5-7 October 2007 This past weekend we dry camped in a field in Clyde, Oh with 30 other motorhomes for a weekend of fun and a little bit of history reenacted. Dry camping is simply staying in a location with no outside support services like electric or water. It was a great location with great weather.
We engaged in the usual gathering activities of friendly competition and lots of food. We were also very close to the Rutherford Hayes presidential center and home in Fremont, Ohio. This weekend a reenactment of the Confederate raid into Ohio by General Morgan was being held at the center. There were over 700 re-enactors encamped on the grounds and demonstrating life of soldiers during the Civil War.
We enjoyed talking with a number of these people about their interests and activities along with the history of some of the people they portrayed. There was one lady there who was portraying the volunteer women soldiers who for most of the part were never officially acknowledged. This was a fascinating story which is too long for this journal, but the short version is that they fought alongside the male soldiers either as unpaid women or in many cases as women taking on the identity of men to receive the pay and benefits. This is a topic worthy of further research.
In the afternoon, these “soldiers” re-enacted the skirmish between General Morgan’s Calvary troop of 2400 men and the regular Union troops they encountered. General Morgan had commenced this raid, against the direct orders of his superiors, into Ohio to bring the war to the civilians there, in the hopes of causing pressure on the union to seek a peace with the South. His early encounters with irregulars and civilians had sent the local population into a panic. However, in this encountered, he faced a well trained regular army detachment, lead by Rutherford Hayes, which nearly destroyed his entire cavalry. Morgan’s reputation was in ruins and his mission a failure.