Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Battle of Townsend's Plantation Civil War Festival

The Battle of Townsend's Plantation Civil War Festival took place at Renninger's Mount Dora Flea Market and Antique Center (20651 US-441, Mount Dora, Florida, 32757.) This live Civil War Re-enactment featured living history exhibits, folk music, weaponry demonstrations, authentic camps and Sutlers, full scale artillery, cavalry and soldiers in time-period uniforms, weaponry, a Civil War era Dress Ball, and more.

I always feel at home sketching in a Civil War camp since my analog way of documenting the scene with a sketch fits in with the time period. I remember while doing this sketch a young boy in uniform stood behind me watching my progress. He frowned and was very serious, but was quite transfixed. The folks in camp needed to get ready for the battle taking place later in the day and the boy was called away for a cannon firing drill.

Later that day, we sat on the sidelines as the battle unfolded. There were so many rebels and so few Union soldiers. In the end the rebels took the field which was covered with the bodies of the fallen. It was a bloodless massacre. A surgeon's tent was littered with limbs that had been amputated. Fortunately, those limbs were plastic replicas. Today in America we are terrorized by the sound of gunfire. These muskets took quite a bit of work to reload, requiring minutes of stuffing the powder charge down the barrel and setting the flint. Soldiers just stood and fired at one another. Today, we run because high powered assault rifles fire hundreds of rounds per minute. The internal wounds from assault rifles are something no civil war doctor could ever have faced.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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