Interacting with history

BLOOMFIELD --- The smell of gunpowder was enough to burn the inside of your nose and to make your eyes water. That meant the slowly growing fog, already thick across the battlefield, was not a fog but smoke from cannon, rifles and revolvers.

At times, the forms moving and yelling through the white blanket of smoke disappeared --- then reappeared 50 feet away, only to fade from sight as they stepped into another "cloud." The gunshots were loud, but rifle fire sounded almost pathetically timid beside the explosions from the cannon firing.  

On the other side of a "do not cross" line, spectators watched the battle played out, even taking photos on cameras and cell phones. But the sudden "BOOM" from a cannon caused hands to jerk and photos to be ruined. The photo takers just laughed at themselves.

"We had a much higher turnout among soldiers," said Nancy Clancy, the lead organizer of the Davis County Civil War Guerilla Raid Society reenactment. "We had [an all-time high of] of cannons."

As the gunfire began to fade, Lance Mack of Marion was becoming more in demand. At least, his character, Aberaham Lincoln was being requested. He had to bend his lanky frame to talk to one little girl. The regal presenter had stood, stoic during the battle reenactment.

His first smile, a full on laugh, came when the little girl told him she didn't feel like talking any more. He cordially cut short her Presidential audience.

It wasn't just the Civil War in general, however, remembered during the two day event.

"This is the 150th anniversary of the raid through Davis County that killed three men and robbed [several] people," said Clancy on Sunday, October 12.

Though the scene of a tragedy, historically, the Shooters Roost location about five miles south of Bloomfield, is a landmark that some Davis County residents seem proud of.

"It marks the northernmost incursion of soldiers coming from the south in the entire Civil War," said Clancy.

Reenactors on Saturday honored the 150th anniversary by reenacting the entire raid.

"We reenacted what really happened," Clancy said. "We'd done bits of it before."

For example, she pointed to the small structure behind her: That represented Mrs. Miller's house. Mrs. Miller put up a fight when the raiders tried to take her money. Clancy said the commander must have respected her courage because he didn't harm her.

Several others, three men, did not receive such mercy from the Confederate loyalists.

But 150 years later, "troops" were getting along well. As they broke camp, presenters from Iowa and Missouri units worked together to get the job done. And at one tent, a rebel soldier gave Abe Lincoln a big hug. 

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