If you missed the 150th anniversary reenactment of the battle of Manassas/Bull Run last week, fear not! I have arrived with the best of the best in the way of YouTube videos to help you feel like you were there.
There were about ten thousand reenactors there this year from what I heard despite the oppressive heat. I heard the heat index was around 115 degrees all weekend.
Unfortunately, I also heard that two people died this year as well. It seems like almost every major reenactment has some kind of casualty whether it’s from the heat or injury on the battlefield. Most tourists think we’re just play acting and the guns aren’t real or aren’t dangerous but it is in fact a dangerous hobby. Our guns and cannons don’t fire ammunition but there are still gunpowder, fire, and projectiles made of anything that might be caught up in the weapons. I could tell stories about reenactors getting hands shot off or severely maimed from not paying attention to where weapons are being fired. My point is, to those who make fun of Civil War reenactors, you can stop now. It takes guts and intelligence to do what we do.
A few things to keep in mind: whenever you see cavalry, those horses have been trained to cope with gunfire and chaos. You can’t take just any horse to a reenactment and expect it to perform well. Also, there appeared to be more women on the battlefield than I’m used to seeing at smaller reenactments. I’m not sure why. You would not see a woman in hoops wandering around a battle like that unless she was an extra brave nurse or a local, and even then, the likelihood that they’d be wearing hoops is very small. You’re going to see General Lee too. To my knowledge, he was not actually at Manassas as his first field assignment was two months after the fact. I may be wrong on this one though. Lee is the star of the war, so you’ll see some guy walking around portraying him at every reenactment whether he was actually there or not. I think I counted five Lees at the Gettysburg reenactment in 2009. Tourists eat it up and we do what we can to keep attracting them to our events.
So here are some videos from the reenactment.
Marching off to Manassas
150th Anniversary Reenactment of the First Battle of Manassas (Photos and Video)
A view of the battle from a “wounded soldier”
First Bull Run 150th – U.S. Marine Battle Marker Dedicated July 21, 2011
150th First Bull Run Event – Civil War Music