Monday, October 14, 2013

Welbourne 1863

This year I had the good fortune to once again attend the Civil War immersion event at Welbourne Plantation in Middleburg, Virginia. At the event I had the unique opportunity to stay overnight in a plantation house from the era and reenact a civilian from the area. I thoroughly enjoyed reenacting with amazing friends new and old who strive for authenticity in dress and action.

The next few posts will contain a few glimpses into the weekend. My mother, Nancy, our friend, Gaye, and I arrived at Welbourne late Thursday afternoon after stopping in town for lunch at a nice restaurant. We were the first to arrive and had time to explore the house and grounds before moving into our rooms.

On Thursday evening after everyone had arrived we headed into Middleburg for dinner at a tavern. This gave us time to get to know those that we would be reenacting with and acquaint ourselves with the characters to be portrayed over the weekend.

On Friday morning we dressed in our wrappers for breakfast. Over breakfast we introduced ourselves to newly arrived participants and introduced our characters, discussing the relationships amongst the characters in the period.

After breakfast we dressed and began our day in first person, portraying the Middleburg residents that we had chosen and researched. My mother and I portrayed Catherine Broun and her daughter Kate Fred. Residents of the town of Middleburg who had moved out to their farm on the outskirts of Middleburg in 1862 after Union troops attempted to torch their mercantile in town. In order to portray these Middleburg women we located a published diary kept by Catherine Broun.

The weather throughout the weekend was rainy, so we passed most of the hours inside by the fire sewing.

Here are a few glimpses of the wrappers worn on Friday morning.

Above, the wrapper that I wore last year is now finished. I finally added the braided black and fuchsia. soutache trim to the edges of the black silk taffeta scallops.


Corinne and Carrie


Jessica, who spent countless hours planning this fabulous event.

Victoria, a new friend.

The start to a lovely day!
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  1. Wow, looks awesome! I really enjoy the idea of a full immersion event and I'd love to do one someday. That picture of your new friend Victoria is beautiful! Please keep posting about your experience! Do you have any tips on doing something like this?


  2. As always, if you are involved my dear Lindsey, the authenticity bar is raised many notches! You look absolutely awesome! We do miss you folks a great deal more than you know! Best wishes on your anniversary too!
    Fondly, Eileen & Jim

  3. Adi - The immersion event was planned by Jess Craig who is involved with the Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society. She did most of the work coordinating the event. We all corresponded about our characters and what was happening in Virginia in 1863 prior to the event through a yahoogroup. We each selected a person who lived in the area during the war years and did our own research in order to portray them. We were able to find several diaries from Middleburg that covered the war years, so we could draw on those accounts to fill in things about our first person characters. I loved doing the research for the event and thinking through what someone from the affluent area of Middleburg would have been wearing half way through the war. There are always things that I want to improve about my appearance and first person. But that gives me something to work on for next year's event!

    Eileen - Thank you for your lovely comments! I'm just so glad that I had the opportunity to participate in an event of this caliber. We miss you, too! Hopefully we'll have the opportunity to visit with you sometime this fall or winter when we visit Lancaster. I think of you both often and hope that you're doing well!