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Monday, August 22, 2011

Stepping Back In Time

August 1861
Battle of Wilson's Creek
150th Anniversary Reenactment

As I sit here reflecting on the days activities
a sense of tremendous pride swells in my soul.
To witness this remarkable event 
was a chilling experience that will never be forgotten.

Like their brothers 150 years prior,
these brave reenactor's  not only fought each other,
but also the stifling heat of August.
Dressed  in  authentic attire, carrying pounds of equipment,
loading and shooting their black powder rifles, 
(one soldier told of shooting over 100 rounds)
 to honor our country's history.
A testament of love and remembrance for all  lives lost that day.
We shall never forget...............
 The heat did not detour the thousands of spectators

who traveled from various States to either watch
or partake in this great event.

Visiting and meeting  wonderful
people was a delight. 

We visited with this family from Illinois.
Supporting their Dutch heritage, they were here
to honor their Civil War ancestors.

These gracious ladies let me stand with them for a photo.
Note their period clothing, their camp site
and the camps in the background.
So authentic, period correct.
Mom wore a work day dress with apron, while the daughter
was dressed in a better day or tea dress for visiting..lovely.

 Another campfire site...
ladies finishing morning chores
They too let me snap a photo, thank you.

This fellow was part of the above campsite.
His gun was leaning against his leg.
The men were attending to their weapons.

Later in the day....smells mighty appealing.

Another family campsite
You can see the smoke from their campfire.

Greeting two young girls in their day dresses and cool straw hats.
The girl in green was wearing a watch fob and carrying a vintage hanky.
They wanted to take my picture but I said only if I can take yours....

Soldiers Quarters

A piece of canvas stretched between poles offers primitive shelter
from the blazing sun.
Note the bed covered with a vintage coverlet.

Tent outfitted for two soldiers.
A wood box used to store their gear. also used as a table
separated the cots
Note the rug in front of the entrance.

Horses, Mules and Wagons

 Mr B. posing with the mules  

Period wagons were used to carry supplies to the camps.

Marching Soldier's Unit
Note the soldier in the foreground carrying the black bag
He is a Doctor who attended the wounded on the battlefield.

The Sultry (vendors) 

Civil War Lady
A sultry for the ladies.
Dresses, hoop skirts, gloves, shoes, fans, 
fancy hats, plain bonnets,
such were the necessities found here.  
So much fun browsing,
I purchased a pair of brown leather lace up boots.

 Oh how I loved these gowns
Lots of drooling ....

The Photographer
Another popular tent were your photo was taken
and then made into a tin type. 

Fashion Show
The fashion show drew a large crowd.  
Many of the ladies modeled simple days dresses to fancy ball gowns
young and old alike participated.

Lovely brown dress with muted wine flowers.
Fabric was that of a  homespun texture.

The lady in the gray dress was the director.
Her knowledge of vintage clothing was amazing,
she looked our dresses over and gave a detailed
description of what style, fabric and trims were used.

Young girl in light blue with tiny white vine pattern.
Pagoda sleeves, straw hat. 

Skirt and blouse of different colors was the new look
for the younger women.
Gray/blue skirt with soft cream blouse with cuff, belt, brooch
over the shoulder flat haversak bag.
The blouse had rows of tucks down the front for a very soft feminine look.

Mother in fancy red dress with black lace trim.
Older daughter wore an off the shoulder ball gown 
but was too young to wear a hoop skirt.
The younger daughter was dressed in a cream cotton dress with
pink floral pinafore and cream pantaloons with tucks at the bottom
so they could be let down as the little girl grew.

Southern Belle in her "red" ball gown
trimmed with black ribbon .
Another fact:
The color red was a risque color prior to the Civil War,
was now acceptable for  younger ladies ball gowns.

Lovely blue/white plaid tea dress with gloves, fancy hat and parasol.

