One of the fads of the early sixties, in addition to hula hoops and the twist, was Civil War battle reenactments. Every day that passed that was one hundred years from an event in that tragic war was celebrated with reenactments, picnics, festivals and other activities. My family was not immune to the Civil War contagion and in July of 1960 my father enlisted another family for the cause. In the Briggs station wagon went both families, kids feet hanging out the back, bound for Manasses Virginia. Going to watch men die a second time in the First Battle of Masasses, better known as the first Battle of Bull Run.
At the motel in Virginia the maid started talking to my mother and my mother revealed we were going to the reenactment. The maid said, "Sit out in that hot sun? Y'all must be hard up for something to do!" I was greatly impressed by that statement and repeated it many times during the following year.
The two families enjoyed the reenactment, passing out ice cubes to the other celebrants. We were all committed loyalists to the United States of America (except for one Southern loyalist).
This was a major victory for the South, albeit one of a small number. It was exciting to see Stonewall Jackson route the Yankees. "Just a home run in the first inning," said Mr. Briggs.
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