Monday, February 15, 2010

Calico Ghost Town - Civil War Weekend

This year we finally had the time to go back up to Calico Ghost Town, this time for the Civil War Weekend. The last time we went we camped and stayed for their Halloween Event. This is held every year the weekend before Halloween. That event is a totally blast! And a must for the kids. This weekend, however, we went for the day. The Civil War Event had something to see every moment of the day. Their was the Military Parade, they had Civil War Music which played up and down Main Street. People walked around in costume of the Civil War period up and down Main Street and then there was the Inspection of the U.S. Troops by President Abraham Lincoln.

The first of two Civil War Battles began before noon. This featured the Union coming up the valley and over taking the town that the Confederates were at. There was gun fire and canon blasts and soldiers dying. The Union won this first battle and the bugle played the traditional "Taps" when the battle ended. With all of the smoke and loud gun fire you felt part of the reenactment. They carried bodies out of the battlefield, placed hats on top of the dead. We were able to see how the men fought in the straight lines and drop as they were struck with gunfire. More men died in the Civil War because of this tactic.

After the battle, we made our way back to main street. There was the Spencer & Jackson Theatrical Troupe to see, Ladies Tea in the Town Hall, and Stories with Abe Lincoln at the wishing well. We toured an outdoor museum featuring authentic Civil War memorabilia including guns, rifles and swords. The fellow pictured below was most knowledgeable and told us how that women had to enlist in the military as men. That Mary Edwards Walker could not serve in the Army even though she was an accomplished and skilled physician which the Army desperately needed. So she volunteered as a nurse with no pay. She saved many lives and then became their chief surgeon (again with no pay). Two years later after saving many lives and donning men's attire she was finally recognized for her efforts. At the end of the war she received the Congressional Medal of Honor. The only woman to this day to receive one. Upon returning home, and returning to the customary dress of a woman she was then asked to return her medal. He was full of information. Such as we will never know how many women fought in the Civil War since they enlisted under a man's name. It was not until the bodies were tossed into mass graves that soldiers realized that some of the bodies were those of women.

The School house was open for a lesson. Children went to the head of the class and took a quiz which earned them a prize. We were able to tour the camps of the Confederate Soldiers. Many soldiers were resting and taking naps along the path as if just returning from battle.

There were photo opportunities with the sixteenth president of the United States, Abe Lincoln. And this guy was perfect! He was reserved and took pictures freely with "his" people and spoke to all of the commanding officers and gave gifts to the kids (book marks with the history of Abe Lincoln printed on them).
Soldiers would speak to you about their tools and ammunition. This soldier let us hold the bullets and metal balls that went into canon type weapons. They were heavy! He even had a blade that was used in the amputation of limbs that could not be saved.

Photo opportunities continued along Main Street as the street became more populated with vendors and musicians. Get ready for the second battle of the day...

This time the Confederate's won. Back in town they had a women's fashion show and explained the attire of the woman at that time, what ladies wore and when. How to tell if a family had fallen on hard times, and that when the ladies went to a formal dance they arrived the day before or that morning and servants would help them dress for the dance. Thus the women wore "lace up the back dresses" since someone would be there to help them dress. Very interesting... There was President Lincoln reciting the Gettysburg Address. Then retiring of the colors and the Open to the Public "Dine with the Troops" dinner at sunset. What a great way to spend the day on President's Day Weekend. Truly patriotic!


Anonymous said...

great post. I would love to follow you on twitter.

Jennifer Priest said...

Really cool!! I always miss this stuff and I only like like an hour or less form Calico. Thanks for the reminder to go out there ;)


Related Posts with Thumbnails