Day Four: Sunday June 30. The day was hot outside as I got my kit together for the first day of living history. For me the heat and humidity just made it more realistic as reenacting in the UK just doesn't have the authentic weather!
So it was that after a leisurely breakfast of oat muesli and plenty of English tea General Pickett came to call. After chatting with Cathe as I got ready we made our way down to the Living History camp out front of the Wax Works Museum on Steinwehr Avenue.
Even though it was just a short walk of less than 100 yards I soon felt the heat of the sun penetrating my woollen jacket. I deliberately wore my old campaign jacket and no vest (that's waist coat in the UK) so as to take advantage of any breeze that might blow.
I was greeted by the sight of two mounted Confederate Cavalrymen who were turned out rather well.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/1187e577b51440871430d469bb29b53f.jpghttp://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/9884cddbe0aaed04fbd3d2111b8fa5f3.jpghttp://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/e1c4c2516422f091948b446c7b7f7f6c.jpg
The camp was a splendid affair with many tents and awnings providing shelter from the hot sun. Plenty of visitors thronged the concourse which opened out front of the museum and the busy Avenue ensured a constant supply of interested on lookers. Part of the fun is explaining history to those interested in it and in making new acquaintances.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/aacce7651e81780539bda16540cf307d.jpg
My first was a small party from Yorkshire! Who like me had made the pilgrimage across the pond to be there for the two weeks of commemoration of the greatest battle to take place on American soil.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/69cc47168e5ea29c2a7eaa5769587e9a.jpghttp://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/a23db33c23372fdd83124f3251d13626.jpg
The two gentlemen were dressed as Officers of Confederate Infantry from a South Carolinian regiment complete with their ladies is suitable attire. The lady in the dark check patterned dress had made her entire outfit which certainly looked the part.
I next met Rick Gow who portrays Confederate General Lewis Armistead who died leading Pickett's Charge as it breached the Union lines.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/a2085ef044e4ad95ad2824f3e3cbf2bc.jpg
He decided that I needed some drill! I hate drill!!! Cavalry and drill just don't get on! But in the spirit of cooperation prevailing I joined in. It was great fun and Drill Sergeant Cody did a splendid job.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/b64d15809099d0e3f50b7df4be1f02af.jpg
I spent the afternoon chatting with him and found out that he was camping out for the week on site. Being the new boy in town I was still making friends with everyone. Something that takes time.
As the afternoon wore on I started to feel the heat and divested myself of my heavy jacket to portray a more comfortable "in camp" look. The uniform is very functional and it soon felt familiar and brought back dÃ©jÃ vu memories.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/41c84f4ad2a5ef062edfc08b1310ab6d.jpg
I met General Lee and had my picture taken with him. I marvelled at how he kept to cool despite the heat in his frock coat.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/c14f2b172365dd54c97722a7b68b1b9c.jpghttp://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/97caf6ae55e9666c9c4f60006cac3629.jpg
Come the early evening around 5pm General Pickett made an appearance. I had seen Paul briefly in the morning but he had skipped off on family duties for most of the day but finally had made it back to base camp.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/239/1ff70153e0575bb5791f4cc64ed2442d.jpg
Come 6pm the crowds had dispersed and it was time to make the short walk back to Cathe and Rick's house. My kit had served well but like me needed a rest and a clean up as most of it was wringing wet with sweat!
A nice shower beckoned and an evening of watching "Sharpe" on DVD as Rick is an avid fan and has the entire collection.