A couple of weekends ago, we loaded into Moby and headed out to Fort Shenandoah near Winchester, Virginia for a few days. The Fort is not really a fort but rather a camping ground with firing ranges; a place for competitive Civil War skirmishing. Twice a year, the North-South Skirmish Association hosts National Skirmish competitions along with smaller, regional skirmishes scattered throughout the remaining months. These events are not re-enactments but involve teams and individuals competing, while dressed in uniform, with all types of Civil War arms, such as revolvers, muskets, carbines, artillery, and much more. In addition, there are uniform and civilian dress competitions, sutlers (pedlars that followed the troops), fife and drums bands; plenty to keep busy.
My father joined before I was born and my family has attended since I was in the 2nd grade. At age 15, I also joined; not having much choice in the matter as, just like VWs, it was in my blood. These events are one of the reasons we acquired Moby in the first place, and we have included her since the fall she came to live with us. While I posted a few pictures of our bus, like the one below, surrounded by the trailer campers that dot Fort Shenandoah, I never really explained the purpose of the trips.
This spring’s event was held under threatening skies, which never did produce any rain until the last night, and with temperatures in the comfortable 70 degree range. My son, who usually dislikes loud noises, finally warmed to the sound of cannon fire and declared them his favorite to watch. Both children like the fife and drums which play well into the night, and my daughter especially enjoys a small parade of Confederate troops that occurs mid-day Sunday. I foresee future partners not only crawling under a VW but standing along the firing line as well.