Monday, September 28, 2009

Vermillion County Civil War Days, 2009

Arrived back home at last, we weathered the rain, damp and chill and enjoyed the few sunny respites the weekend offered. And despite my having low expectations and a bad attitude these past few weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am so glad that I went!

Vermillion County Civil War Days is held at Kennekuk park - a county park, beautiful and wild and rather out in the "middle of nowhere". There are the necessary modern things, of course, such as the ubiquitous blue porta-johns and the parking lights but really, all things considered, it is an ideal spot for an Event.

It was not a Progressive Event but not really a Farb Fest either. It fell somewhere in the middle. And despite the presence of rayon snoods and the absence of corsetry and petticoats I enjoyed the friendliness of so many of the people. Renewing old acquaintences, making new, and deepening friendships begun in times already past. The event was fabulously hosted and we all were treated so well! The plans for next year are really impressive. This event keeps getting better. If any of you all are in the central IL/IN area next year at this time, 4th weekend of September, please join us!
This year the medical encampment was positioned quite close to the battlefield. The only bad thing about the spot is the fact there are no trees nearby for shade and the two food vendors the event had were located right behind our tent. Next year the federals will be camped on the other side of the park so thankfully this is not a permanent spot for our group.

The boys quite enjoyed themselves and for the most part behaved remarkably well. They walked with David and I very nicely and did not run off and needed only an occasional reprimand when they were plotting mischief or getting into things they are not supposed to get into - including the medical tools and medicines! Malachi was getting a tooth, running a low fever and due to the damp and chill had a runny nose but otherwise he was wonderful.

On a totally material note, I am so glad I was able to get my mantle and hood finished before this event! I wore them most of the time since it was cool and breezy and they are now forever on my lists of must-haves. How have I existed without one for so long?
I took too many awful pictures, but here are a few of the better ones. The conditions were not favorable for pictures most of the time but we got a few decent ones anyhow!

Here is wee Malachi on the first morning. The grass was almost always damp so he contented himself with pulling up on things rather than crawling about and getting soaked.
Our surgeon recently got this small scale "pup tent" for his dog and our unit mascot. Little David was very interested in it since it was also the perfect size for him!
Judah distastefully surveys a Plastic Rat that inhabited the pile of amputated arms and legs. Here am I and this is how I appeared most of the weekend. I started fringing this morning but unfortunately the fringe is coming out black. It appears the lengthwise threads are black and the crosswise threads are red so my fringe will not match the trim already on the mantle. I don't know if I should go with this for fringe or look for a ready made fringe that is a similar color? I really do not want black fringe! What about a pleated ruching that is attached to the inside hem, peeking out at the bottom? Hmm. . .After lunch on Saturday it grew quite warm, almost hot. I took Malachi's outer clothes off so here he is, happy to be free and cool, in his undies! Judah, Malachi and I were in the fashion show Saturday afternoon and this is what Malachi wore for it!
Trying out tooth #2 while eating a pear.
Judah had an apple.
Muching down! Another bad thing about the weekend was the presence of many bees. They kept buzzing around, trying to get in for a portion of that pear.
Here is David on Saturday evening with Malachi. As you can see it got quite cold again so Malachi is wearing a heavy coat.
This one is a little blurry but I love the background. A lovely little pond and fountain is behind this tall grass. . . such a beautiful spot!My handsome husband. I was immensely proud of him. He does this impression so well!
Lavender in the farmhouse flower bed. David, Malachi and I. Malachi and I. I have no idea what is going on with that look on Malachi's face. . .he was tired!The herb garden where we camped last year. David and the boys on the way to church service on Sunday morning.
Judah, Malachi and I.
David and Judah sitting in a pew, carefully contemplating the easiest and stealthiest way to slither beneath the pew in front of them to escape.
Caught!Poor Malachi. He fell asleep during the service and napped for quite a while afterwards.
The Works. The trenches that were dug on the battlefield were incredible! On Sunday the Confederates had posession of them. We heard that on Saturday night some Confederate soldiers camped out in the trenches and I thought that was wonderful! It was freezing cold that night but oh, what a way to experience a bit of history!On Sunday David set up an aid station close to the spectator line for the battle. It was so amazing to see what he actually does on the battlefield. Injured soldiers made their way to him and the yellow hospital flag and Major Conover, the surgeon, and David treated what they could. One gentleman with a head injury stumbled in and after checking him over David sent him back out on the field again. It was nice to see this up close and hear their dialouge instead of looking on from a-far. It made it so much more real.

