I recently attended a Civil War reenactment. It was located in Duncan Mills, CA, which is a small town near the coast in northern California. Why a Civil War reenactment you may ask? In California? Because history is awesome. History is without borders. Kinda like those doctors.
Historians without borders.
I know some of you are thinking that dressing up as Billy Yank (not a dirty term for fapping…I think…) and Johnny Reb occurs only the southern States. You know, those States that made up the Confederacy of the American Civil War, some of which are so much like a different country I’m surprised that a passport isn’t required for entry? I would know; I lived in Georgia for six years. There are many differences between the South and California. The most surprising is that I heard the best southern jokes while living there. Southerners seemed to have a laid back, self-deprecating sense of humor. People in Georgia would say that if you go to Mississippi, you needed to set your watch back forty years. And while in Pensacola, a native Floridian told me that a favorite Halloween activity in Alabama was to pumpkin.
Anyway, you’ll find Civil War battles, or any other form of historical reenactment, all over the country. Historians pay no heed to so-called lines drawn on maps (yes we do, shh)! They’ll just fabricate their own lines, dammit! Just ask Sykes and Picot.
This was my first time attending a Civil War reenactment. It only took me about twenty-five years to do so. For those that have known me personally for a long time know that I became a little Civil War buff when I was about thirteen. I had watched the movie “Glory”, and was absolutely enthralled with the story of the 54th Massachusetts, the raging battle scenes, and Ferris Bueller teaming up with the Dread Pirate Roberts. This movie also starred Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington, for which he earned his first Academy Award. After seeing that movie, I spent the summer watching Ken Burns’ “The Civil War”, in its entirety two times through.
Yes, I watched all 5,398,846 hours of “The Civil War” by Ken Burns. Twice. It was that movie, and the Ken Burns film, that jump-started my love of history. Oh, and Dungeons & Dragons too. But that’s another story.
But for all those years, I never got around to finding or attending a Civil War battle. I have no real explanation as to why. No excuses. However, I did start going to Renaissance Faires and SCA events as a teenager. So, I guess that means you can forgive me for taking twenty five years to go to my first event where men and women, clad in blue and grey uniforms, pointed and fired boom sticks at each other.
One day while at work, this realization suddenly hit me. That’s when I google searched for any Civil War battles in northern California, and low and behold, there was one happening! And it was only a 2-3 hour drive away from Sacramento. Jesus Dinosaur-Riding Christ, of course I was going to go!