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The town in which I live has been in existence since the 1750’s and each year the organization in charge of preserving its history holds an October Tour of Homes. Saturday, I spent the whole day soaking up the architecture and stories from times long gone with the zeal of new wood soaking up paint.

The Confederacy is always well represented at this event. Every year, the historically clad men and women set up their tents in the side yard of a beautiful brick house dating from the 1860’s. While walking the encampment, I picked the brains of Confederate reinactors from the 63rd North Carolina Regiment who were gracious enough to answer my questions.

Did you know that battlefield surgeons used ether during the day, but when operating at night, used chloroform? I didn’t Saturday morning, but I do now. Ether was highly flammable and could not be used while lanterns were lit. Evidently, too many good doctors were lost that way.

 I saw up close the famed Enfield rifle and gathered important information about the particular weapon I’m using in my current project—information that will add an all-important detail to the story. 

 I learned a new term…dismounted cavalry…and the role of those soldiers in the war. While I tended to think the cavalry always rode into a battle on horseback, that wasn’t true. Dismounted cavalry rode to a battle, but while one man stayed behind and held the horses of three others, those three advanced on foot and skirmished with the enemy. Then, they ran back to their horses, so  the infantry could take over.

I just wish I could have attended that evening’s cemetery tour when the reinactors performed various skits pertaining to life during the Civil War. Due to a previous commitment, that will have to wait for another year.

This wasn’t my first tour, but the first in about three years. On my next blog, I’ll talk about a few of the historic homes that dated as far back as 1799.

Question: Do you have a favorite historical city to tour?  

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