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I Was A Day Tripper


When we go to a Civil War event for just the day rather than a whole weekend we call it “day tripping” and that’s what Dale and I did this past Saturday. It’s much easier than setting up the tent and making arrangements to be away overnight. In fact, these days, it’s my preferred way of attending an event – I get to go and have fun and still sleep in a real bed at night. This particular weekend we held what we call a “Camp of Instruction.” It’s basically a chance for the reenactors in our area to get together and learn new techniques and better ways of recreating our time period.


For the ladies, this means knitting – hooray! I spent some time Saturday morning teaching a few ladies to knit fingerless mitts. We used the ever-popular Fetching pattern. While I have no idea if this particular pattern would be considered period correct, fingerless mitts were widely worn during our time period so we’re knitting these based on that. It was the first time any of these women had knit cables and I showed them how. I guess I really am over my fear of cables!

During the afternoon we had another woman come and talk to us about period correct sewing notions and trims for our dresses. She was so informative and I really learned a lot.


While we were exploring feminine pursuits, the men were doing manly things. Dale gave a presentation on safety as part of his role as the Brigade Safety Officer. They also drilled and fired guns and cannons and stuff.

As much fun as we had during the day, late afternoon and into the evening was even better. Can you guess why?



Was it because the Quartermaster Sergeant appeared with a beverage for me? (And before you all give me any crap, let me just tell you that martinis are indeed period correct. 1862, bay-bee.)


Was it because the 6th New Hampshire Volunteers provided musical entertainment?


Was it because we had a fabulously gorgeous bonfire?

I’m sure it’s partly because of all those things. But I suspect that it’s mostly because of the fellowship we feel while among our fellow reenactors. Our shared love of history and its preservation has bound us together in the same way that wool has bound the knit blogging community together.


These are good people – much like the knitters and spinners I know.

This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. That looks like a lovely day. Now, did you teach the ladies how to cable w/out a cable needle?

  2. You know what is crazy, Just *last night*, I sent a link to your blog to an old pal who does ACW reenacting & told him to go looksey at your pictures from last week & Now he will get to see pics from this week, too! haha.
    I have to say, it really looks like a wonderful time. Something magical happens when people who share intrests get together. Speaking of that, I hope to see you Saturday; I’ll be comming armed (hey, saves on the postage.)

  3. Now that looks like fun! How can you go wrong with period drinking? 😉 The dresses are fabulous!

  4. Okay, I’ll give you the martini, but the brushed finish stainless skaker? I’d say that more “Pier One” era than Civil War Era.

  5. Good morning. Your pictures are so very interesting. The martini also looks good. You seem to be such a busy person but I sure am glad you take the time to blog. Have a great day. sandy

  6. Hubby and I are big Civil War buffs. Living in Tennessee has given us the opportunity to visit Shiloh, Corinth and Brices Crossroads. Have you ever read the book, “Confederates in the Attic”? It talks about Civil War reenactors. If you have, the funny scene about the courthouse displays in Vicksburg is true. If you haven’t, put it on your must reads!

  7. You look so pretty any happy with your martini! I’m sure you looked that way before the martini too 😉

  8. So do you have a special Civil War Reenacterstini? I just saw a a fiberholics drink called SSK. It’s a Sip Sip Knit with knitting needles as stirrers.

  9. Carole I always love your posts about reenactments!! How cool to have reenactment training too. I wish we were at the right place in our lives that we could do something like that. My BIL has done a lot of reenacting but his wife isn’t into it. One of his sons does it with him though.

    I really love the lady in the first picture on the left with her gray hair pulled back. She really looks the part with that hair.

  10. great photos – what fun it sounds like – and I’m going to be singing that Beatles song all day!
    Where do all the ladies find the hoops for the dresses?

  11. I love the photos of the women reenactors. Soldiers, schmoldiers, show me the women! That’s what makes it seem really real to me. And if one of said women is daintily hoisting a period-authentic martini, why, so much the better!

  12. Your face really lights up when someone puts a martini in your hand! (See also: SPA 2007) It’s very endearing. 🙂

  13. What’s not to love about a day that ends with a bonfire. Didn’t know that they has cashmerino in those times 🙂

  14. That just looks like so much fun, Carole. I love the dresses and the rich history. Good for you for keeping it alive.

  15. ok my question — would a lady of your breeding have actually taken part in the drinking of the martini? and did those glasses exist then?

    oh i’m going to keep you “honest” if it kills me 😉

  16. Good for you for getting over the cable fear! Your events look like a lot of fun, but then, martini’s at any event would enhance. 😉

  17. Looks like it was a wonderful day (especially being served a period correct drink)!

    I guess you can now officially say cables don’t scare you! Way to go.

  18. not that I doubt you, but I am surprised to hear about Martini’s! looks like you had a great time.

  19. Glad you guys had a great day. Sorry I couldn’t be there, but I did think about y’all.

    I just love the martinis in camp. I’ve still got this picture of you at Hildene in my head. Makes me giggle every time!

  20. It looks like great fun. Ruth and I have done a couple of historical fiber gigs, not reenacting per se, but somewhat similar, and I can definitely see how I could get caught up in it. I’m totally with you on the real bed, however.

  21. Yes, I was wondering about the martini glasses, too. 🙂 It sounds like you had a fabulous time! I love the dresses.

  22. What a fun day! And who knew martinis were circa 1800something…knitting and martinis. What a day!

  23. I accidentally read that as “exploring feminine products.”

    Well, what of it? Or is that too uncouth for Civilized ladies to discuss?

  24. (of course the Beatles song is now running in the back of my mind…) (she was a da-a-ay tripper, Sunday driver, yeah…)

    what a lovely day it was; glad you had such a splendid way to spend it.

  25. I absolutely love all these little tidbits you share about your time spent in Civil War reenactment. What a wonderful way to spend time learning, participating, and teaching others about an incredible time in history.

    How fun to be able to teach knitting Saturday morning. Were circular needles used during that period, or do you have to use dpn’s?

  26. The only reenactment I have ever attended was at Fort Ti in New York (Revolutionary War) and it was amazing. I have this fascination with history and the idea of going back in time as a fly on the wall to see if people were really very different from us (of course they weren’t). I really felt as though I were experiencing at least a taste of life 200 years ago.

    It’s an interesting community of people you are hanging with because it takes a large bunch of reenactors working together to set the scene properly and obviously there are plenty of people ready to do their part. I think my husband would get into it because he’s like Mr. Pioneer Man, but he says no.


  27. I’m so laughing at you calling people out on the period correctness of freaking martinis. I love you for that.

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