A Pleasant Sunday for a (Civil) War in Buchanan

The cavalry charge was not full speed, but it was fun.

Re-enactors Beau Robbins and Lynn Price.

Margie and I drove up to Buchanan early this afternoon after I accidentally bumped into an internet page that told us there would be a reenactment of the tiny Civil War Battle of Buchanan. I’m anti-gun and anti-war, but these faux battles can be a lot of fun and the people who take part in them are careful to be historically accurate. They spend a lot of time and love on their interpretations.

We ran into some interesting characters during our two hours or so at the battle, including Gregory Newsom an African-American artist and writer from New York who  was spreading his gospel of Stonewall Jackson (who defied Virginia law to teach black kids to read in Lexington) and Nathan Bedford Forest, founder of the KKK, who left it when the group turned truly ugly.

Gregory Newsome defends Southern Generals.

There was also the re-enacting couple of Beau Robbins, a professional re-enactor (didn’t know there was such a duck) and his partner Dr. Lynn Price, a University of Virginia history professor, in period dress.

I was truly surprised that the crowd was tiny, maybe 150 people, mostly relatives and friends of the re-enactors. This was the third day of the re-enactment, but it was the day of the battle, something I would have thought a highlight.

There were no food vendors at the site and the only stuff for sale was the suttlers’ gear for the re-enactors. Margie and I went over to the Burger King/convenience store where I had two of the best hot dogs I’ve eaten in a long time. Great chili. And a truly enjoyable day (especially since it gave me the opportunity to be a war photographer, which I’ve always wanted to do).

Soldiers camped for two days.

Mr. Anti-Gun with his new cannon.

Not everything was historically accurate.

Soldiers awaiting battle.

Young soldier slips on his boots.

Recruiting poster urges men to “Jine the Artillry.”

Rebs lined up to fight.

The calm before the battle.

Some soldiers were quite young.

Rebel line faces the Yankees.

The boys in blue fire a volley.

Probably not a lot of women in the Confederate cavalry, but there is one here.

Northern artillery makes a lot of noise and smoke.

The crowd was surprisingly sparse.

This sweet-faced kid carried the Confederate battle flat.

Union officer rides hard and shoots high.

Southerners bunch up their defense.

Johnny Reb rescues his buddy.

North and South going hard at it.

The North won and the dogwood bloomed.

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