For the start of the battle, both armies were supposed to be fighting in the woods on the opposites side of the field from the spectators, whence the Confederates would gradually make a fighting retreat in the direction of the spectators. However, the directions to our colonel were a bit confusing, so when we were in the forest we ended up sandwiched between union troops, and taking orders from a Union general. But eventually we got things sorted out and retreated through a line of Union troops.
In battle, there aren’t any specific rules on when you die, but traditionally it’s done when you run out of ammo. We were about halfway across the field toward the sidelines when I ran out of caps, so I was one of the first to die in our company. In order to make it look a little more realistic I jerked back and flew a few feet as if I had been hit by a bullet (more about the realism later).
It was actually rather peaceful being dead, I had fallen in such a way that I was pretty comfortable, the only thing was is was rather boring, because I was looking up at the sky, which wasn’t doing much. The roar of the cannons and the crackling of the rifles was a good lullaby though, and I took a short nap, until the Georgia Infantry almost stepped on me. They were retreating from their position and one of their guys would’ve stepped right on me while he was backing up if his buddy hadn’t told him to “Watch out for the dead, show some respect.” They were kindof a weird bunch, what with their red and white striped pants, and I had them firing over my body for a few minutes until they retreated further.
About 15-20 minutes after I died the battle was over, so I fell in with company B again and we headed back to camp. Upon our return JB was hugged by Mose and I was tackled by Kitty.
Apparently they had been somewhat traumatized by our deaths, but Kitty moreso by mine, because she had been looking for us on the battle field, and I had barely com into view, so she started to say to Mark, Mose, and Amy “Look there’s Ni-” when I suddenly was hit. She kinda freaked out, because I guess a fair amount of the reenactors deaths aren’t that realistic (they’re in their 50s and 60s, they can hardly be expected to fall down hard) and I’m told her jaw dropped and she didn’t speak for a minute.
So the soldier returning from the dead were warmly greeted at camp.

Between the second and the third battles, we only had time to get a quick bite to eat, and meet some of Kitty’s northern friends. Paul and Frankie were a couple teenage homeschooled boys in the Pennsylvania Artilley, so we spent some time with them, along with the rest of their family (which was a good homeschooling size ;) )

JB decided to sit out the third battle, so I fell in at about 4:40 with Mr. Jenson, Sven, and the rest of the outfit. This was a twilight/evening reenactment of Cold Harbor, where the Confederates were defending some sort out fortification against the advancing Northerners. We marched out to the opposite side of the field as the spectators, while the Union troops formed up in from of the spectators. We were on top of a small ridge, and were told to spread out to form a continuous line across the whole thing, which was about 200-300 yards long. The battle started at about 6:15, with the Union troops advancing on our position. Soon their artillery started firing, lighting up the night which fire blasting from their barrels. At about 100 yards, the Union troops started firing, but the we held our fire until they were within 60 yards. Then the confederate artillery let loose grapeshot straight into the midst of them, followed by a volley from the entire confederate line.
I was told by the observers that the effect of fire belching from the barrels of a couple hundred guns all at once was rather impressive.
After that we were told to “reload, and fire at will as fast as possible.”
Basically, the entire battlefield was a dark cloud of smoke, lit by the large flares of cannons, with the smaller crackling of the rifles keeping up a steady fire. Almost all the Union troops were dead within 15 minutes, and the rest were retreating in disorder, leaving the Confederates victorious on the field of battle.

After the final battle, our little group got together again at the tents and played cards for awhile before the dance, which started at about 7. The dancing was a bit different from TAC, because each of the dances lasted about 20-30 minutes, and it was square-dancing instead of swing. There were several quadrilles, and the Virginia reel, which altogether lasted for about 3 hours, after which all our feet were very sore (Cavalry boots and slippers are not the most conducive to dancing.)
Afterwards we fell asleep drove home in Mark’s car, which (in case I haven’t mentioned it before) is a really awesome old ’87 station wagon with the rear facing seats.

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