Monday, July 21, 2014

An Afternoon In History

Civil War history has interested me, but especially after my brother and I started researching our ancestors. It turns out that we have ancestors on both sides!

I live in a region of the country (the mountains of east Tennessee) that is rich in both Revolutionary and Civil War History. On July 20, 2014 I went to a Civil War living history event at the Wheatlands Plantation in Sevierville, TN with some friends. We had a great time! The plantation was established in 1791 by the Chandler family who lived on the land until the 1970s. The house currently on the site was built in 1825. The present owners are restoring the house and grounds while giving tours and hosting events such as the one we attended.

The group of re-enactors was small so they didn't stage a battle. They instead showed a skirmish between Confederate soldiers trying to steal chickens, the women left at home when their men went to war, and a Union detachment pledging to protect and get the chickens back. It may sound comical but that happened often, I'm sure, with either side perpetrating the thievery.

A very interesting part was the presentation given by the "Doctor" in his medical tent. Some of the instruments don't differ a lot from those used today - thankfully medical practices have improved.

At the end of the skirmish the two leaders each gave talks about the units that they were portraying, explaining about the gear the soldiers carried, the hardships faced, and what a re-enactor needs to take part in a living history event.

President and Mrs. Lincoln were on hand as was General Lee (who was very happy to pose for pictures with the audience).
That will teach me to go dressed for comfort and not publicity!

It was a very enjoyable day. I congratulate the owners of Wheatlands Plantation and all of the Civil War re-enactors for a job well done!

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