Civil War Days- Lamoni, Iowa

Starting this year, and running through 2015, there are reenactments and events around the country commemorating the sesquicentennial (150 years) of the American Civil War, 1861-1865.  If you’ve never attended a reenactment, now is a perfect time to go. Besides the obvious excitement of the battles with soldiers, cavalry on horseback, gunfire and cannon KABOOMS (blanks of course), one can also visit the camps.

Last weekend, we attended Civil War Days in Lamoni, Iowa.

These events usually last several days, and during that time the reenactors camp out  in military canvas tents, cook their meals over open fires in cast iron pots and skillets, wear period clothing, and live as much as possible as soldiers would have lived during the Civil War era.

The northern and southern soldiers even have separate camps.

Soldiers make their own uniforms, or buy them from people who sew period clothing.

Since this battle represented a typical battle of 1861, the first year of the war, many of the soldiers were not wearing uniforms, as neither north or south was able to provide uniforms to its soldiers yet.

Some of the soldiers brought their families along, dressed in period clothing too.

The battle played out in a grassy valley bordered on one side by a pond and a cornfield on another. The north held a crossroads, was challenged by the south for control of that road. There was cannon fire, military regiments advancing while firing their guns, and cavalry charges on horseback.

The wounded or dead fell to the ground.

Ultimately, a truce was called so both sides could retrieve their dead and wounded from the field. Then the regiments marched back to camp.

After the battle we visited the vendor’s booths, where even the items for sale are period appropriate.


It’s not a difficult thing to imagine these are people from another time, or that I am actually visiting 1861.

If you are interested in visiting a reenactment in your area, check out this website, and go find your history.


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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7 Responses

  1. Glenda says:

    Great photos! Good story as well.

  2. Laura says:

    You did a great job. My husband is a CW reenactor. Your presentation of what you saw was very good.

  3. Tina says:

    Very interesting. My husband and I have gone to a mountain man camp out that they have here and it is quite enlightening.The camp cafe is really a treat! Not! I guess I was meant to be here and now.I like your pics though.

  4. Pam K. says:

    I’ve been to a Civil War reenactment at Arbor Lodge in Nebraska City–very interesting! I even saw lots of Captain’s swords, matching the one I inherited from my great-great-great-grandfather, who was a captain in an Iowa company. His son (my gr-gr-grandfather) was his drummer boy.

  5. Sally Bishop says:

    Those children were too cute. What a great way to introduce them to history.

  6. Peggy says:

    Wow! What a fun thing to do. I haven’t been to one in several years. Your photos are so wonderful. I feel like I was there. Great eye!

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