Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Civil War Historians in My Kitchen

The Civil War Historians in My Kitchen

The Baltimore Light Artillery (“BLA”) camped just outside Winchester, Virginia last night. We had the privilege of hosting the BLA winter meeting at our home. The BLA are volunteers who present Confederate artillery / cannon demonstrations and educational programs at various National and State Parks that were once Civil War battlefields.

Members of the BLA are Civil War living historians of the highest level of authenticity portraying the 2nd Maryland Light Artillery also known as the Baltimore Light. The group was formed in 1985 and my husband has been a member since 1986. While many groups participate in living histories or reenactments, the members of the BLA are the crème de la crème.  Their reproduction uniforms are known as the best of the best based upon extant originals. The members came together out of a mutual desire to correctly portray a museum quality Confederate artillery unit for the express purpose educating the public at National Park military historical sites, most notably, Antietam National Battlefield, Harper’s Ferry National Historic Site, and Gettysburg National Military Historical Site.

The BLA are passionate about their love of history and the Civil War in particular. Among its members are noted military historians of material culture, published authors, museum curators, researchers, uniform experts, pattern makers, textile weavers, and tailors.  

The wealth of knowledge in my kitchen last night and this morning was priceless. And the experiences the BLA members have shared bond them together like a family. Some of the gentlemen participated in events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Civil War and are continuing to participate in the 150th cycle events.  The BLA are generous in sharing their knowledge, delightful companions, ready to laugh, and easy guests.

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