Today was the first day of this year’s Civil War Days Living History and Reenactment, hosted by the Huntington Beach Historical Society. My sister and I spent the better part of this afternoon touring around Huntington Beach Central Park, watching demonstrations and chatting with other history buffs. A member of the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry pretended to be offended when I asked him about his “funny pants.”*He insisted they were a “chick magnet,” something which I wasn’t in a position to refute.
During the first battle, my sister and I were situated a little too close for our ears’ comfort to the Confederate cannon artillery, but we got to see a lot of the infantry maneuvering on both sides of the battlefield. Although, there wasn’t any indication that particular historical battle was being reenacted, it must have been First Manassas. If my memory serves me correctly, that’s the only one that included picnickers (in this case, those with soft drinks and junk food). Afterward, when the lines ceased fire and stood at attention for Taps at a spot pretty much where they began, my sister asked me who won. No one, I assumed. The early afternoon had passed with no gains (in land) and many losses (in lives). Seemed historically accurate to me.
*Apparently, the French recommended that the Americans adopt their Algerian Zouaves’ look. I wonder what their motive was.