This weekend, I attended one of my favorite Civil War reenactments. The three-day event was filled with dresses, tents, campfires, and soldiers. There were two mock battles fought and a few drills. My brother joined the Union army this year. I was pleased when he came out of both battles alive.
After the last battle, my sister and I were able to sneak down to the waterfront and snap a few photos.
This is a new camp dress that I bought from one of the sutlers at the reenactment. Sadly, the first time I wore it, it was torn while getting out of a truck. It’s only a minor rip and I can sew it up, so it’s not too bad.
I found a stone that looked like a nugget of gold! It wasn’t, though.
After leaving the reenactment, we stopped at the nearest mini mart for a snack to eat on the way home. We were still dressed in our Civil War attire, but weren’t too concerned about the funny looks we might get. To our amazement, a Confederate soldier entered the store just as we did, and we laughed to see each other. After departing the store with a snack and a cheerful story to tell later, we never could have imagined what would be added to our tale! As we neared our truck, we noticed that something was dangling from beneath the engine. Upon opening the hood and taking a closer look, we noticed that the fan belt had frayed and half of it had dislocated itself from the rest. When trying to remove the loose piece, we realized that it was stuck, tangled, and in need of some brute force to get it free. My brother, in his Union uniform, crawled underneath the truck, and attempted to untangle the mess but to no avail. At the same moment, the same Confederate soldier was exiting the store and noticed our troubles. He offered his help and suggestions to dislodge the piece and managed to pry it a little looser.
Meanwhile, another Confederate had parked just ahead, and when sighting our dismay, came to help. Seeing that more help had arrived, we thanked the first Confederate and he drove off on his long ride home. Now, the second Confederate was able to pull the belt free with my brother helping from beneath the truck, while my sister and I watched from other side. This task was completed. Now, the next question: could the truck be driven the long ride home with half a fan belt? I think not. As we discussed this, two more Confederates pulled up and asked if they could help! They helpfully told us of four auto stores nearby, and offered directions to them. After a plan had been settled upon, we thanked all the Confederates and we dispersed on our own separate ways. It had been a joyful reunion between both strangers and “enemies” – Yankees and Rebels. It was good to know that four Confederate soldiers would be so gracious as to help a Northern solider and his sisters, when just hours before, they were in battle against each other.
So, to carry on with the story, we had to drive to several mechanical stores until we found someone willing to help us so near to closing time. Once our truck was accepted (I sound like we were trying to get it into college!) and was pulled into our last resort garage, we were asked to wait while the mechanics replaced the belt. Then we realized that the snacks we had bought in the first place were now five feet high on the car lifter thing in the garage. We had spotted a Wendy’s down the block earlier and decided that some of us could eat there. We assembled a parade and marched down the busy street in fashion. We received many a strange look once inside, but smiled and had a grand old time. Soon the truck was fixed and we headed home with a new experience to keep under our hats.
dress // sulter tent
bonnet // sulter tent
belt // handmade
bag // thrifted
shoes // thrifted
Have you ever been to a Civil War reenactment?
I challenge anyone to walk into a Wendy’s, wearing an historical outfit, and order fries to go. If you do, don’t forget to take a photo, and send it to me via email. The first person to capitalize on this challenge before the end of May will win a $10 Wendy’s gift card! Now don’t you all jump up at once!
4 thoughts on “On the Waterfront // 1863 Camp Dress”
Megan, your choice of clothing takes me to a different era. Beautiful. We both have the similar minds.
– Megan Joy
Haha, what a fun story to tell! I love your dress 🙂 I’ve never dressed up in a historic outfit before, but I can imagine how much fun it would be!
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Yes, it’s very fun! Thanks for reading and commenting!
– Megan Joy