A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

May 21, 2011

Witness to War and Reunion

Alicia and a soldier from the
28thMA Infantry. The 28th
MA is a local Mid-Atlantic Union
re-enactor unit. This fellow is actually
a retired US Army veteran.
Alexandria, VA hosted a Civil War Living History Event this weekend. The city hosted a variety of open museums, tours and a Living History Event at Market Center near City Hall. Alicia and I attended the Living History Event as spectators.

The 150th Anniversary of the Union Occupation of Alexandria and the deaths of Lieutenant Ellsworth and Jackson are fast approaching. These were the = first casualties of the civil war. Alexandria has several events planned to commemorate these momentous occasions.

Though a serious time in history, the Market Square event was more a carnival atmosphere with all aspects of civil war life present including soldiers and civilians.

The Market Square was set up like the typical Farmer's market except that each stand represented different aspects of the Civil War instead of selling produce. I especially liked the heavy concentration of civilian re-enactors, including African American military and civilian period re-enactors. Most re-enactors are very scrupulous about using authentic clothing and equipment, so their photos make good reference material.

I learned from the Alexandria Archeology and African American Civil War Museum representatives that there might be information about the US Construction Corps that worked on the USMRR. I have marked that on my list as needed visits.

Ron Beavers and his wife were there. Ron had his railroad artifacts on display.  Here Ron has an interested client learning about Civil War railroads.

These Union reenactors had what I regarded as a very authentic look - that lean and fit look that came from months of campaigning. The females also captured the period look wonderfully.


There was a Victorian Dance group that demonstrated period era dancing. I believe the announcer said this is called a quadrille, a forerunner to square dancing.

The several other groups were present including period photographer, fire department, artillery, medical corps, fire zouaves, an early war Virginia regiment and several bands.
US Regular Troops

Some early war Virginia regimental troops in "battle shirts."   After a
couple of years of campaigning they won't look so well fed.

A full load of kit. Many soldiers abandoned a majority of this gear
after a few months of marching and fighting.

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