Sunday, March 13, 2011

Civil War Reenactment

Well this coming week, my daughter, Princess and I are beginning a 14 week unit study on the civil war. We will be going over all aspects of the war including the Dred Scott decision, The Missouri Compromise, Brother v Brothers, amputations, Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, the underground railroad, abolitionist, slavery, Mason Dixon line...I think you get the idea! So, I figured what better way to start our study off than to go see a live reenactment of the Civil War. As luck would have it there was one taking place not too awfully far from us out at Beaumont Ranch in Grandview, TX, which is about a 2 hour drive or so. The ranch itself is beautiful and is actually located in the historic Chisholm Trail. They have even built a little village called Chisholm Fork in between were the two rivers ran. Its a beautiful ranch house on gorgeous grounds. We even got to stay in one of there hotels!  I took my daughter, youngest son and her best friend, Amber for the weekend.

The weekend was packed full of action and started out with a town raid in Chisholm Fork.We saw a good ol' fashion shoot out, a looting, a mobbing,  and so many other things. It was very exciting to see all the people dressed in authentic garments carrying their black riffle guns around, riding on horses and acting threatening. My kids had a blast, but despite anything I told my 4 year old, he did not grasp why everyone was killing each other and got scared on a few occasions. We had to actually stick around till the raid was completely over and people started clearing out so he could see the actors get up and that they were all ok.

After the raid we were allowed to go wonder around all the town shops and make purchases if we wanted anything. I took home a couple of civil war maps (for our lapbooking) and some post cards that described the different units of the military (infantry, artillery, cavalry, etc). The shops had lots of great things from uniforms, swords, news papers, coins, money etc that any great war fan would appreciate.

Once we did all our "shopping" and ate lunch we made our way to the battle grounds. The battle was pretty good. I have never been to a live reenactment so I didn't really know what to expect, but in my opinion, it was a little disorganized. As I suppose wars are :) Anyway, once we found a spot we hoped the action would go down in, we hunkered in and waited. Then came the wonderful sound of cannons bursting through the air and men yelling and screaming orders at different military men, the horses, the gun fights, the swords fight and at last the surrender of the South! Now from our vantage point it was hard to make out the surrender, but I assured it happened nonetheless.

Overall, the experience was ok. I would have liked to have been given an itinerary of what was taking place where, and were you could and could not wonder off too. Maybe that is just me and my anal retentive self, wanting to have all my p's and q's in order. I would have wished that the actors stayed in character more, though. You could see people laughing and cutting up and in my humble opinion, making a mockery out of the war and the people who did actually lose their lives fighting. As far as live history goes, it was rememberable and I would recommend it for those who can live with the little quirks I mentioned. At the very least it gave my daughter a little back drop to the war and how battles were conducted back in the good ol' days.

Now I put video on here, but it was INCREDIBLY windy and my camera is not that great!

one of the many canons they had set up
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