Local Civil War Preservation Societies and The Dreaded Snood!
While I am thrilled and filled with gratitude that various communities, including my adopted hometown of Winchester, Virginia, have decided to celebrate and/ commemorate the American Civil War during the 150th anniversary cycle, I am saddened that these local historical societies neglect to perform the minimum research needed to adequately represent the period when dressing as a guide or docent.
Winchester, in particular, is uniquely situated and notoriously changed hands up to 72 times during the war. There were three battles of Winchester in 1862, 1863 and 1864. Winchester is within a short drive of Harpers Ferry, Antietam/Sharpsburg, Front Royal, Kernstown, Cedar Creek, and New Market.
The community is drawing attention to its Civil War association this weekend with Winchester Civil War Days with tours of Old Town, cavalry living history demonstrations at Belle Grove Plantation and a showing of “Gone With the Wind” at Historic Long Branch, a lovely Ante-bellum home built in 1811.
So, my hackles were raised just a bit when I spied a woman leading a tour of Old Town last evening sporting a rayon snood and an ill-fitting faux period dress. It would have been far easier to overlook the dress than the snood, which encased undressed hair. I was sipping a lovely glass of Tannat on the patio of V2 contemplating the beauty of a nearly perfect August evening when the tour strode by. The group included people I know, which made the offense even more heinous. My eyes were drawn helplessly to the snood, the most notorious identifier of an uninformed docent/ re enactor /wanna - be living historian. I wanted to cry “NOOOOOOOOOOO!”. But I didn’t. Instead, I made a snarky remark to my husband who reminded me how I’d changed my tune over the years and now agreed with his position on historical accuracy.
Then I sighed, turned my back on the walking mall and went back to my wine.
Just for reference, I’ve included some photographs of inappropriate “snoods” and images of the original cast and appropriate hairnets courtesy of Originals By Kay.
The Original Actors
This is a ribbon hairnet
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