Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Van Raalte reenactment

On the 8th Mom and I headed over to the Van Raalte farm, a large 160 acre farm in Holland. The grounds are a mixture of fields and forests of apple trees. The apples were ripe and as you walked beneath them, you could smell the sweet scent of them. (They also tasted pretty good!) I believe the event is a newer one, but it was very well put together. On to the pictures!

One of the Union cannons overlooking the battlefield. The reddish-brown thing in the middle is part of a wooden split-rail fence put up as a prop. 
In addition to the apple trees, there was also a lot of poison ivy!
Some of the lovely cavalry mounts. 
A sign in the Confederate camp.
I'm not sure who set it up, if it was the park who did or something reenactor-related, but there was a tent with 1860's games. Mom and I played the game of Graces for quite some time. Here is a link to more information if you want to learn how to play. 

It was very windy, which is why my skirt looks so weird...

At 11:00 was a concert by the 5th Michigan on the farmhouse steps. You may remember them from my Jackson post. They played quite a few new songs and also some of our favorites.

After the concert we listened to a speech by President and Mrs. Lincoln.

My dress fabric
Southern men marching off to war. 
Led by General Lee! Traveler was taking the day off.
The boys in blue getting ready to meet the Confederates on the battlefield.
Southern artillery

Here you can see one of the fences I referred to earlier.

If I remember correctly, the first part of the battle was Pickett's Charge, while the second part was the battle of Little Round Top. There were three Southern cannons and four Union. One of the Union cannons was sending out a smoke ring with almost every shot! 

The smoke ring is in the middle of the picture, above the trees. This was about a quarter of the spectators - quite a good turn out!
Aren't they a cute couple?

The circa 1870's farmhouse
This reenactment is definitely one I will go to again. It was very nicely organized and well planned in an interesting setting. The only thing that Mom and I agreed on was that there were too many Gators driving around. It takes you out of the 1860's mindset when you have to keep stepping off the road to let one pass. I can see, however, how people who have a hard time walking would miss out on a lot of things on the beautiful grounds if they didn't have the four-wheeled access. It's a fine line to tread.


  1. Lovely photos and I was delighted to be a part of it. ;) I would definitely go back next year!

    1. It was a lot of fun, wasn't it? I want to go back next year too! :)


  2. I had a great time at this event. I was with the Cavalry unit that. Did you personally (or know any one) who got pictures of my group showing up at the ball?

    1. I do not have any, nor do I know anyone who might have gotten any. Sorry!


  3. Hello Victoria,
    My name is Jerry and I am the Muster Coordinator for this event! Thank you for such a wonderful blog post about our event! I would love to have you come back and participate at this year's event as well! If you would like, please send me an e-mail, found on the website...

    Again, thank you for such a nice post and review.