And so, that is all! Now to get some heavy coats and things made for the boys before our next and final event of the season. Late October can get VERY cold! And David is requesting a civilian frock coat as well, and I need to remake the bodice on my black wool dress. . . When is a sewing list ever done? New projects get added to mine faster than I can sew up the old ones!




  1. You look beautiful! I am always inspired by your clothes. :)

    ~gentle_annie on the S&S forums. ;)

  2. Ooh! I love the mantle and hood! Such fantastic and toasty additions to your Civil War wardrobe. I know what you mean about projects. I'm sure I just added at least 10 to my list!

  3. As always, a beautiful, authentic impression you make! And I can only aspire to have my family look as authentic as yours. You take my breath away, girl! I need a hood and mantle like that, because you just look a picture -- all warm and cozy among the elements.

    (makes a mental note to put it next on the list...along with a mantle...and shoes for Victoria...and winter shirts for Keith...and...)

    By the way...I don't think sewing lists ever get done. Well, maybe temporarily. ;) But when you turn out such lovely clothes, who wouldn't want more? ::grin::

    Talk to you tomorrow.

  4. Dear Sarah Jane,
    Absolutely wonderful post with the nice pics!
    Perhaps you will be able to take a deep breath and relax some before you begin to construct new projects.
    You deserve a refreshing break.
    Autumn blessings,

  5. You look gorgeous, just like you step out of an old tin type. The boys look adorable too. I'm glad you finished your mantle and hood in time. God Bless!

  6. I so enjoyed reading your post, Sarah. Makes me wish I had some reenacting of some kind to be apart of. =)

    The pictures were really fun to see as well. Malachi's white outfit (his undies??) with what would look like to be pintucks in the front, is beautiful!

  7. You all look so fabulous, it's always such a treat to see your photos, history in living color! Keep up the good work, even though there will always be the dreadful, farby snoods of reenacting, nobody would come to see these events if it weren't for dedicated people like you. You are teaching the public, whether anyone realizes it or not. And when the guests go home, they will talk amongst themselves and believe me, they will remember the people like you.

    Educated or not, I believe that people can always tell the difference between the farbs and the dedicated.

  8. Your photos are wonderful. It looks like a lovely event!

  9. The pictures are all lovely. You all look wonderful! Malachi is so cute with his pear. Does he manage that okay? I am afraid to give one to Maria that she might choke on a piece. I'm glad that it turned out you had fun after all.

  10. This sounds like a nice evnet. The pictures are lovely.

  11. The photos are just lovely and I am so glad you posted them for us to see! Everything looks wonderful! Your boys are so handsome!! I wish I had something like that here to participate in - I think it would be really neat to reenact the past. It looks like it was a wonderful time!!!

  12. Thank you all so much for your sweet comments!

    Cheri, I like Malach's undies too! :) The front of his stays are lightly corded. Right now they are currently soaking because they are horrendously stained with pear juice. . .anyone know of ways to get that out?!

    Robin, you totally made my day! :) I get discouraged sometimes because I was sitting while waiting for the fashion show to start and many ladies were flocked about one particular woman who was rather. . .well. . .definitely NOT reenacting for the purpose of recreating history. It seems spectators flock to those who look as holly-wood-ish as possible or who fit the modern idea of prettiness/sweetness/old-fashionedness. But thanks for the encouragement! David and I had our tintype done and the photographer gave us such a gorgeous compliment, it really encouraged me so much!

    Emily, Malachi did just fine with the pear. When little David was his age he was chomping on apples. . .we've never had issues with choking. David always spit the skin out (still does!) and Malachi had no problem with the soft skin of the pear. He ate almost half of it! He likes to feed himself as much as possible and of course, if he sees his brothers eating something he thinks he should be able to do that, too!

  13. Love the pictures! You've clothed your entire family in such darling clothes! Great job! I loved your dress, quilted hood, and mantle - so lovely!

  14. How neat! I love history. I just found your blog. I wrote a blog about our trip to see a reenactment recently.

  15. Sarah,
    I kept checking to see when you would post about your weekend, I was not disappointed! You look lovely in your mantle and you've clothed your little men (and the big man!) beautifully!



Thank you for your lovely thoughts!