This was my first taste of being on the front lines in a fierce and chaotic battle. When my dad and I entered the encampment we could see large groups of tents, people, and weapons. Our first mission was to check into registration, so they knew who’s in what unit in case someone gets injured. After that we drove down to where our unit the Irish Jasper Greens were camped.
Getting up at 5:30am in order to muster at 6:30 wasn’t the difficult part. Putting on the wool uniform, belt, canteen, cartridge box, cap pouch, and lugging around a 1842 Springfield musket was. When we finally arrived at the camp we were greeted with cheers followed by drills, marching, and waiting for the other companies to form up. Once formed we fell into the brigade we were designated as the 8th or last company in that scenario. Officer’s checked his or her company’s gun to make sure it could fire properly, shortly after that we walked out to the field for drills. Once drills were over everyone marched back to camp to prepare for the upcoming battle in a few hours, this is where the fun begins.
The First Shot
The drums sounded, men and women scrambled to their ranks, and civilians waved at the passing soldiers. We emerged through a small forest clearing to the battlefield, where we’re greeted first not by the enemy but by cheering spectators. Hopefully they didn’t think it was going to be a Gladiator fight. We stood in a straight line looking out as the enemy slowly moved in. Cannon’s boomed and some commanders gave the order to open fire, while others held fire. The ringing in my ears of muskets cracking and cannons blasting made me feel like I was in the Civil War.
You’re probably wondering what does this have to do with stuttering? On the battlefield my adrenaline helped me say things on the fly which is where I made most of my friends, when we got back to camp that’s when I curled up in my ball. Being in a new environment always makes me soft-spoken, and unsure about how people will react to my stuttering. I’m not a chatter box, and most reenactors LOVE to BS, I’m not good at BS-ing so I just talked with some guys who were around my age. As the night dragged on since everyone’s phones were dead or they left them at home, it forced everyone to socialize. At first I mostly did small talk which allowed my nervousness to subside a little. Alas I always wound up going back in my shell. Despite me not being very talkative I still got to experience an event as well as a community unlike anything we have today. Being without technology for a few days was actually not that bad. All of a sudden when it became even darker I was becoming more talkative, and even cracked a few jokes which made people laugh. Even though this was my first time participating fully at a reenactment, I really enjoyed myself! The hobby of reenacting is really fun to get into, and once you start you will fall in love with it.