Monday, August 27, 2012

Sesquicentennial. Say it three times fast.

Were you aware that it is currently the 150th anniversary of the Civil War? Also known as the sesquicentennial, which I just like to say over and over. Well if you were a history nerd, you would know that. Being the epitome of history nerds, my family and a bunch of my coworkers went down to Manassas, Virginia on Saturday where they were having a big to-do to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Second Battle of Bull Run/Manassas (depending on whether you are a Yankee or Reb, respectively).

Actually, first my parents stopped at the apartment so my mom could meet the kitties and take our family portrait.

Anyway, now on to Manassas.

We checked out the Civil War encampment for a bit. When I was younger, re-enactors creeped me out. Now that I am an historian and understand their impulse to remember, we have come to a truce. I ignore them and they ignore me.

Actually, I don't understand their impulse to re-enact. You know why? Because living in the past actually sucked. It was dirty and there was no electricity, indoor plumbing, or internet. So while I love to study it, I am quite happy here in the second millennium with my cable and air conditioning.

But I digress. It unfortunately began to rain. Being hearty types, we took the shuttle (read: wagon) to Liberia House Plantation, a local historic home that had been used as a headquarters by both the Confederates and the Union during the First and Second battles, respectively. It is known as "the death house" because when the Confederates fled the first battle, they left four dead bodies in the house. Lovely.

These are my people. Also note my fashionable blue plastic poncho from Niagara Falls.

Liberia House
Unfortunately, once we got inside the house it began to pour. As in driving rain. Also unfortunately there wasn't much to see in the house, so it wasn't somewhere you wanted to be stuck. We hung out on the portico and watched the re-enactors be miserable and wet.

Rain, rain, go away.
Once it became clear that the rain wasn't going to stop any time soon, the people running the event decided, thankfully, to bring vans to shuttle us back to our cars instead of making us ride back in the tractor wagon, exposed to the elements. They moved us back into the house, where we encountered an historically inaccurate Abraham Lincoln:

Also creepy. To quote the woman to his left "Don't touch me, Fake Lincoln!"
I say historically inaccurate because at this time, theoretically 1862 according to the people manning the house, Lincoln didn't have the famous beard. Nor would he have worn gray pants with a black coat. I'm just saying. 

Of course, by the time they got all of us shuttled back, the rain was stopping. So my parents and I went back out to the actual battlefield, where we took a bit of a hike and then went to Don Pablo's for dinner, where I ate fried ice cream and didn't feel one bit bad about it. So there.


Check out what a bunch of other bloggers did this weekend at the link-up these lovely ladies hold!