Remembering the Party

I have been requested to to give summary of the of our Gettysburg Barn Party / Reenactment we hosted last month.

Overview of Events

We did not have a "schedule"; it was more of a mental list of the activities we wanted to include.

Friday's Activities: 
  • Reading of the Gettysburg Address by our "Lincoln"
  • Recitation of the Address by the children
  • Character "speeches", a time for each person to share what they learned about their character
  • BBQ (we had beef, pork, and venison, with northern and southern side dishes)
  • Dancing, Waltz and the Virgina Reel  (a few families got together the week before for an impromptu practice/campfire)
  • Pie Contest (the single men were the judges)
  • Campfire (someone even made homemade marshmallows from the period - FYI:  There is no comparison, and they do not burn like modern "chemically preserved" marshmallows.)
Saturday's Activities:
  • breakfast around the campfires (The southerns and northerners had their own camps and campfires.  The campers prepared their own meals from the supplies they brought... coffee, biscuits, pancakes, bacon, scrapple, eggs, etc.  A friendly "farmer's wife" brought out fresh eggs, milk, and syrup,) 

  • Paintball reenactment of the Battle of Bull Run, (Each battle was preceded by a brief history lesson and general instructions with battle strategies to follow.)
  • Battle of Antietam,
  • Battle at Little Round Top,
  • Pickett's Charge, (After each battle, everyone gathered around the front porch to restock their ammunition and have a quick drink or snack while reliving their battle stories and comparing wounds, were they "fatal" or require "amputation".)
  • Battle of Fredericksburg (Though out of sequential order, we had it on the same hill as Pickett's Charge with the North having the advantage of the high ground.)
  • Lunch (We had ham, loaves of bread, blocks of cheese, and a few side dishes that ladies prepared that day.) 
  • and other battles... (The before mentioned battles we set up where spectators could view the battlefield in relative safety.) 


These were simple, and I spent surprisingly little.  I watched Gone with the Wind's "Atlanta Bazaar" and ran a few Pinterest searches of "Barn Weddings" for inspiration.  Here are a few of the high-lights...

  • flags:  such as the Bonnie Blue, various flags of the confederacy, Betsy Ross, Union flag of the Civil War (Most of these were $0.01 + shipping from Amazon.  I already owned a couple modern American flags and my Granddaddy's old Georgia State flag.) 
  • pennant strings  (I cut these from patriotic fabrics that had been purchased for $1/yard a few years back.  These took surprisingly little fabric; so I also made cloth napkins.)
  • hay bales (borrowed from a friend's barn)
  • white Christmas lights 
  • miscellaneous items:  old ladders, a few baskets, wooden barrels/crates, slate boards for signs, lanterns, tables, benches, crocks, large pitchers, ... (some of these items were borrowed) 

Here are a few other photos* from the weekend:

* click on photos to enlarge

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