I kind of feel like my blog has been hijacked by all this Civil War…
Frank Harlow Day 2014
Last Saturday was the 10th annual Frank Harlow Day. The 10th! It’s hard to believe we’ve been embarrassing ourselves before our friends and townspeople for that many years, honestly. And, while everyone jokes about how we always have horrible weather, it really hasn’t been that bad other than the first year when it snowed and the second year when we had a monsoon.
I have the usual collection of photos to share with you. As we have done for the past 3 years, we encouraged adults and children in town to come and enlist in the 29th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Each person who does that is given the name of an actual soldier from our town and they portray that soldier throughout the event.
They are instructed in the ways of Civil War soldiers. I call this photo “This is your right” and if you’ve seen the movie “Glory” you will know why.
When roll is called, our participants – from the littlest to the biggest – respond with a loud “present, sir” when their soldier’s name is called. It’s my favorite part of the day.
After roll call they all marched across the street and through the cemetery to Frank Harlow’s grave. Frank isn’t actually buried there (you can read more about that here if you’re so inclined) but there is a marker for his family and Frank’s name is listed.
The colors are posted at the monument and Dale says a few words.
This year our friend Anne placed the wreath on Frank Harlow’s marker. It was her first time as a reenactor and I’m pretty sure she had a blast. She was rockin’ that dress and apron, too.
The “real” reenactors (the ones with actual, ya know, guns) fired a salute to Frank Harlow and all of the fallen soldiers.
And then our friend Ted played taps.
They then all marched back through the cemetery and to the Common where they were dismissed by their captain. It’s always sight to behold and I’m so honored to participate in this day.
We spent the rest of the day knitting and sewing, talking and swapping stories of other reenactments, and just generally enjoying each other’s company. I call this photo “remember the ladies” because we’re the ones who really do all of the work. Right, Dale?
Speaking of Dale, prior to this year’s event, he had been saying this year would be the last. I was pretty sure he didn’t mean it, though, and it was confirmed on Saturday morning when he uttered the words I had been expecting all along
. . . next year . . .
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I just re-read Dale’s post about Frank Harlow. Got chills reading it again.
Love to see the dresses you ladies wear. An event of this sort takes a lot of work and organization. You’re keeping alive the memory of the soldiers who fell, as well as, sharing a part of your town history. It’s a proud moment for Dale (and you!).
What fun! And the weather looked perfect this year — the skies bring a real Civil War feel to the whole thing. (And I’m so glad Dale is already planning for . . . next year!)
What a great event for your community – even if just one new person learns the story – success!
That’s so nice that Dale loves to do this for the community. I can’t imagine the work that goes into it. Are you doing any other re-enactments this year?
Had to call DH to my computer to see the story, and, in particular, the picture of the ladies. You see, my paternal grandmother wore an apron like that (two little gold safety pins at the top) every day of her life. She wouldn’t have let my beau see her like that, though: take the apron off when company comes. Now he knows what she looked like.
Guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. Her mother was born in 1868 (and was the guest of honor at our wedding). The aprons for her are like my fondness for mother’s 1940’s clothing.
Anne’s dress makes me swoon. It looks like another great day of honoring history and having fun.
I love all the little soldiers. What better to way to learn history than to participate. They’ll remember forever.
I love this. And I’m really glad you’ll be doing it again next year… as you knew you would!
You can see the joy in Dale’s eyes fairly jumping off the page … and it sure looks like Anne might be a regular from here on out! I hope someday I get to participate as well 🙂
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