Quote of the Week // 32nd Week

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William Tecumseh Sherman was a Union General in the Civil War born in 1820. He is known for his outstanding command of military strategy and in his later life, wrote a memoir which is considered one of the best depictions of the war today.

Some say that fear is the opposite of courage. They say that having courage means that you can no longer be afraid, making it seem as though facing your fears means that you must cast out all fear. However, this doesn’t seem all that logical. In many ways, it is heathy to fear. To fear lightening when out in a field is a good thing. To fear a poisonous spider is also a good thing. Sometimes, fear is just called “smarts!”

I think that William Sherman summed it up quite nicely in one quote. After all, he had many first-hand experiences of fear and courage while serving in the war! He explains that having courage means being aware of the amount of danger ahead and being willing to endure it. I consider this a helpful way to think about fear and courage. Fear is not always a bad thing, and sometimes it even helps us! We needn’t be ashamed of fearing things that should be feared! What makes us brave is knowing the fear and enduring it anyway.


What do you think about fear and courage?


Megan Joy

Five Things Learned at a Civil War Reenactment

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If you’ve ever attended a Civil War reenactment, you’ve probably seen the rifles, cannons, tents, and hoop skirts. It’s like stepping into another world of the past. But recently, I was able to experience it like a true reenactor because. . .

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I now own a tent!

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Along with having a tent is the necessity of knowledge and experience about such things. Unfortunately, you don’t have this knowledge or experience until after you’ve attended multiple reenactments and have learned as you go. I’ve certainly learned a lot from my latest reenactment! Here are five things I learned at a Civil War reenactment.

1)     When pitching your tent, it’s best to know which way the wind is blowing.

Explanation: When we arrived at the Civilian’s camp, there was a large bit of land across from many other tents and a cooking fire. The fire burns all day to boil water, bake bread, cook stew, and is there for anyone’s use. What I hadn’t known was that I had staked my tent directly in line of the smoke trail from the fire. All weekend, it burnt our eyes, made us cough, and blew ashes and sparks into the tent, hence the empty plot of land that nobody had wanted for those reasons!

2) Get accustomed to people taking your picture.

Explanation: Being dressed up and doing living history in public means that people are going to take your picture. Some are so kind as to ask permission politely and sometimes little kids come up and stand next to you and smile. Others, on the other hand, don’t ask. They either get out their phone and tap the screen a million times, or they pull out a huge camera with a lens seven feet long. Then they stand in front of you from 5 seconds to 5 minutes taking your picture. Some will even instruct you how to pose while others catch you when your bonnet flies away with your hair in a mess.

3)     Learn to bite your tongue.

Explanation: As the battle reenactment occurs, you watch from afar with many other viewers. You must learn to bite your tongue when someone behind you begins “explaining” to their friend that the Battle of Gettysburg was the Japanese fighting against the Americans (yes, I actually heard this one). You must also learn to remain quiet when you hear questions among others like:

“Where are their tri-cornered hats?”

“Did the soldiers hide behind all those monuments on the battlefield?”

“Did the British win the Civil War?”

4)     Say, “thank you” a lot.

Explanation: People like to complement those dressed in historical clothes, so you must get used to replying, “thank you” when someone pronounces a quite common statement such as – “I love your dress!” Not that I’m complaining, it’s just something I’ve learned. The last time this happened to me I was watching my brother in the battle about to be shot (pretend, of course!) and a woman tapped me on the shoulder to say how much she liked my dress. After I said, “thank you” and eventually turned back to the battle, my brother was already down in the grass! I had missed the whole thing!

5)  Don’t stay in the soldier’s camp too long.

Explanation: If you’re in ear range of where the men gather around the fire to talk, you’re bound to hear a few words that may not be very suitable. . . so, it’s just better not to listen too carefully to their conversations!


There are five things I learned at a Civil War reenactment!

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Have you ever been to a Civil War reenactment?

Have any of these things happened to you?

Megan Joy

On the Waterfront // 1863 Camp Dress

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This weekend, I attended my first Civil War reenactment of the year! The three-day event was filled with dresses, tents, campfires, and soldiers. There were two mock battles fought and many drills performed. My brother even joined the Union army and marched into the battles this year! I was so pleased when he came out alive. (Just a note, no one was using real bullets, of course; just blanks.)

After the last battle, my sister and I were able to sneak down to the waterfront and snap a few photos.

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This is my 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.

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I found a stone that looked like a nugget of gold! It wasn’t, though.


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Now, I’d like to share a story that occurred after the event had concluded!

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, dressed as a Union soldier, crawled underneath the truck, and attempted to untangle the mess but to no avail. At the same moment, the same Confederate soldier was then 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 the side. This task was completed. Now, the next question: could the truck be driven the long ride home with half of the fan belt? Probably 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 game plan had been settled, 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 surprising to realize that four Confederate soldiers would be so gracious as to help a Union clad solider when just hours before, they were in battle against each other! It proves that there are good people in the world, and found in the most unusual circumstances, too!

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 snack we had bought in the first place was 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!

The moral of this story: “When in doubt, ask a Confederate!”



dress // sulter tent

bonnet // sulter tent

belt // handmade

bag // thrifted

shoes // thrifted


Have you ever been to a Civil War reenactment?

Can you relate to any part of this story?

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 awesome challenge before the end of May will win a $10 Wendy’s gift card!


Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 18th Week

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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a Union brigadier general in the Civil War, best known for his heroic acts during the Battle of Gettysburg at Little Round Top on July 2nd, 1863. If you’ve ever watched the movie Gettysburg, I’m sure you’ll remember him. In 1865, he was put in charge of presiding over the formal Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House, and in his later years was the Governor of Maine. I am very fond of this man and only like him better the more I read about him.

I have found his quote to be quite true. We don’t know what the future holds and there isn’t much we can do about it! Yes, we can save for college and choose who we go out with wisely. We can also build good relationships with our family and find a good source of income. These things will help prepare us for the future. Nevertheless, these are things that we can plan, but cannot fully control the outcome. God is the only one who knows the future and no matter how much we plan for it, we are not guaranteed that our efforts from the past will bring us the future we imagined. What we are guaranteed is that God, who can see the future while we can’t, will help us now, before the future for the future. All we have to do is ask. He will help us with decisions and planning, and promises to never let us down. Getting advice about the future from someone who knows the future is pretty amazing, if you ask me!

So even though we can’t be 100% prepared for the future by planning ahead of time, we can have faith that God will help and guide us now and forever.


Are you fond of this quote?

Have you ever seen the movie Gettysburg?

What about the future are you excited about?

Was there ever a time in the past that God had helped you, and you are able to see its outcome now?

Megan Joy


Civil War Ensemble Preview

Hello everyone! Today I would like to share a tiny preview of what my fall and winter Civil War ensemble looks like. It is far from perfect yet and I have a lot of re-sewing and modifying to do, but I just did a small photo shoot anyway.

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I love this decorative trim along the skirt! It matches one of my hats perfectly and adds some color to the yards and yards of plain green fabric.


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I didn’t spend a lot of time doing my hair, so it wasn’t historically correct. But with hair as long as mine, it takes a long time to make it stay up! Even with a head full of bobby-pins it’s still a challenge!


Skirt: The Gettysburg Emporium

Shirt: Reenactment sutler

Hoop: handmade

Jacket: thrifted

Bag: thrifted

Shoes: thrifted

Cape: old

Petticoat: handmade


“Do you go to Civil War reenactments?”

“Do you like historical or vintage clothing best?”

“I’d love to hear what you guys think about my fall/winter outfit in the comments!”

Megan Joy