On July 21st, the Faudree family presented a Civil War Encampment on the grounds of Heritage Presbyterian Church. Despite the cool, rainy day which occurred in the middle of several days of a heat wave, the Faudrees had a full agenda planned, and were able to carry out the majority of the presentations.
Vicki Faudree’s presentation was multi-part; she discussed the life of the volunteer nurse in the Union Army, and how many of these courageous women were answering God’s call to provide needed care to the sick and wounded men of both sides. One of the canvas tents in the Encampment was set up as a nurse’s tent, and Vicki, wearing a work dress of the period, explained and demonstrated various methods used to care for the recovering soldiers. She also used the tent to show the various layers of women’s clothing, both the formal dress and the working clothes. Finally, she shared numerous period recipes of desserts with members of the congregation, so many fine sweets were enjoyed by all who participated that day.
Daniel and Benjamin portrayed Union soldiers and had a spread of what the average soldier might have with him during long periods in camp. Items included personal hygiene items (tooth brush, tooth powder, a straight razor, shaving soap and brush, lye soap), games (cards, checkers), books, diaries, letters from home, a New Testament from a Bible Society, personal cook gear and eating utensils. They also demonstrated the firing skills needed to have, the nine steps taught to every soldier in order to fire the muzzle-loading rifled musket. Daniel and Ben explained the various parts of their uniforms, and also explained the leather items each soldier wore (cartridge box, primer cap pouch, bayonet scabbard).
Ed portrayed a Union chaplain and explained the life of these volunteers in the field, serving their fellow men, as well as what the regular infantry thought of various chaplains - what made a good chaplain that the men respected, and what did not. Ed also discussed the religious life in America in the 1860’s and how that was reflected in the volunteers for the chaplaincy.
Tim and Eden were on hand in period clothing appropriate for their ages. Tim also demonstrated the use of the snare drum in the Union Army, sounding cadences for marching, and duty calls - time to fall into line, time to eat, time to wake up, etc. Tim also had prepared demonstrations of parlor games played by many Americans during the time, but not enough people were interested in playing. Maybe next time, Tim. Meanwhile, Eden taught the girls to make paper fans and practice the Victorian “Language of the Fan” and then to roll cloth bandages and pick lint for packing wounds. Many children in both the North and the South learned the latter skills to help support the war effort.
The Faudrees hope that everyone who came enjoyed this small event, and gained a better understanding of life in this tumultuous time in our nation’s history.
~ Ed and Vicki Faudree