What was your favorite Boonville re-enactment moment?

Monday, June 20, 2011 | 4:51 p.m. CDT; updated 9:21 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 28, 2011

COLUMBIA — We asked spectators and participants to send us their favorite moments from this weekend's 150th anniversary First Battle of Boonville re-enactment.

We also wanted to share some of ours with you.

My favorite moment was sitting bare-back on a 21-year-old Quarter Horse-Paint Horse cross named Sam while I interviewed his owner, Joey Culbertson, for a story.

Sam walked slowly around the area of the campsite, occasionally snacking on grass as Joey and I talked about horses in the Civil War, how he trains them to handle gunfire and what Sam does when he's not re-enacting battles.

Sam didn't seem to mind when I leaned forward to give him big, long hugs on his soft neck. It is hard to pick a favorite moment from this weekend because I enjoyed it so much, but this one was really memorable.

Here are some of our other favorite moments, along with what we've received from you. We hope you'll keep sending us your favorites, in words and pictures. E-mail your favorite moment to We'll add it to this story for you and include your name and city or town. If you send pictures, be sure to include captions with them.

We look forward to hearing from you.

— Molly Bullock

From Kevin Petersen, Missourian reporter:

My favorite part of the re-enactment was watching the cavalry drill before the battle.

I've been learning about the Civil War for as long as I can remember, but nothing has ever brought it to life like watching a group of Confederate re-enactors on horses gallop around a field in unison, shouting orders at each other. It also gave me some sense of how intimidating it would actually be having to face a charging cavalry.

From Meredith Hood, Missourian reporter:

Night fire was incredible! It was like experiencing an old school Fourth of July, with fireworks coming out of cannon barrels.

It went on for quite some time, too. I figured they would fire the row of cannons twice — once from left to right, and then again from right to left. I lost count of how many times they went up and down the row shooting, but it must have been a total of 50 or 60 shots.

Every boom seemed to be louder than the last. It's amazing the artillery teams during the actual war didn't go deaf.

From Waqas Naeem, Missourian reporter:

I think my favorite moment was during the Boonville re-enactment, when the Missouri State Guardre-enactors started to desert and retreat under the Union advance.

That was funny as hell. It also got the crowd going. The son of the lady standing right beside me was taking part in the re-enactment, and she was tracking his performance from the sidelines.

At first she watched calmly, but then toward the end, all of a sudden, she let out a loud laugh and exclaimed, “Look at that! My son’s a deserter! My son’s a deserter!”

As these deserters ran away from the ranks, their own soldiers turned back, called them “cowards” and fired at them. Some of the deserters escaped running; others fell down to the ground after being fired at, feigning death.

I wonder if it was like this back in the day, that deserters got shot at by other soldiers.  I think it’s quite possible, since it is said that some of the soldiers in the Civil War were so committed to their cause that they preferred death rather than capture or retreat. Anyway, the deserters were really entertaining.

From Judy Conoyer and Ted Bronson of St. Charles:

Ted and I stayed until after the re-enactment. We found the highlights to be the re-enactment itself (we had never seen one) and the archeological presentation. The medicine show brought lighthearted variety. Too bad it was so hot; otherwise, we might have stayed for Barton and Para, a favorite of ours.

From the venues, mingling with the crowd and chatting with the locals involved, the divided sentiments that precipitated the Civil War were still somewhat present.

All in all, a good job!

From Larry Fague of Winfield:

My favorite moment was the cannon firing. It was great to take my grandson to see where his great-great-great-grandfather fought in the Civil War.

From Suet Lee, Missourian reporter:

I am from Malaysia and if there is something I am not a expert about, it would be the history of the Civil War. I don't know what went into my head to jump into this assignment, but I guess it's the same thing that makes me jump into every assignment I take: The curiosity of knowing, learning, and enlightening my readers.

When I was first at the re-enactment site, the hardest part was forcing myself to talk to people.

Initially, I felt like a complete outsider in comparison to the re-enacting community. I felt completely disorientated and overwhelmed by the magnitude of everything going on around me, and above all,  I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb.

Here is the best part of my experience: As soon I came out my shell, everything and more that I could ever ask for as a journalist came to me. I met so many interesting people — the expert historians, the rabid re-enactors, the beautiful ladies of affluent social status with parasols, the avid Civil war gun collectors, the young Civil War enthusiasts, and of course the kind ladies who kept offering me food. 

My favorite part of the whole event was when I met Jesse, one of the Confederate soldiers. He offered to let me shoot his 1861 Springfield rifle. He was a very funny man and I enjoyed talking to him.

I don't know if I could possibly call myself an expert on the Civil War yet, but being there in person and reporting at the same time has definitely opened my eyes to the significance of the war in terms of paving the way for America to becoming the country it is today.

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