Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reenacting A Battle

I think I mentioned earlier that I have joined a photography group and it has turned out to be great fun. Our group leader suggests a place to meet, we arrive, and then run around like ants taking pictures. Sometimes it is first thing in the morning (like 7am, yikes!) or later in the day. It becomes almost a scavenger hunt to first find the place; and once there to see the events through your own photographic eye. The recent event was a Civil War reenactment of the battle for Ft. Milton that occurred here in Jacksonville. As usual click each photo for a better view. 

This was my first time at a reenactment and I had resolved to take in as much as possible. What I discovered is that the people taking part were quite knowledgeable regarding the battle where the southern troops and local people held off the Union Army. And, every effort was made to make the event as close to true-to-life as possible which allowed plenty of picture taking opportunities. The picture above is a side view of the fortification set up in anticipation of the battle. 

I also learned that this reenactment is not only about the battle but also how people went about their lives at the time. Here is a Southern woman surrounded by the few possessions that a life in the wilderness would allow.

Cooking was something that required a good deal of preparation  because the tools you were able to use were fairly basic. I found myself thinking how fortunate we are in this day and age. But, despite the time involved the result looked tasty.

I was also struck that despite the rough life, people were still able to have a level of simple grace that this table shows. There were not a lot of courses but you still get a sense of people carving out simple refinement in their every day lives.

I smiled as I took this shot and thought to myself "what no X box?"  These two girls are providing their own playful entertainment that the entire family might join in with singing. I particularly liked the face of the young woman in the purple dress. There is almost a Madonna aspect to her gentle continence.

This little girl caught my eye, casually strolling through the camp. Even at this age she appears deep in thought and there is a lonely quality to this shot.

The other highlight of the event was a demonstration of working class dress for the period. I was amazed at the layers upon layers that went into dressing for a woman of the time. You could only imagine what upper class women went through and why they required a "Lady's Maid" to help them get dressed. 

And then the battle! This Union soldier is reloading as the rest of the troop advances. Like almost everything else for this time, shooting had to be timed. So, some were firing while others reloaded. 

A local behind the fortification times his shots as well.

I could only imagine the frenzy that occurs during the height of battle. These Southern soldiers are firing a cannon and the sound was deafening! What I like about this shot is the activity to fire the cannon on one end and preparation for the anticipated sound on the other.

And finally, a boy soldier taking a drink from a canteen as the battle rages. Both sides had young boys who helped with the work of maintaining arms and preparing for battle. You can only imagine the things they saw as children. Especially when you consider this was before people understood the existence of germs and doctors went from patient to patient without sterilizing instruments or washing their hands.

All and all, it was a great reenactment of the Battle of Ft. Milton and I learned a lot in the process of taking my pictures.

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