For me, and everyone else who participated in the next 20 hours, this was as close to the actual real life experience as we could get.
After arriving on the grounds of Forest Grove Plantation, the property where the camps and Sundays reenactment where to be held, I quickly found my unit and got dressed out. This was my first time portraying Federal Soldiers and it was a very memorable experience.
We had supper and drew our gear, after we had accountability of who was going to participate in the next portion of the event he stepped off. The camp site we were at was on the west side of town. For the mornings battle we had to be coming from the east side. So, that night we caught a shuttle ride over to a small field with a grove of pines and camped the night on our rifles braving the fall weather. We had brought blankets and made some small fires. This was as bare bones as it could possibly be. After a very cold and uncomfortable night we formed up just as the sun broke the morning sky at around 6am. We went straight into battle line and right into the battle.
We were approximately two miles from the city limits and marched and fought all the way to the courthouse square. I was told that we followed the exact route that Shermans Army took as they entered the town 150 years ago. We fought down streets and suburbs shooting at the retreating rebels as they went much to the suprise of the towns folk. One instances we fought right through someones back yard and captured an artillery battery.
By 10am we were inside the city limits and less than a half mile from the courthouse. After a small break we were on the march again. The majority of the spectators were at the courthouse waiting for the final push. They were not disappointed. The Union Army came into the courthouse square thick as Georgia mud. It looked as if the river itself had broke the banks and washed down the street because of the amount of blue that was present. The stalwart Confederates held their lines as best as they could, but the rush of union blue was too much. Slowly but surely they were beaten back and one by one the defenders died a heroic death. by 10:30am it was over. General William T. Sherman read his address to the town of Sandersville placing it under martial law. It was truly a unique event.
Sundays event was at the Forest Grove Plantation. It involved a more balanced force on force demonstration. There were Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry on the field. Sundays battle saw me wearing the gray again. I believe that the spectators enjoyed the show. Many people who were present have never been to a Civil War Reenactment. Most people who would like to come are turned off by the fact that most events are held further up north. Events like Sandersville, and the Old Clinton War Days from earlier this year, are a perfect opportunity for local people to witness something truly spectacular.
|Two miles out from the city limits and already in battle.|
|Fighting through someones pack yard.|
|Infantry skirmishing with Confederate Cavalry.|
|"Captured" Reenactors taking it easy in the cold early morning.|
|Members of an artillery battery.|
|Taking a water break on the march to Sandersville.|
|Me in Union impression.|
|General William T. Sherman reads his address to the town of Sandersville.|
|A small "hurry up and wait" moment before Saturdays battle.|
These last few pictures were provided from fellow reenactors facebook pages and image search of the event.
|A very "sore" me stepping out my tent. I don't do well with cold weather.|