Monday, March 31, 2014
A column of march from the 150th Anniversary reenactment of Pittsburg Landing (aka Shiloh). Marching was the most common experience of the soldier on campaign. Everyone might not get into a battle, but everyone marched. The realities of a march are best understood by reading a great deal of accounts by veterans of the War Between the States and then going out and doing it yourself. It is one of the real benefits of reenacting/living history that it brings a visceral sense of understanding to the words the actual participants wrote. You hear the sound of a moving column, the shuffling of feat, the rattle of cups against canteens, the shout of commands, the jingle of equipment, the snort of horses; You experience the frustrating start and stop nature of a large column on the move, the mud or the dust, the heat or the cold, the weariness and uncertainty. All of that brings you into communion with what the veterans remembered, what stuck in their brains as important enough to share later in life.