Let the Games Begin! Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War

My dear husband and me at the 135th anniversary Battle of Antietam Reenactment, September 1997. Can you spot the one anachronism in the photo? We joined about 35,000 fellow reenactors in the largest ever American Civil War reenactment to date.

On April 12, 1861, 150 years ago this week, the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, as the state militia attempted to take the fort from Federal troops. While this “battle” itself didn’t result in any casualties — only two accidental deaths due to a Confederate cannon misfire and Union a 100-gun salute, the 2-day incident was the green flag for 4 years of intense fighting and strife that reshaped our nation.

My husband and I are Civil War reenactors. Perhaps I’m more accurate if I said “My husband and I WERE Civil War reenactors,” but I’m not ready to give it all up yet. Let’s just say we’ve taken an 8 1/2 year hiatus since we’ve had our two sons. I enjoy sewing the costumes, and we both really enjoyed a unique way to enjoy a weekend of camping and camaraderie with fellow American history fans. I don’t know how many times the guys would be sitting around the campfire after a day of “battle”, passing around a flask of moonshine, discussing not sport scores or the federal budget, but rather whose historians’ interpretations of the battle diagrams of the skirmishes between Atlanta and Savannah are most accurate.

[To read the rest of Patricia Vollmer’s experiences, head over to GeekMom!]