We’ve discovered something we enjoy together as a family. Re-enactments. What’s in it for me? I love acting. I love performance. I love the color. I love learning. Add representations of history that occurred centuries ago under my feet to the firing of artillery, well, that is potent.
I remember going to Gettysburg on a family vacation. As I looked at the empty fields, I thought, “This place is haunted.” I’d have to ask my parents when that trip was.
I had less of a sense of ghostliness and sadness in Trenton. The modern buildings, paved streets. History buried under hundreds of years. Still, I was moved. Life would be different, someway somehow, had these battles not been fought in my home state. It is something to ponder.
After the re-enactment of the Battle of Trenton (January 2, 1777), the second battle that the Americans won in Trenton, we wandered back toward the Old Barracks Museum, where British troops had stayed. There, the re-enactors were friendly.
I asked questions about the dead. I learned that the dead infantry were buried in mass graves by the locals after the troops left. Officers, regardless of the side they fought for, may have been given a more honorable burial or their body may have been shipped home. Who paid for that, I wondered. What a strange thought to have. War is a strange thing.