Tuesday, August 11, 2015

'H' is for Hale Farm, and History

This past weekend, there was a re-enactment of the final battles of the War for the Preservation of the Union. Hale Farm is part of the Western Reserve historical Society, and it served as the encampment site.  The biggest draw was the battles. Infantry, cavalry, and artillery performed. Horses are beautiful. It is not gun smoke that i smelled, but mint. The men and horses were in a pasture that had mint. People did not expect a sweet smelling battle.
After surrender, a confederate attempts to escape, and is cut down.
This girl has an impressive profile. She works in the candle making shop, which is closed during the battle. She doubles as 'security', hence the anachronistic orange vest.
Another anachronism, he did not want to be photographed with the contraband of his cameras.
Saturday, there was a football parade in Canton. The next day, the Steelers were to play. Mixed loyalties.
More mixed loyalties, the little rebel is wearing an Incredible Hulk tee shirt. The exodus is from the second battle of the day.
There are gardens at Hale Farm.
Several musicians were about. This fellow played the beautiful 'Shenadoah', which played wonderfully in the air. He played 'Beautiful Dreamer', and several other mid-XIXth century tunes. He deserved a far greater audience than he received.
The history was sanitised. Everything and everybody was in good mood. The battles raged, barrage of shot after shot went off, cannon blasts, and it took a long time for someone to fall. The men were playing war as children do. No one wants to 'die' and stop playing. The real war was a horror. This one tent as the field hospital was, maybe, the only reminder of how things were. A surgeons kit is on the table. Different saws for different parts of the body to remove. I don't remember hearing the term 'metatarsal saw' before. There was also a wheelbarrow, with dummy severed arms. I was told they were part of 'Captain Mutton'.

It maybe an understatement to see that 99% of the people there (actors and tourists) were caucasian. The war was fought over negro slavery. Not a single hint was evident. Of course, who wants to play a slave? Overwhelming people wanted to play soldier, but there were artisans at the farm who are there all year demonstrating.
Stuff was sold in suttler tents. Some things were surprising: percussion caps from Germany, with all German writing on packaging, and Catholic buttons and holy cards.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I am the union cavalryman on the horse, Trooper Beaty from the 6th Ohio. Is there a way that I can get a copy of this picture? The horse's name is KC. We will both be back for the 2016 event. Thanks. ridgerunner_73@yahoo.com