Fantastic photography of historical recreations of civil war reenactment clothing!
Branch County Civil War Days reenactment, was held May 21st – 24th, 2015. This living history event surrounded the Battle of Perryville events and was held in Heritage Park, Coldwater, MI. Filled with incredible civil war historical clothing outfits, great soldier units with live, authentic cannons and firearms to historically complete the Civil War drills and Battle Re-enactment, this event was an intense culmination of a Memorial weekend packed with thoughtful reflection of service and sacrifice. Throughout the day onlookers could observe civil war period craftsman at work, as well as asking them questions to which answers were provided in period method.
Friday was an educational day for area 5th grade schools and saturday activity action included an authentic heritage schoolhouse for children to receive period school lesson in and experience the ‘old school’ teaching methods! Differences in the methods of yesteryear and today are like night and day.
Reenactment weekend had interesting events for everyone, including a Civil War church service on sunday morning, military and civilian impression demonstrations, encampments, drills and a civil war era ball (dance) Saturday evening. The Coldwater Civil War Spring Ball commenced with a grand march prior to entering the ballroom and ball rules only allowed period clothing from 1861-1865. Gloves were also highly encouraged as they were proper wear for such an event during that timeframe. Inside the ballroom no photographs were allowed except by designated photographers. The historical ballgowns and suits were incredibly elegant and did justice to the adorned!
Free guided tours of the historical Oak Grove cemetery were available, as well as an opportunity for a train ride for a brief spell with special guest President Lincoln and a free concert culminated that evening with a talented musician, Jim Stout.
A favorite with everyone was the special train ride robbery on Saturday morning at 1000, which departed from The Little River Railroad Station and was soon taken over by robbers and thieves! It was exciting for all passengers to experience a ‘real life’ train robbery in action on a moving train! Epic cool in my opinion! Well, not as unique and interesting as the old-time baseball team that played a game during the reenactment weekend wearing matching historical uniforms! Great!
The most important part of the weekend was the remembrance of those who had fallen. Memorial Day hails those who served but mainly recognizes military members who sacrificed everything for their country, family and way of life. Harsh times and horrible mistreatment prior to, during and after the Civil War made it one of the bloodiest wars ever for the United States of America, so it is a perfect time and event to recognize such service and sacrifice. It was the first time Americans fought against each other and sometimes even family members against family members. It was a low point in our history that can always be learned from and never forgotten. Freedom and liberty for all!
Coldwater, MI is not too far to go if you enjoy civil war era clothing and activities – plan for next year? There were a slew of great events at this reenactment so it might be a viable option to think about next year. The only costuming at this event is within the genre of historically accurate Civil War era clothing, so if you are planning on next year, you may want to start creating your perfect period outfit now!
NOTE: A special thanks to the photographer who graciously agreed to allow use of his photos, David Sherman Begg. His pictorial portrayal of the event is moving and incredibly visually intense. His use of color and action stills is phenomenal. The included photos highlight a meaningful event and it’s rendering of intricately detailed historical clothing recreations. Thank you!