Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A short break from the photos of our Niagara Falls trip because.....

this past weekend Gregg and I attended a reenactment of the Battle of Aldie.  The town is on the way to Middleburg which we have mentioned before, a favorite place to visit when we get the chance.  The fighting took place during the American Civil War on June 17th, 1863. History buffs might enjoy reading more here.

I had been told about the event three months previously but had completely forgotten until we decided to take a drive in the country.  Our drive took us through Aldie where we saw signs that gave us a clue, like this gentleman walking near the old mill.....

and a lady and gentleman deep in conversation.  Can you just imagine what they are saying?  She is asking him what he would like for supper.  "Why vittles, maybe a bowl of peanut soup and cornbread, and you know what would be good with that?"  "What?" she'd say." Why onions!"  She'd roll her eyes and retort, "I will dig up the peanuts, harvest the corn and grind the wheat before dark but you can forget those onions.  That's too much!"  and he'd say, "Frankly my dear I don't give a damn.", and then she would say in a huffy tone, "Well, tomorrow is another day!" as she straightens her skirts and pranced off into the sunset.  Straight out of Gone with the Wind.  Okay, enough of the prattling Scarlet, I don't think anyone will be beating my door down for a screenplay, not in this lifetime anyhow.  Of course, the cars and signs are just a tad out of place.  

We followed the signs to the first field.  It was such a pretty day and the crowd was gathering.

Those big old trees were spoken for.  It was a hot day and we hadn't put any sunscreen lotion on because we had not expected to be outside that much, just a little drive down the country lanes.  Luckily we are now keeping our hats permanently in the car.

It is hard to imagine that terrible battle in such peaceful, beautiful surroundings.

There were people on the field being told to clear the area and this little girl's daddy quickly rounded her up.

This group was right in the middle of the field and they didn't move.  Their cameras were at the ready.....

as was this photographers.  Nope, no one moved but as it turned out.....

and by the time the Union Cavalry showed they were far enough out of harm's way.

By the time the Confederates showed up I was wishing I had brought my binoculars.

We didn't need our sunscreen.  It was all over pretty fast and the people who took part gave us a good idea on troupe placement.  The announcer told us the next battle would be across the road in another field and that we would get a closer view of the action, so off we went.

The whole crowd moved through the garden of the old house.  It must have been here when the battle took place and it looked like someone still lives there.  I am not sure what the purpose of the old beamed structure was but it was in a sad state of disrepair and it wouldn't be long before it fell to the ground. (Since writing about the house I have since found out more information.  According to what I read here this is the Furr-Leith Farm and after being in the Furr-Leith Family for seven generations, changed ownership and is now owned by Chet and Laura Lea Moore of Aldie, VA.

On the other side was the field we were heading for, and we made sure we found a spot under a shady tree.

Good job too as we had to wait about an hour.  The children had fun chatting and were very well behaved, sitting patiently for a good length of time. What a great way to get them interested in the history of their country and they helped to entertain us while we waited.

Some were dressed as they might have been during the Civil War.

I saw this little fellow later.  He was very interested in that stick....

but disappeared quickly when his mother called him.

The Confederates are waiting patiently at the wall, and that is the same wall the real Confederates would have been hiding behind.

After a while the Union troops turned up.

The spectators got ready.....

and the battle commenced.

In this battle the Union troops were defeated.  

Afterwards the troops came to chat with spectators.  They are all very knowledgeable about Civil War History.  

We have a better understanding of what went on in Aldie.  I had no idea of its Civil War connection.  We live near Manassas and have visited its battlefield often over the years.  Their land is open to the public for miles around but the battle here was fought on what is now private land.  

We found this beautiful barn on the property.  Someone else was as interested in taking a photo as we were, and there were plenty of others with cameras behind her.  People love barns!

We have traveled the main road often but have never taken the side roads in Aldie.  It was a wonderful day to start exploring them.  Gregg is one of those history buffs I mentioned.  He reads a lot about this era and coming here has helped him have a better understanding on those placement of troops he has read about.

As a matter of interest, General George A Custer took part in the Battle of Aldie.  He had been promoted to Captain and was in his 20's. Later  he was promoted to Brigadier-General and took part in the Battle of Gettysburg.  A link can be found here with all kinds of interesting facts and photos.  There is also another link here.