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The First Day I
Pictures taken July 3, 1998 at the 135th Reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg.



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Fan in hand, a reenactor enjoys the display of fashion and gentility.






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Many years ago we made the mistake of calling reenactors outfits "costumes". We were promptly corrected that a costume is worn at parks by fictional characters. This clothing - researched, designed and created as authentically as possible is know as "period clothing". This period dress shows the feminine touches that reflect the romantic era of the mid 19th century - flowing skirts, lace and flower details, curly hair with ornamentations and petite yet ornate jewelry.

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The embalmer's workshop was completely portable as he traveled from place to place. One firm charged $50 to embalm an officer and $25 for an enlisted man. The prices went up as the war dragged on.

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One of the morning events of the first day of the three day reenactment was a Civil War era fashion show by Susan Hughes, Editor of Citizens Companion Magazine. Here reenactors recreate women of a religious order.

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These dashing figures are all from western NY and represent the Bedford Light Artillery of the CSA. They are Mike Curvin, (Major) Phil Matteson, (Lt.) David Robillard, Mike Dougherty, Paul Speich and Larry Massey. Phil says he is a Rebel at heart and believes the Civil War was fought over "States Rights".

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The popular 97th Regimental String Band performs a concert in the multimedia tent, attracting a large crowd of their followers.


Nearby, in the Civilian Camp, a soldier grabs his lady and whirls her in dance on a floor of grass in a ballroom of tents.

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Though soldiers were much more numerous, there were thousands of ladies and children at the reenactment. During the Civil War, they rose to the challenge of living alone with their men off to fight while contributing to the war effort in various ways from nursing to running the family farm alone.

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On the heels of every Civil War army were those looking to capitalize on the business of war. Possibly the most grotesque was the embalmer who was sought out by family members who traveled to the battlefields in search of their loved ones. (We like the feather panache!)


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