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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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