Civil War Transcendence, part 18

I was dressed in a T-shirt, jeans, and running shoes, and – I might add – I was still cold.

In the 19th century, the normal attire consisted of brogans or boots for footwear, a pair of trousers with bracers (suspenders), a long sleeve shirt, a vest to cover the shirt and bracers (It was considered very rude to show your bracers to the opposite sex) and a hat.  I definitely didn’t have any of these accoutrements.

19th Century fashioin

1868 oil painting by French artist James Tissot, “The Circle of the Rue Royale” depicts 19th Century fashion for men.

I considered a few options.

One: I could see if any clothes were hung out on clothesline to dry and steal them. If I did steal them and was sighted in town, I would automatically be suspected and apprehended.

Two: I could see if there was a clothier in Sharpsburg and try to buy clothing. This presented two problems. What if my money wasn’t accepted? It was, after all, brought from my time period. Also, if I did walk into the clothier dressed as I am now, it would cause quite a stir, and no telling what would happen.

Three: I could proceed to the Potomac River crossing at Boteler’s Ford and go over the river into Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Oops, let me correct myself, Shepherdstown, VA. This part of Virginia hadn’t seceded from the Union yet.  There, I could take my chances. However, it would probably just postpone the inevitable, which would be the inexplicable clothing I was wearing.

I decided that it would be better to delay what was going to be a difficult situation. Maybe something would turn up, and I would be delivered from having to tell my awkward tale.

I had stopped in the middle of the road when contemplating all the ramifications of any action I was going to take. Having made a decision, I continued down the hill and was going to traverse one of the streets on the north side of Sharpsburg to get to the other side of the town and take the road west to Boteler’s Ford.

There was one house on the right of the road as I came down the hill. It was located about 75 yards from the town. All of a sudden a dog came charging out from under the porch, barking loud enough to wake the dead.

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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