I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, so Civil War history was practically ingrained in my psyche from birth. It may seem odd to say, but though I can remember studying the Civil War in history class, I cannot remember far enough back into my childhood to remember when I first became aware of its significance.
Having said that, it was not until I moved back to the South and to South Georgia in particular, that I was fully struck by the impact that historical war still has on society today. Racial and political discourse stemming from the war aside, physical reminders of the Civil War abound.
Confederate flags fly proudly, monuments commemorating the lives of Confederate soldiers or the feats of Confederate heroes can be found in towns big and small all across the state.
I have always been a lover of history. And I believe it is important to know and remember where we’ve been so we can set a path to where we are going. And as Edmund Burke is often quoted, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
And it’s great when history can be brought to life. This brings me to Civil War battle reenactments.
I had heard of an annual battle reenactment that takes place just a few miles from my current home and for many years I would have every intention of going without ever actually following through.
But last year, I was writing for the local newspaper and decided, this was my year!
So, I invited my Dad to come along and we headed out to the Battle of Manassas (right here in South Georgia – Tattnall County, to be exact.).
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. From walking among the tents and watching the soldiers prepare for battle to having (literally) a front row seat to a battle scene, I was fully engaged. Gunfire, canonfire, the thundering of horses’ hooves were more than just heard, but experienced.
As a photographer, I absolutely loved the rich array of photographic opportunities (I think I took around 1,000 photos – thank God for digital photography!). In fact, it’s because I had so many great shots from this experience that I wanted to include the reenactment in this blog. How often do you get the chance to take pictures of history?
So, I hope you enjoy these photos! This annual reenactment takes place near Manassas, Georgia (not to be confused with Manassas, Virginia where this battle originally took place). The event is always scheduled for the 3rd weekend in March and is hosted by the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
This particular battle was not only chosen because of its name, but also because the South which initially loses its fort, comes back victorious in the end!