Civil War Days in Huntington Beach Central Park, Labor Day weekend 2015

DSC_1941

I should be posting about my harvests, or lack thereof, but I am taking a break from gardening for today’s post.

A terrific Civil War reenactment occurs every Labor Day weekend in Central Park across the street (more or less) from our house. When the big cannons go off, our house shakes. I like to walk over there to see the camps and the battles at least once over the weekend.

I take my photos with a Nikon D7100, then post-process them in Aperture with Topaz plug-ins. I treated some as sepia-toned black and whites, but left others as color, depending on the photo. I tried using the Topaz plug-in that makes the picture look like it was taken with a pinhole camera. (Pretty funny, using an expenive camera to get high quality shots, then deliberately blurring the pictures afterward.) I didn’t like that effect all that much, and I’m not sure that there are any in this batch of pics. Also, some of my Topaz processed pictures ended up as TIFF files, and I was unable to upload those shots.

Tents in the Confederate camp.

Tents in the Confederate camp.

Praying for victory. Both sides do that. Ironic, isn't it?

Praying for victory. Both sides do that. Ironic, isn’t it?

Guns at rest.

Guns at rest.

I had a lovely HDR version of this shot, but since I did it in post-processing, it was a TIFF file, which WordPress does not accept, apparently.

I had a lovely HDR version of this camp shot, but since I did the HDR in post-processing, it was a TIFF file, which WordPress does not accept.

The camps also have women--someone has to feed the troops. There were no C-rations or MREs back then.

The camps also have women–someone has to feed the troops. There were no C-rations or MREs back then. But I don’t seem to have photographed the women, just the food. 

But I don't seem to have photographed the women, just the food. The ladies, in costume, cooked over campfires.

The ladies, in costume, cooked over campfires. Part of the reenactment is to show life in the 1860s, and there were interesting demonstrations such as hair braiding and blacksmithing. Sadly, it was too hot for me to photograph everything I would have liked to.

Civilians in ante-bellum costume strolled around the park. I don't know how they stood wearing all of those long clothes, many made of wool, in the heat that always seems to be present on Labor Day weekend.

Civilians in ante-bellum costume strolled around the park between battles. I don’t know how they stood wearing those long bulky clothes, many made of wool, in the heat that always seems to be present on Labor Day weekend.

Comrades joked before battle.

Comrades joked before battle.

DSC_1600

I was able to grab some decent candid shots.

I was able to grab some decent candid shots.

Finally the battle begins. The Confederates led off with a massive assault.

Finally the battle begins. The Confederates led off with a massive assault. I wasn’t positioned to get shots of the cannons this year, but they are incredibly impressive when they go off.

DSC_1850

The Union soldiers fought back bravely.

The Union soldiers fought back bravely.

DSC_1791

But there were too many Confederates. Union soldiers fell right and left.

But there were too many Confederates. Union soldiers fell right and left.

 

DSC_1692

The Confederates fire more volleys.

The Confederates fired more volleys.

Doctors and nurses tend to the wounded, and carry off the dead on stretchers.

Doctors and nurses tended to the wounded, and carried off the dead on stretchers.

DSC_1820

A unit with the Union.

A unit with the Union.

The Union tries one more charge.

The Union tried one more charge.

But it is no use. The Union loses this battle. The reporter (with white satchel over his shoulder) takes notes for the Herald Dispatch.

But it was no use. The Union lost this battle. The reporter (with white satchel over his shoulder) took notes for the Herald Dispatch.

The reporter is a character who shows up every year.

The reporter is a character who shows up every year.

Some old-fashioned entertainment. There were musicians of various kinds, all playing tunes from the 1800s in between battles.

There were musicians of various kinds, all playing tunes from the 1800s in between battles. The whole event is marvelously entertaining. And free.

And thus ended another glorious afternoon, reliving history. Hope you enjoyed the photos. I wish I had been able to go both days, but we had the beef from our 4H steer delivered yesterday, and I needed to inventory the chest freezer and store the beef. I will save that tale for another post.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s