Living history boomed to life at the Jackson Muster

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Guns and Canons blazed at the Jackson Muster
Guns and Canons blazed at the Jackson Muster

This weekend in Jackson, Michigan canons boomed, horses charged, infantry marched and rifles blazed at the Jackson Muster.  Muster literally means a gathering of the troops and it is used by living history participants to refer to gathering for a historical reenactment on the battlefield.  Today they assembled to reenact the battle of Gettysburg.

Soldiers in hot wool stand in their unit, ready to join in the battle
Soldiers in hot wool stand in their unit, ready to join in the battle

The soldiers wore heavy wool pants, shirts, vests, and even full dress uniforms in 90+ temperatures under the hot sun.  Their passion and dedication to reenacting was as evident as the sweat on their faces.

Whether in formation or scattered across the field the troops looked sharp
Whether in formation or scattered across the field the troops looked sharp

Their dedication to historical authenticity is also amazing.  Many of them are so true to the originals that the thread for their garments is hand spun, then woven on a loom by hand and tailor made for they or by them and costing over a thousand dollars for a basic set.

This Civil War era canon was cast in 1836 and was used in the Spanish American War before it was used in the Civil War and is valued between $50 and $100,000.
This Civil War era canon was cast in 1836 and was used in the Spanish American War before it was used in the Civil War and is valued between $50 and $100,000.

The canons shot on the battlefield go beyond authenticity as they are actual canons that were used in Civil War era battles and are valued in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Major General Jeremy F.Gilmer portrays one of the Civil War Engineer/surveyors who would map the areas prior to troop movements and battles
Major General Jeremy F.Gilmer portrays one of the Civil War Engineer/surveyors who would map out the areas prior to troop movements and battles

In addition to the battles there were also educational demonstrations and displays including Civil War era medical science, surveying, a church service, and numerous tents in the sutler’s marketplace.

The Emerald Peacock Civil War era tavern caters the cause
The Emerald Peacock Civil War era tavern caters the cause

Of course, there is also the Emerald Peacock where one may procure libations, enjoy musical entertainment as well as the company of the lovely ladies of the camp.

While the educational experience is unquestionable, it is no great secret that for those who were in the uniforms on the battlefield and shooting off rifles and canons, it was also fun
Soldiers strolling past after the battle

While the educational experience is unquestionable, it is no great secret that for those who were in the uniforms on the battlefield and shooting off rifles and canons, it was also fun!

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