Monday, September 22, 2008

The War Between the States

This past weekend in Fortuna, just 20 miles south of Eureka, a battle between the Union Forces and the Army of the Confederate States of America was fought, and re-fought and fought again. The outcome was always the same...this particular battle was won by the Confederates. Mr. Scottie Dog and I went down after Church on Sunday and caught most of the final battle. Most of the time the armies looked to be evenly matched, cannons blasting, horses running here and there behind the lines. A "reluctant" soldier wearing gray turned and ran at one point and was "fatally injured by his own men." This was a "slow" battle compared to what we think of as war. A line of men slowly marched into position, waited for an order and then fired. Then the other line took aim and they fired. Then everyone loaded their rifles as quickly as they could....this could take two to five minutes. The Union looked to have the battle pretty much won as they overtook much territory, but one cannon blast and a well-placed band of Rebs took care and most of the Union Army lay on the ground, dead or severely wounded.
Afterwards the soldier who announced the battle introduced the "players." The Union Army, "Hip, hip, huzzah!" when they were introduced. The Confederates were more colorful in their garb. Each soldier represents one particular soldier from the war. So much to learn.....and they were eager to share with us.
We spent much of our time with a "farm lady," Mary Chapman, a recent immigrant, lived in Virginia and farmed with her three daughters and a son-in-law after her man to the war. The Sutler's store was interesting with everything from plug tobacco to knives to buttons to hand made (and I mean HAND made) shirts. There were small mason jars filled with clear liquid.....white lightening I surmised. No, lamp oil.
I let them know that we had a very large selection of the "latest dry goods" (new shipments of Civil War Reproduction fabrics) at Scottie Dog Quilts. "Mary" said she'd be in next time they hitched up the wagon.

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