I write historical romance novels, and the time span is 1860 through 1866 for my Impending Love series, which means I include a lot of Civil War history in my stories.
Although I have a large collection of books on the Civil War, this summer I journeyed to Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Bull Run, and Gettysburg to take photographs of the locations of some of the major battles.
I asked a lot of questions, but I also learned that sometimes the person can give erroneous information or embellish something, so double check any information received by a person in period dress.
The scope of the area where battles occurred at Antietam is impressive, especially after we visited Bull Run in the afternoon where the fighting was in such a small area for the first battle in 1861. Ohio boys fought at Antietam with the 7th Ohio Volunteers reduced in half. Many of them died in the cornfield, which had been planted on some sections of the battlefield. It was hard not to image ghosts walking among the stalks.
At the Gettysburg battlefield we visited Culp’s Hill, and found markers for the 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry near the Pennsylvania boys.
They were ordered to Little Round Top but got lost and missed some of the deadliest fighting.
We attended the Gettysburg reenactment and I learned about photography, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, and the making of the movie, Gettysburg, from one of the actors in it.
When I returned home, I visited Hale Farm and Village in Bath and wrote about my experience for the newspaper. http://goo.gl/aykW3b
VIDEO: LEE SURRENDERS; WAR IS OVER FOR ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA
by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: August 14, 2015 12:00AM
As the Confederate troops marched out of the woods and lined up for the last time, stacking their guns and relinquishing their haversacks, cartridge cases and military issued equipment, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia.
Every August reenactors converge on Hale Farm and Village in Bath to bring history to life. This year, 150 years after the surrender on April 9, 1865, the Confederate troops lost the battle around Appomattox Court House portrayed on Aug. 9.
The Rebel flag was rolled up and placed across stacks of guns, surrendered along with piles of supplies used by the soldiers. The regiments were called forward and men of the Southern states received their pardons, some tucking them in their caps. The Union troops, assembled on the perimeter, gave no cheers of victory, and the crowd was unusually quiet as the troops, now civilians, walked away in silence to return home.
On Aug. 8 reenactors portrayed the Battle of Dinwiddie Courthouse and the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia.
Besides the infantry battles and surrender, the annual event offers artillery demonstrations and cavalry demonstrations with reenactors camped on the grounds.
The command staff for the reenactment included Brigadier General Bob Minton, commander of the First Federal Division; Colonel Paul Baltzer, commanding one of the Division’s two infantry battalions; Colonel Nick Medich, commanding the Medich battalion; Captain Greg Van Wey, second in command of Medich’s battalion; and Captain Michael Church who led the 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.
The Confederate Camp was in the woods and west side of Hale house. The Union troops were camped on the east side of the road on the green surrounded by historic buildings and the church.
Camp Chase Fifes and Drums Corp entertained visitors with music from the Civil War, and President Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Gerald Payne, gave a speech near the apple orchard.
In addition to the regular staff at Hale Farm and Village, visitors could ask questions of the reenactors on a variety of historic subjects.
Hale Farm was founded by Jonathan Hale in 1810 and three generations lived on the farm. In 1956 the property was bequeathed to the Western Reserve Historical Society.
More information can be found at http://www.halefarm.org