The rain threw itself upon the white cotton tents and rolled off, drops heaved in soil to a rich mud smothering woodsmoke from the fires of men in full wool. Up since 6am reveille, both blue and grey drilled in mist and drizzle. The dirt track became a mud river, whether horse dung or peach pie all scents inhaled by this torrent of breathing earth. Thunder crash over fife practice, women in hoop skirts try to strike light from acrid lamp oil. Hiding from the battle between cloud and ground while the rain mutters on. And here, the time for reenactment. The re-battle between brothers, the memorial to the torn heart of liberty: bellum, rebellion. To remember Antietam, Bull Run, Manassas. The wrestling over America for… The war. The mockery made of storm by men who hid from the real thing. And now, as the skies clear, amid sulfur, gunsmoke, ripening apples, these other men tramp across heavy tussocks, falling to fire, calling out orders to remind us of what we think this war was about. At least, until, the hoots from grey-jacketed Ohioans fill the hollers and Old Glory retreats behind a barn. And though, today the South wins; we’ll return next year to watch the cavalry gallop, to remember the scent of trampled mint.