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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bentonville Battlefield - The trip - A date with my wife. Pt 2 of 4

And that homemade peach ice cream was so good. But that comes at the end. I spotted a post online in FB about a photographer with an old Civil War style camera ( the camera is newer but the lens is over 150 years old) that would be at Bentonville Battlefield NC (south of Smithfield) and I though it would be interesting to go see. (see previous post for the story about the camera) My wife is a history person and she said she would love to go also so we made it a date! And off we went. (Part of the nice part was having the time to look forward to it during the week rather than it being a spur of the moment thing). < By the way - I would like to say that this series is in no way to be taken that I am one of those that can't get over the Civil War. It is merely a trip my wife an I went on period.) 

First let's get this out of the way, I could have put it back in the middle of the story where it happened but the kid in me says show it now. 


Now back to the trip. Bentonville is about an hour south of Raleigh, NC, just a few minutes south of Smithfield. Here is a link to the site about it. http://www.nchistoricsites.org/bentonvi/

Here are the boys in the band (and the ladies too!)

One interesting thing I learned (which in the end is kind of obvious) was that they wore wool uniforms. The people in this recreation were wearing authentic, or as close to as possible, uniforms. The troops on both sides did not have a logistics supply line like today's troops to keep things coming to them. If they didn't carry it with them on their backpack, they didn't have it. Thus if you wanted something warm in the winter, you carried it all the time and in this case, wore it.

Naturally the ladies lived at home and had the luxury of wearing something easy to wear and cooler. Not sure if this qualifies as easy to wear. Lady readers please comment. 

Not to leave the kids out. Wonder where they plugged their portable video games into to recharge?

The cannon. They provided an excellent background of how the cannon was used and also about the shells used. Yes, there were different shells used ranging from Plain on cannon balls to those that were just pointed shells to another type (I forget) to the type of shell filled with an explosive and equipped with a fuse so it will explode in mid-air.

Here is the regular pointed shell. The image you may have of a round cannonball was used in the revolutionary war but not in the civil war. The shaped shell provided longer range.

The exploding shell filled with powder and a fuse was generally used when you were about to be overrun so it wan't the best option but more of a desperation move.

Here is the standard team of four people that worked the canon. I am sure less could fire it if needed. The person in the front is the person that actually fires the canon and carries the powder in the leather pouch to keep it dry. The person in the back with the yellowish thing on a pole is the person that wet the barrel down after it was fires so that it wouldn't ignite the powder being put in for the next round. 

Thing used to wet the barrel of the cannon to keep the powder from igniting when put in.

Device use to get everything placed in the barrel. Notice the two points on the end of the spiral. 

The elevation mechanism of the canon. That bracket on top is where the aiming mechanism will go. 

The aiming sight. 

The plug for the end of the barrel when not in use. 

Notice the black bucket under the canon. This the water the person used to wet the pole to wet the inside of the barrel after firing. 

Wetting the barrel after a firing. 

Packing the barrel.

Prepare to fire. 

(I know you saw the firing above but who doesn't love to see a canon fire?) 

Some may notice the smoke dissipated rather quickly between the third and fourth image. That is due to may taking my finger off the shutter button when the canon fired and the noise startled me.
All in all, an incredible experience. And don't forget they are standing out there in the August heat wearing wool uniforms.

At this point I am going to break the post and do a part 2 for the rest with the medical and rifle images.

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