Friday, May 9, 1865
Men! I welcome you all to the town of Appomattox in the state of Virginia. We have gathered at this site for one sole purpose—to express our shared love of history and profound concern for its preservation. The final battle of the Civil War was waged here where we stand. On this hallowed ground, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate forces to the North, exactly one month ago, today.
Some of you may be asking yourselves, is it too soon? Should we give it more time before performing a theatrical reenactment of the events that occurred here? To that I say it’s never too soon to seek a meaningful perspective on history. And also, to be fair, it’s not like it was last weekend.
As I look out into the crowd, I see excitement in your eyes. I also see that many of you are still nursing some rather fresh-looking injuries from the actual Civil War. This, I contend, is merely further provocation to grab hold of history now before the wounds are healed and the memories, forgotten.
Yes, our “battlefield” is still smoldering and not yet fully cleared of casualties, but this will only add to the authenticity that necessitates a fruitful reenactment. During our two-day “battle,” as you stand amongst your fellow “soldiers,” the residual smell of gunpowder wafting through the air, the echo of distant cannons ringing in your ears, be prepared, at times, to feel as if you’ve been transported back in time to a bit earlier in the spring.
A bit of housekeeping: Remember that all hand-to-hand “combat” is to be scripted. I think you’ll find this to be a fun way to learn what was actually said during the heat of battle. Scripts will be provided in your reenactment kits. In those kits, you’ll also find all the gear you will require. What you won’t find are any of the creature comforts of today. Remember, this is April. And we will LIVE like it’s April!
Okay! Let’s all suit up and have some fun out there! And above all, be safe!
Saturday, May 10, 1865
MEN! PLEASE! GATHER AROUND! EVERYONE, LISTEN UP! Okay, so this isn’t going the way I had imagined it TO SAY THE LEAST! I’m definitely getting the sense that this reenactment has brought out some emotions that were still a little too raw for many of you. Yesterday, I thought I had made it quite clear that the men in the gray uniforms are NOT REAL CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS! And the men in the blue uniforms are NOT REAL UNION SOLDIERS! Those are just the sides each reen-ACTOR was placed on when we divvied things up FOR THE REENACTMENT! And yet for almost twenty hours you’ve ferociously attacked one another with the highly unsanctioned use of live ammunition! Not only are you actually really killing each other, WHICH IS TERRIBLE, but you’re also completely disregarding the scripts you each received! WE ARE NOT ENEMIES! There is NO score to settle here except the score of historical awareness!!
Now PLEASE, let’s pay our respects to those who have SO SENSELESSLY fallen here, and clear the dead from where they lay, then get a good night’s rest, get out there tomorrow, and have a nice reenactment. A nice, FAKE-VIOLENT reenactment. I want to hear dialogue from the scripts and “Bang” sounds from your mouths. NOT your muskets. ARE WE CLEAR? I will NOT HESITATE to cancel the post-reenactment libations if this barbaric behavior persists! DON’T TEST ME!
For those who are wounded, the medics’ tent is quite understaffed. Oh, and they’re also NOT REAL MEDICS! See a theme developing? Some actual doctors are en route from Richmond, with any luck, they’ll be here by tomorrow eve.
Quick recap before we turn in: not a real war, just acting, living history, all in good fun, stick to the scripts, “bang” with your mouths, see you in the morning.
Sunday, May 11, 1865
SAVAGES!!!!! What have you DONE?? The earth is scorched! The town, burning to ash! We have suffered immense loss, perhaps THRICE that of the actual Battle of Appomattox Court House! It was too soon, I know that now. That’s on me. But the carnage before me is too much to bear! IS THERE ANYONE LEFT? HAS ANYONE BEEN SPARED THE RUTHLESS BLOODSHED OF THESE LAST TWO HORRIFIC DAYS?? Wait, who goes there? I see someone approaching through the smoke. Hello? Oh, thank goodness! There are, indeed, survivors… SON OF A BITCH! HE SHOT ME!! I’M HIT! Dammit! What is wrong with you people?? MEDIC!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SOMEONE GET ME A FAKE MEDIC!!