New Market, VA – Civil War Reenactment

May 16, 2015  New Market, VA – Civil War Reenactment

The battle of New Market, Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, was fought May 15, 1864 near the Virginia Military Institute (VMI).  A good detailed description is found in Wikipedia. As part of the battle, the VMI cadets were brought into battle and lost their shoes in the field in front of the orchard of Bushing Farm, now known as the “Field of Lost Shoes”.

This reenactment (May 16,17, 2015) was held on the 151st Anniversary and is one of the few held on an actual battle field.  It is also one of the oldest continuous reenactments in the country, starting in the 1930s.  Reenact-ors are very detailed about  their equipment and clothing.  You may notice the formal uniforms of the Union soldiers.  The Confederate Armies mostly did not have regular uniforms and hence the more ragtag look.  The impressive part of this reenactment was the presence of the Confederate Calvary (approximately 30-40 horses), which did maneuvers before the actual battle.  The infantry had muzzleloading rifles or muskets, while the calvary had single shot breach loading rifles and six shot revolvers.  In this battle the Union Army was out numbered and was stationary behind the split rail fence on the edge of the orchard. Eventually the Confederates out flanked the Union as depicted in the last photo.  Unlike other battles that I have attended, very few of the soldiers acted as if they got shot.  The battle unfolded a fair distance from most of the spectators and I used a 300 mm telephoto for most of the shots.

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