A WTF moment if ever we saw one: Re-enactors of civil wars real and imagined have some fun at the Ohio Statehouse to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Sunday, April 10, 2011.

(Columbus Dispatch photo by Jeff Hinckley)

Update: According to the Ohio Garrison of The 501st Legion, those in Star Wars, Ghostbusters and Pirates of the Caribbean costumes had walked to the Statehouse after spending time at the Columbus Toy Show.

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam Re-Enactment

Confederate infantry re-enactors participate in the Battle of Bloody Lane during an event to mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam September 15, 2012 in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Battle of Antietam was fought on September 17, 1862 and was the bloodiest battle in American history with more than 23,000 men killed, wounded, and missing in one single day. It marked the end of General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the North and led to Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Meet Henry Liu, a Chinese American member of the Lexington Minute Men.

On representation Liu said: “Actually, when I walk down the street in my Colonial clothes, and I see an Asian family kind of looking at me, I’m kinda hoping somebody would say, ‘Wait a minute — you don’t have to be, you know, a Son of the American Revolution to join? You can be Chinese and be in this company?’ And sort of spark that conversation.” March on, Henry! - Alice

(Image by Linda Boardman Liu)

Reenactment of a tar & feathering in Colonial Williamsburg. Note the lack of bare skin. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because tourists were watching the spectacle. 

The standard procedure for tar & feathering was to strip a man down to his shirtsleeves. In the 18th century, shirtsleeves were considered “undressed” and normally just reserved for some physical activities.

In some rare cases the victim was stripped down to bare chest–but this was generally reserved for the most hated. 

After the victim was undressed and tied to a liberty pole (if the town had one), or some other object, hot tar was then poured over him. The hot tar being used was actually pine pitch, which melts at a much lower temperature than black tar does. Feathers were then dumped on top of the tar.

Afterwards the victim would often be paraded through town. In some instances this was done with the victim in a cart, at other times the victim would be made to sit on a fence rail and carried around town. 

As Gordon S. Wood points out, the purpose of tarring & feathering was not to injure the victim. It was to shame them and to get them align themselves again with the beliefs and ideas of the community. Very rarely was serious injury sustained.

Not that it was a pleasant experience by any means of course. 


Battle of Island Mound 

The first battle fought by African-Americans in the Civil War, depicted for the first time ever in film. A film by Brant Hadfield.

“The Battle of Island Mound” is a short film made in collaboration with Missouri State Parks and Brant Hadfield of Motionpath Productions. The film depicts the inspiring true story of the first battle fought by African-American soldiers in the Civil War, fought and won by the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry. Without the courage and victory of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers, there would not have been the 54th who were famously depicted in the 80’s film “Glory”.

As told by a young, runaway slave and newly enlisted Union soldier named George Washington, it all happened in Missouri in October 1862. George’s regiment was charged with clearing out a large group of rebel forces near the Missouri-Kansas border in Bates County, Missouri. 

Unlike the men in “Glory,” these men won despite being surrounded and outnumbered nearly 5 to 1. It’s an incredible story of honor, courage and the fight for freedom now told for the first time on film. Film Screening in Missouri