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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Soldiers Are Coming

 Yesterday when I was at school the children began to buzz.....the soldiers are coming....the soldiers are coming!
  Fortunately, these were men dressed in reenactment uniforms that had come to talk to the students about the mechanics of the Civil War.  I am by no means a Civil War Buff but I have been to a reenactment (faithful readers will remember that blog) and read some historical fiction that takes place during the war.  But I did learn some new things yesterday.

The three men were all in correct uniforms of the day.  Obviously the navy blue was the yankee uniform but the other two were both Confederate Uniform.  The man on the right portrayed an officer....they did not carry rifles....they carried a pistol on their left hip.  All three have haversacks or rucksacks on their right hip.  Really it was a man's purse.  In their they carried their orders, a frying pan, any mail they might have received, their money and perhaps a newspaper or dime novel, maybe even a small Bible.  (And men talk about us and our purses....but they were going to be gone four years not an hour or so.)
 The small tent was folded up and carried in their back pack.  If it was torn or destroyed too bad you slept on the dirt.
 The infantry man has only a blanket which wore while marching.  The officer had perhaps a pillow in his bedroll.
 In the large tent eight adult men would sleep.  Believe me I wouldn't want to be in there with more than one other person.
They told some sobering facts about the Civil War which still stun me.  Over 100,000 men died in a single battle.  Out of 100 men from a county who went off to serve only 8 might return.  Hope this Memorial Day you remember the soldiers who fought in war for your freedom.

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