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Friday May 26, 2017
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The Civil War Muster



Cavalryman Craig Burns from Ohio told me he enjoys reenacting "because I love horses, camping, and the military." He reeled off details about the unusually high pommel on his saddle, the merits of various revolvers, and the restricted use of indigo in uniforms until the twenty-first century seemed to fade and I sank into the history trance some reenactors call a "period rush" — which Burns then shattered when he gave me his e-mail address.

Next came speakers' stirring oratory and a patriotic-music concert by the Fifth Michigan Regiment Band that included the lugubrious "God Save the South." My gaze was diverted from a hoopskirted lady chewing gum to ragtag Southern troops sneaking in from Frog Island. They were late for lunch — perhaps disoriented by the Northern terrain — and looked abashed as the curious audience craned round. We'd make short work of them, clearly, in the upcoming battle.

The troops marched to the park for a reenactment of the Battle of Honey Hill, originally fought by the Union's 102nd United States Colored Troops, many of whom were Ypsilanti residents.

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