SEEING THE ELEPHANT-PART 6

SEEING THE ELEPHANT-PART 6

After the battle we all retired to our camp and were visited by the Brigade Commander who in one swift lesson tried to teach us the basic maneuvers we were supposed to know.

However, it just degenerated into a lecture that badmouthed us for coming out to a reenactment without knowing the first thing about unit drill. So needless to say our fearless leader was not someone who was very endearing to us. We didn’t know anything, but at least we had made the trip and tried, which doesn’t count for much in the eyes of Civil War Veteran Reenactors. I have subsequently come to the same attitude during the years spent as a private and now a second sergeant. What it boils down to is we want to look our best for our own unit brand of ego and to look good for the spectators. If one of our companies in our battalion makes us look bad, we don’t appreciate it. However, being
novices at Prairie Grove and getting reprimanded for not knowing Civil War Tactics, we, especially me, didn’t take kindly to the rebuff by our Brigade Commander.

We retired for lunch and discussed the morning events. In the afternoon scenario we did a little better. We weren’t on the front line that much. We just did some volley fire, but didn’t get close to the enemy as in our morning event.

That night I was still smarting from the dressing down we had taken from our brigade commander and silently vowed to learn the correct maneuvers and perform better at the next reenactment I attended. Little did I know that others had made the same vow. The guy with whom I had charged the Union line had made the same vow.

Sunday was also a hot day for December. The sun was out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The temperature was rising and would be in the middle 80’s.

We ate breakfast; took down all the tents; and transferred all our equipment that we didn’t need for the afternoon fight to our cars. I don’t remember all that much about the battle scenario. I do remember it was short and sweet and we were on the road by about 3:00 pm.

Pard and I had already made plans for him to ride with me back to Little Rock. We discussed the weekend and he told me that if we wanted to get to be a better reenactment unit he had some knowledge about what we needed to know and he would be glad to help.

Little did he know what would be in store.

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About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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