To aid the Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site, Stuart, Joe, and I headed down on Saturday to do some living history for the day. We met the new supervisor, Thomas Casler, who is quite enthusiastic and interested in reenacting as well. We put out a bit of equipment and set ourselves up in the guard-house. Though the day started slow and rainy, it eventually picked up. We did pass the time as soldiers might have (although illegally) by playing cards (our pot was coffee beans). About thirty people came out throughout the day, including one couple who traveled all the way from Philadelphia, coming to North Dakota to visit forts and the Badlands.
Several youngsters came with their parents and we demonstrated the sequence for firing the weapons and talked about our gear. We also raised and lowered the flag over the post. Overall, it was a good day, despite the iffy weather, and we had a good time helping them commemorate Memorial Weekend. Our next trip will be to historic Fort Sisseton in South Dakota to take part in their annual historic festival. Below are some pictures (courtesy of Thomas Casler) from our day at Abercrombie.
Last Saturday, several members of the Fort Abercrombie Garrison and I assisted the site in celebrating Flag Day. It was a fun day of educating visitors on the fort, the frontier army, and the Civil War (yes, Fort Abercrombie is a Civil War site in North Dakota). We set up a small display of tents and equipment used by soldiers and engaged the visitors when possible. In addition, we assisted in retiring several flags through burning, including one of the site’s old flags. We raised that flag one last time and saluted it, folded it, and retired it. It was truly an honor to take part in this.
One of the cool parts of the day occurred earlier, when WDAY came out and filmed us practicing folding the flag. Also, yours truly was interviewed and the segments appeared on the six o’clock and ten o’clock newscasts that Saturday night, so potentially 200,000 people got to see what we did and our passion for history.
Click here to catch the videos (there are two segments)
Here are some pictures from the day as well.
Last weekend, I had a blast interacting with another unit closer to Grand Forks. It had the added bonus of being Union, which allows me to portray both sides in a given season, as I also fall in with Co. H. 1st South Carolina Infantry. Called the Fort Abercrombie Garrison, after the fort in southeastern North Dakota, but also known as Co. D, 5th Minnesota Infantry, it consists of several men from the Fargo-Moorhead area, as well as two (yours truly included) from Grand Forks.
Last Sunday, I drove to Detroit Lakes, MN to the Becker County Museum to join elements of the Garrison providing an interpretive display on the war to visitors for International Museum Day. It was great and, according to an article on DL-Online, over two hundred showed up. We set up a tent, two cannon, and displayed our equipment. We were dressed in a variety of Union uniforms and discussed the equipment and life of soldiers in the war. We also took the opportunity to tour the wonderful museum, which has many great displays and had several artisans on hand to demonstrate various skills. It was great fun and I even had the chance to recruit for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, which is always a plus. I will also share a couple great pictures of us from the event. If the weather holds, I may be heading to Abercrombie on Sunday for their opening weekend. I look forward to being involved with this unit in the future.
Den and Megan Bolda and I talk inside the museum. I am on the right.
I am in the middle hidden by the arms.