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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Civil War

This is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  Well, not today, or specifically even this year...the war did take place over a few years after all.  But it has been 150 years-ish since the battles took place.  Being a huge history buff, 2 years ago we visited Gettysburg on our way up to New York.  It's such a powerful place to just drive around that terrain and realize what the battles there actually involved.  I'm not sure if that's what ignited my daughter Mimi's love of Civil War Reenactment or if it was the fact that one of her closest friends is into it as well, but she loves it.

In January, she attended a reenactment about an hour and a half away, and in February, we all went to the education day for one that is much more local.  I LOVE how the reenactors are so passionate about sharing the history with children.  Each one took lots of time to explain and answer questions.  I really, truly believe children learn best by experiencing things firsthand, and attending education days like these affords that opportunity.  They learned about the tents the soldiers stayed in, what they ate, what they did for "fun", what women's roles were, what types of weapons they used, how they cooked their food, and even the coinage used during the war.

The best part of being a reenactor, especially a teenaged reenactor, is the ball.  On Saturday night, I chaperoned my daughter and her friend at the ball.  It was outdoors, and was quite cold-in the low 40s, but they had a blast, and I have to say, I really enjoyed watching, even if I couldn't feel my toes when we got home.

They danced the Virginia Reel

And a few dances in the round

One of the great things about these balls...

Is that ALL the men are expected to dance...

with ALL the girls, no matter what age...

ensuring everyone gets danced with...

It's actually the men's duty to make sure...

EVERY girl has a good time.

But Mimi and this young man did dance more than a few dances together.

This kind gentleman even asked ME to dance, though I was in  "normal" clothes.  I politely (although it was actually considered rude in the Civil War time to turn down a request) turned him down as my own husband wasn't there and I felt weird about it, no matter how customary it is.  I'm thinking we should make this a family affair though.

Love this picture with a little vignette and tinting!
I had relatives who fought in the Civil War, and as a mother, I can only imagine how horrible it was to have your child go off to fight.  But I love seeing today's youth involved in actively keeping this history alive.

To see what other people blogged about for the letter C, visit Ben and Me.
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