Catherine Watson writes a lovely essay on her experience as a Civil War re-enactor at the 140th anniversary of Gettysburg. "Whenever the action swept toward me, the cavalry came so close that I could hear the clang of saber on saber and see the lathered sweat shining on the horses’ sides.
Big cannons were blasting nearby, their explosions so loud that my lungs shuddered, and gunpowder smoke hung over the field like clouds of sulfurous fog.
This was time travel, pure and simple, a painting of the Civil War come to life, a Mathew Brady photograph in living -- thankfully not dying -- color.
Even watching from the sidelines, I found it thrilling. For my comrades on horseback that weekend, the battle of Gettysburg had to be spectacular.
They were Confederates -- reenactors whose hobby is living and breathing the Civil War. A few months earlier, through a mutual friend, they’d invited me to camp with them at the huge reenactment scheduled for Gettysburg’s 140th anniversary.
The invitation had been irresistible: I’ve always been interested in the Civil War, and I’d always wanted to try reenacting. But I never imagined I’d be wearing gray. Or that I’d be impersonating a man.
Now, in the sweet rolling farmland of southern Pennsylvania, I was doing both. I was a dismounted but duly registered member of the 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry." Read the whole thing. Thanks to