Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

Civil War Ball in Gettysburg

Buck and Candy before the Ball

Buck and Candy before the Ball

This past weekend, we attended the Gettysburg Civil War ball in the Gettysburg Hotel.  The event began for us Saturday morning with a two-hour lesson on period dancing.  It was very fun.  After lunch and just a few minutes to peek into one or two of the stores very close to the center of town, it was time to begin to suit up and prepare for the group photo.  After photos we headed to the ball.  While people were being seated, a guy who looked like Andrew Jackson played and sang period songs on the piano.  The dinner was better than the average “event dinner.”

Buck, Candy, Buck's Mom, Buck's Dad, Buck's Sister (Sheila), and her husband (Rob)

Buck, Candy, Buck's Mom, Buck's Dad, Buck's Sister (Sheila), and her husband (Rob)

After we finished eating we left the dining room so that the hotel staff could clear the tables and make room for dancing.  The dancing began with the grand entrance march.  The entrance march reminded me of films of the RCMP horse troop at the Calgary Stampede.  By following the person in front of you and taking commands from the platoon of professional dancers we travelled around the room in various formations.  The purpose for this, I gather is so that everyone sees everyone else in a Victorian-appropriate manner.  Many of the women put some incredible effort into their dresses, so it was a good opportunity to see them.  The dancing lasted for about three hours.  Music was provided by a three-piece bad, called “Smashing Windows,” consisting of a piano, violin, and recorder/flute.  I wasn’t sure how much fun this would be, but we’ve made our reservations at the Gettysburg hotel for next year.

Candy wore a borrowed dress, but she’ll probably have one made for next year.  For next year, we’re talking about getting her a wig, since her hair was too short for Victorian styles and she couldn’t find a good hair piece that matched in color.  I told her this is her chance to be a blonde with long “boing boing” curls.  I pieced together a uniform from my dad’s closet, as did my brother-in-law Rob.  For next year I may have a uniform made that will fit a little better.  (The uniform was a little large, and we couldn’t get the belt to fit properly.)  Just to be different, I’m thinking about a naval commodore’s uniform.  Everything was re-enactor quality, except I wore my real shoulder boards.  Since they are bullion, it worked, even through the eagle on Colonel’s rank has changed shape just a bit.


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