It is time for Part 3 of Diamond’s epic story. If you have already read Diamond in the Rough: Part 1 and Part 2, you many now enjoy Part 3 which will be part my story as well. I left off in the previous story about how I was always looking for a way to challenge Diamond but he always seemed to learn so fast that I never got to teach him something new very long before he had it down and there was nothing more to teach him. So one day my 4-H leader for trail suggested I try to take him to a Civil War reenactment as my next challenge. I thought the idea of it sounded very unique and a great way for me to throw something new at Diamond.
Just to give you an idea of what it looks and feels like to be a cavalry rider during a Civil War reenactment, I will start with the cloths. You are dressed in wool from head to toe. Wool socks stuffed inside your leather boots or brogans. Then wool pants, and for those of you who have never had the pleasure of wearing them, they itch like crazy, so we usually wear something under them like under-armor to keep the wool from having too much direct contact with sensitive areas. Then you have a long sleeved cotton shirt on with a collar and a vest on over that because if your suspenders were showing that was considered sitting around in your underwear back in those days. On top of that a wool jacket is required when doing anything besides a work detail, oh and don’t forget your wool cap.
Okay now that we have your cloths all set we can start on your saber belt that carries all of your weapons into battle for you. On your right hip is your pistol, butt facing forwards so you can reach backwards with your right hand and pull it out at a moment’s notice, be careful not to shoot yourself in the process. On your left side hangs your saber so you can reach over your rains with your right hand and pull it out of the scabbard to be ready for a fight. Oh and don’t forget your canteen, because without water you’re as good as dead anyway. Then off to your right side is your carbine, which is the heaviest thing you will have slung over your shoulder riding into battle.
Now that you are taken care of, it’s time to get your horse ready. A horse will always have a halter and a lead rope attached so they are always ready to go and so they don’t wonder off. Then there is the saddle blanket, which actually doubles as the blanket you sleep with at night so hope you like the smell of horse. The saddle they used during the Civil War is called a McClellan, which was designed to be light weight and comfortable (I will have to have a talk with that designer because it is neither). Then there is the bridle, which is a lot like the bridles we still use today.
Okay good, so now you have the idea of what it is like to be a Civil War reenactor, throw all of those distractions together and get on a horse who doesn’t understand any part of what is about to happen and say “Go!” and see what happens. That will be Part 4.