The comment made about this gown was the hoop skirt was correct
for her height and for the width of her skirt.
A fact I did not know,  the hoop width should compliment
your height and the width of your skirt
making for a clean straight line of appeal.  "wow"...

This lady was modeling a makeover dress.  
Ladies would take a dress and change it up a bit 
so as to be in style with the latest fashions.

The black under slip was added 
while the red over skirt was gathered in flounces.
The long sleeves were shortened, black trim was added.
This lady now has a fancy ball gown.
Her headpiece was small black lace veil with ribbon roses,
 black lace gloves and a matching cape completed the outfit.
I thought this lady was too "old" to be wearing the color red.

The Wounded Soldier

This is my favorite photo.
It chills my soul every time I view it.

After the battle, as we were walking thru the camps,
I saw this soldier sitting on this grassy embankment,
 his head tipped low clutching his leg.
Turning my head over my shoulder for another peak
I noticed the blood soaked rag wrapped around his leg.
At that moment my heart skipped a beat, 
I immediately  turned around and approached the soldier.

"Are you injured soldier?"
"Yes Mame"
"That was a fierce battle!"
"Yes Mame"
"Can I get you anything?"
"No Mame"
Can I take your picture"
"Yes Mame"
I whispered "Thank you"
"Thank You Mame"

Awesome, tender moment!

I slowly walked back up the hill, Mr B asked, what were you doing?
"Taking a memory home with me"

Thank you for visiting with me today. 
This honorable event exceeded all my expectations.

Standing On Hallowed Ground
A Civil War Tribute
Click on Wilson's Creek at the top of this page.


  1. Oh Connie, Thanks for sharing your wonderful event with us. Those pictures gave me chills just looking at them. Such gracious and courageous folks. Sharing in the history of our country. I am with you, the wounded soldier picture makes me tear up. I can only imagine the feeling of being a part of an event as this. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh Connie, these are just so amazing to see. The details are just astounding. Pondering, just so hard to comprehend. Y'all look wonderful together! Thank you so much for sharing all this!

  3. Wow Connie! Thank you SO much for sharing these photos with us. It looks like it was as accurate as could be and it must have been such an amazing experience to witness. Sure wish I could have been there. I LOVE anything to do with the Civil War - movies, antiques, letters, clothing...you name it! So sad, but such history!


  4. I would have loved to go to this and thank you for taking the time to share pictures
    with us. It is a sad part of our history....
    I loved all the dresses!

    Bear Hugs & Blessings~Karen

  5. Beautiful and touching post, Connie - thank you for taking me along...this is as close as I may ever get to something that has intrigued me all my life. Those dresses are amazing - and I learned so much! And that wounded soldier photo is just incredible. What an awesome moment to be lost in time. You all have honored our history so beautifully. Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  6. what a neat experience..I love all the dresses..that would have been neat to see...show us some pics of the leather boots you got.;)

  7. Good Morning Connie, Wow what an honor it must of been to be there during this reenactment of a time in history. What great camps and the pictures you took are wonderful. I would love to of been there to hear the history behind those women's clothing, how neat!! And to see you staning amongst all of those glorious gowns!!

    You and hubby both look great


  8. Oh WOW Connie.. your pictures were everything I imagined they would be.. Just awesome view into the past.. As I read your comments I can feel your deep felt love for the past and all its memories.. I know you had the time of your life and I'm so glad that you were able to attend and you came home filled with joy and tons of memories..
    You know I just love history so seeing all your pictures was a real pleasure. I Saved the pictures of you and Hubby..

    Thank you for sharing and making it all so real!!

    Have a great week looking at all your pictures and remembering all the new friends you made..


    PS do you know what Shutterfly is? It is a place on net where you can make Photo Books. You ought to make a book of all your Photo's from the enactment. Shutterfly.com

  9. hi, Connie
    Terrific tribute~
    Wow~ the photos capture it all~chills, beauty~ a reminder~
    thanks for sharing~