As I reflect back on last weekend, I remember my unforgettable trip to Resaca, Georgia.
Resaca is what some would consider a geographical oddity. While in one part of the town of Resaca, you may experience pouring rain and a thundershower, except while in the other part, you see clear skies. This is also a true statement with soil conditions, as the town holds a bipolar water table.
One area of soil may be swamplike with significant sogginess, while the other area could be a cracked-top, sun-broiled Sahara in the Georgia clay. Luckily my campsite was only semi-soggy with a small pond in the corner, between my neighbor and I.
The entire trip was to begin at 6 AM central time (Alabama time) but I did not awake from my slumber until around 9:45. After giving myself a stern "talking to" about punctuality, I was on the road by 10. If I had to choose a favorite other than the reenactment, I would have to choose the drive to Resaca.
Not only did I get to drive my classic 1986 F-150, I got to tour across some of the greatest scenic routes in Alabama and Georgia. I twisted and meandered through northeastern Alabama, into Georgia across land so nice you wouldn't believe it existed in reality.
Growing up in Calhoun County Alabama, The I-20 interstate runs directly through my hometown of Oxford, and to quote Sarah Palin, "I can see it from my backyard", no literally, the interstate runs 250ft from my back door. Though this trip I did not wish to travel the interstate.
In my opinion, I-20 is like playing Russian roulette. Between the highway patrol, texting drivers, and construction zones, your time is bound to come, but I digress. In my area growing up, I've always heard that one could travel to Georgia and never touch an interstate. Days before my trip I recollected those memories and decided I would travel the path to determine it's truthfulness.
On the morning of my drive, I headed north on Highway 21, through Anniston, through Jacksonville, and into the town of Piedmont, Alabama, where I then took highway 9 north, through Centre, Alabama (The Crappie Capitol of The World), across Weiss lake, and eventually ending up in Summerville, Georgia. About three more turns and 10 miles later, I was in Resaca, Georgia.
Once at the event site, I did the "regular" check-in, fill out insurance paperwork, sign a site waiver, and obtain a reenactor pass as well as a parking permit for the site. After registration, I drove down the winding red dirt road that I ultimately decided would not hold a spilled canteen, much less a weekend of flash floods, that the event usually produces.
After arriving at the campsite I had to make a last minute forage into the woodline to obtain 3 saplings to be used as tent poles. I had previously decided that I would only pack rope and string the tent between two trees, this will work except when your unit decides to sleep on the woodline instead of IN the woodline.
After obtaining the correct poles and raising my tent, I quickly unpacked and got my tent arranged. It was then time to move the truck, a tragedy at best. I backed up and right into one of those "ponds" I earlier described, the tires sank and not even five men pushing could get me out of the mess I had backed into. I flagged down a passing man in an F-350 truck.
He agreed to pull me out and also refused payment, but he did help me get back on that dirt road so I could go park my truck. Not even five minutes after returning to the campsite, It began raining. The downpour did not last long, but when It stopped the ground was steamy and there was a high humidity, only adding to the sun's sweltering heat.
After the Friday afternoon rain, we began making dinner and hanging around the campfire. The campfire leisure was quickly ended with a loud clap of thunder and a downpour of rain, not like the afternoon rain, this was that "big ole fat rain" like in Forrest Gump. The rain continued all night long, with a steady beat of thunder and constant flashes of lightning, imagine strobe lights at a Metallica concert, that was the display of lightning seen all night long.
The next morning we awoke to no fire, which meant... no coffee. There is not much worse than not being able to have coffee in the morning, I'd assume even federal prison inmates receive coffee, it just promotes the peace. After a quick breakfast which required no cooking, thank you Oscar Mayer precooked bacon! We were told to form up for parade. Now as a non-ranking private in this army, I do not complain, but there was some reasonable mumbling due to lack of morning coffee.
We had a good battle on Saturday, pissed off the crowd a good bit as they could not see where we were on the battlefield, and those Yankees just would not die! We pushed them for what seemed to be hours and eventually ended the battle and still, no one took a hit. But honestly, who wants to fall into a small, uncharted lake in a $1000 uniform? Saturday was ended with good weather, good company, and a great, dry, sleep.
Sunday we awoke to coffee (thank you early risers), breakfast came easily again, you seriously have to go buy some of this bacon! after breakfast, we formed up and headed to parade. After parade I arrived back in camp and began folding blankets and repacking some gear items into wooden boxes, preparing for the pack-up that evening. after totally packing everything and even folding my tent, I grabbed my chain and a jug of water (hidden in a uniform shirt)and headed to the ongoing B.S. session my pards were having.
We discussed past events, absent pards, and even discussed a few future events. we talked for maybe two hours and then we began getting geared up for the afternoon battle. The second day of battle was glorious, we pushed the Yankees out of our breastworks, flank them on their right and towards the end, we lost it all. The Yankees breeched our works and began pilling in like ants. Desperate for survival I jumped the works and ran, fired at a Yankee Cavalryman, but he fired back knocking me to the ground.
After the battle, we all arose, took off our hats and Taps was played to honor the actual soldiers that had fallen on the same ground. On the march back to camp I broke off and retrieved my truck from the parking lot, as did several others. All anxious to head back to their own homes. we quickly helped each other pack and load gear back into the trucks, to be used again in another month or so.
Until the next event.
Sic Semper Tyrannis