Monday, September 27, 2010

Vermilion County Civil War Days 2010

This past weekend was one of our favorite fall Civil War events and even though David was feeling rather poorly, we packed up our babies, our gear and Peter, my "brother", ;) and headed out on Friday evening. We set up camp in the dark, David made a good, warm fire and thus our home for the weekend was established.

I have been feeling really bad lately about how the civilian presence in a military camp can really destroy the accurate impression that might otherwise be made. Our medical unit is made of four families and among us there are four children, a young lady, four women and Peter. This time, instead of setting up directly with the hospital, David and I decided to try camping on our own. We had our own fire, we were seperated from the medical location and I think this is a better compromise than having our family right next to the hospital. A tent with a surgeons family, right next to a field hospital just very likely would not have happened. We still visited with our fellow group members and hung out, at times, beneath their hospitable fly, but we were not dwelling among them. :) We will never have an 1860's mindest or way of thinking. We are products of a modern age, even if we resent that. ;) But a baby step forward is progress. Accuracy is a process, not a destination! We will never reach a total level of correctness. But as long as we are making an effort to improve, bit by bit, I think that is commendable. :)

It was a fun event. We did experience a mishap when the temperatures plummeted and the rain began to fall earnestly on Saturday night. Shivering and damp, the children and I just wanted to lay down in our tent and pull up the covers to get warm while David tended the fire. Unfortunately, we forgot to put our fly up over our tent and when we went inside we discovered the roof was leaking. Large puddles had already formed on the boys blankets and cots and our bed was likewise very damp. Having really no other alternative, we decided to go home for the night and come back in the morning. It was a good decision in the end. We got a good nights sleep in a warm, dry house and I was able to dress myself and Malachi in our wool gowns since Sunday was crisp and breezy - and the sheer dress I had originally brought for Sunday would NOT have been suitable!

Danville is a very family friendly event. It is a lovely location and I met some wonderful people. Since our events are very mainstream, one of the best things about them, for me, is meeting new folks. It gives me a good reason to keep coming out. :)

On Sunday there was a demonstration of the Appomattox surrender. I must say, viewing that gave me goosebumps and caused tears to rise in my eyes and course down my face. The gentlemen portraying Lee, Grant and their staff were excellent at what they did. The saddest part was Lee's controlled sadness and pasion as he rose after signing the surrender agreement. The gray and butternut-clad Confederates, war-torn, veteran and filled with respect and love for their commander, lined the road where Lee exited the lawn of the house. His words to them were unforgettable.

I did not, alas, wear my new sunbonnet at all and as a consequence got sunburned. I brought my straw bonnet and was so afraid of it getting crushed, as, in sad and past experience, other fashion bonnets of mine have been. I decided the only safe place for it was on my head. :) Fashion bonnets may be pretty but they really do nothing to preseve one's complexion! I suppose that is an excuse for a repro parasol sometime in the future!

More pictures here: Danville 2010



  1. You're all looking just the thing as usual - I love the look of wool clothes. And that's right, accuaracy really is a journey, and usually a fun one :) I too think it's tricky, having women and children in camp, like in my group - though in "my" era it did happen.

  2. WOW!
    What a great weekend. So sorry about the soggy wet bedding. As I was reading that part my little heart fell . . . I would have gone home too.
    I can not get over how stunning you look in red. That red dress is fabulous. Your boys are absolutely darling too. I am sure just the site of you all made someone's weekend.

  3. sorry about all the dampness -- boy have I had my share of puddles and leaky roofs! Still, you all look beautiful. :) As always.

  4. Looks like a very fun event. I'm glad you are able to meet new people as you continue on with your passion. I love your red ?"sontag"? Is that what it's called? Did you knit or crochet it your self? Where did you get it?

  5. You look amazing!!!!! I adore your ensembles.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!