At the Renfrew event last month in Pennsylvania (or Pennsyltucky as it is fondly known to some), I went Secesh (another funny term I heard.) I got to experience more relaxed Confederate reenacting (compared to the relatively strict Yankee version), although I still was with my home unit that usually does a Yankee impression.
It was also the first time I did rifle at a reenactment (usually I’m playing the fife.) The last time I carried a rifle was at Remembrance Day last year and damn was it heavy - that’s when I decided to be a musician instead. The battle at Renfrew I participated in was kind of “lame”, according to my boyfriend, who is a colonel and was next to me, and tearing cartridges for me some of the time. It was kind of fun to fire the gun, but I’ll tell you what, it is WAY more fun to march on the battlefield with a band. So that’s probably the last time I ever do rifle.
I also heard some pretty racist things said while I was standing in line waiting to go out. I won’t elaborate really on what was said in great detail since it was a small group, but comments were made about the current President that were racial in nature. Of course I should stress that not all confederate reenactors hold or openly express such views, but I have heard from other confederate reenactors that it not uncommon to hear such things in the pickett line, or around the evening campfire.
On a lighter note, we played a lot of camp music. I tried out my washtub bass for the first time, which Ben made for me for my birthday. It was really difficult to play, but with more practice and the right tuning (it’s only one string) I can hone my technique.
I’m looking forward to Cedar Creek, which will also mark the one year anniversary of the Civil War Tours Podcast!
[First two photos by Craig Shipp, last photo by Christine Tolbert.]