At Civil War Days (Lakewood Forest Preserve, Wauconda), it was more than just a battle reenactment – it seemed to almost be a life reenactment, down to games they played and food they ate.
Checkers, cards, dice, and a peg solitaire board with nails helped to pass the soldiers’ time
A table setting, almost accurate (save the modern pepper shaker)!
There was even a portable blacksmith shop, complete with anvil and forge:
Cutting the groove in a future horseshoe.
One of the smiths would keep the forge hot by manually pumping the mechanical bellows.
The finished items, all for sale
And if you got inspired, or just wanted to try it out, there were vendors that supplied ready-made accoutrements for your reenactment pleasure!
Just a couple of handmade bonnets for sale for players and attendees – the blue one says $75
This full outfit was available for sale. I didn’t get the price, but if the bonnets are $75…this just might be well out of MY price range!
When we arrived, there was a program in progress of various generals speaking about various battles. We happened to pass while General Robert E. Lee was speaking:
The players were accurate, right down to Custer’s extra gold braid, Longstreet’s feathers and Grant’s cigar!
I would have liked to hear the whole program, but we got there too late and only heard five of the generals speak:
I couldn’t identify the other four.
I thought it was cool that they found all these guys to do this, looking and acting like these American icons, but then later, we walked by this encampment:
It rather spoiled the illusion watching Custer eat a piece of pizza!
And there were others interested in the generals:
Tomorrow – the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou!