Friday, June 21, 2013

Federals, Firearms, and Fond Memories

I'm sure you all know I love the Civil War, and that I spend a good chunk of my time researching, sewing, and trying to relive moments from the years that the War took place...but do you know why I have such a fascination?

Federal Cannon over looking Bloody Hill, where 1,700 Federal and Confederate men fought and died.
It's because I was born and raised only a few miles from one of the largest and most important battlefields in Missouri! The Battle of Wilson's Creek was the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, and was also the place of death for Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in combat. The battle itself took place on August 1oth, 1861, and was between 5,400 Federal troops, and 11,000 Confederate forces.
Sky over the Ray family Cornfield.
Having such a historical battlefield, so close to my home, meant I spent a lot of time here as a kid. There are a lot of walking, bike, and horse trails on the 272 acre battlefield, and I have walked most of them in the short years of my life. There are a few buildings from the period still on the site, and I have sat in them all, reliving what it might have been like for the terrified Ray family, when their home was commandeered to be a Confederate Hospital. I have seen the bed where General Lyon was brought to die after being shot in the chest. I have heard the shouting and gun fire, the boom of cannons, the screams of dying and wounded men...and I have learned so much from this humble piece of land.

Any time there is an event at the Battlefield, be it large (like the 150th anniversary reenactment in 2011), or small (like the living history demonstration held two weekends ago), I do my best to support and chronicle the affair. So please enjoy the photos in this post, all taken at said Living History.

Men of the Holme's Brigade.

 Firing Demonstration by Federal soldiers.

Captain Aaron Racine talks to spectators about the life of an infantry soldier in the field and in camp situations.
 Captain Racine and his supporting Officer discuss tactics, and movements in battle.
If you are ever in the Springfield, Missouri area, take a few minutes and enjoy the driving tour of the Wilson Creek Nation Battlefield. Who knows, with all the paranormal activity claimed there, you may just have the experience of a lifetime.

Love and Lightning Bugs,
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