorted to the necessary. Thankfully "Uncle Dick and 2 other privates, spoke to the man and he did indeed apologize for the insult.

Happily I have discovered that Nonpareils are period correct chocolate!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dogs of War

Ok, I had to somehow get a picture of my Black Lab "Shiloh" into the blog.
Yes his name is a tribute to the Civil War. It started as a joke. We wanted to find names and I said to my son...Let's call her Getty, for Gettysburg or something. Truly it was a joke. Quick as a rabbit he said "How about Shiloh?" The entire family loved it. Shiloh was suppose to be a yellow female lab but as it turns out is a black male. That is another story....

Shiloh age 14 weeks

I digress though. There really is a link to the Civil War.

Some of the most loyal soldiers didn’t wear uniforms!

LT George Custer, Brig Gen William Gamble, General Rufus Ingalls and Brig Gen George Stoneman Jr were just some of the Civil War soldiers who had a dog with them during the war. Sadly many regimental pets did die in war but some survived and given honorable burials. Cats, too were taken with regiments. There is a CW period song called “Kitty Popcorn” about a cat. The May 2009 issue of America’s Civil War magazine has an article with several pictures of canines. A new book is out called “Loyal Hearts: Histories of Civil War Canines by Michael Zucchero.

Custer and Friend

Unknown Group with their canine

Chief Quartermaster General Rufas Ingalls and his dog. There is a similar picture with the dog sleeping in it.