Date: Sunday, February 16, 2014
Location: Calico Ghost Town
Introduction: In Case You Didn't Have Enough to Read
As those close to me know, I'm something of a history-buff-in-training. My passion runs deep, but my knowledge runs shallow. That's why I was so excited about the Civil War Re-Enactment taking place at Calico Ghost Town during President's Day Weekend. Any excuse to soak up random facets of history from experts more knowledgable than I.
|Experts on Parade|
- Historical Inaccuracies
- A Soldier's Pack
- Battle of the Ruins
- Grant's Press Conference
- Battle of the Schoolhouse
- The Meaning of the Civil War
|Flags! Just because!|
Hope it's educational. :)
* * *
No major battle of the Civil War was ever fought in California. Let's just get that out of the way.
This is not to say that California played no role in the Civil War. It's gold kept the Union from going bankrupt. Its over 15,000 volunteers saw action in both Eastern theatre and Western frontier, most notably when a California regiment soundly whipped some Texas Confederates in the Battle of Picacho Pass. Within the state, skirmishes broke out between Northern and Southern sympathizers. Los Angeles was a hotbed of secessionists.
|Calico Ghost Town|
So, to sum up, no, this is not an exact re-enactment.
At this moment, however, I don't care about. I'm wandering up main street, gazing at the old West buildings now festooned with red, white, and blue banners. (Festooned! How often do I get to use that word!) The usual crowd of cowboys and prairie wives are replaced by soldiers and southern belles. Sepia fliers call for recruits. One flier offers a bounty for the capture of John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's murderer--even though, Lincoln is looking very alive right now, talking to a surgeon in the Union Camp.
|Banners festoon the ghost town|
I peek into the Union camp with its white tents and star-spangled banners. Blue-uniformed soldiers mill around, chatting with each other, and a little boy plays the flute. Many of the tents are shut, but when a wind blows one open, I spy modern equipment--an ice chest and the like. Do they actually camp here? I wonder. The general store hints that perhaps they do. In addition to barrels of old-timey candy and souvenir pencil sharpeners, they're selling baking powder and camping supplies.
|The Union Camp|
Ah ha, I think. Here's my excuse to ask strangers questions about history.
I shuffle around the riffles, waiting for someone to acknowledge me.
|But Lincoln's Not Dead Yet!|
To Be Continued...