Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Civil War artifacts’

Victorian Fashion and Civil War Artifacts – An Amazing Combination

Cindy and Tom Nord

Tom and Cindy Nord…Civil War historian and Victorian romance writer.

The perfect pair!  Once in a while you encounter a couple that seem to be the perfect match. That was the case with Victorian romance writer, Cindy Nord, and Civil War historian, Tom Nord. Where did they meet? A Civil War Reenactment!

Cindy Nord

This program was sponsored by Melissa Essex, Crossroads Library with co-sponsor Paulette Forshey, Cambridge Writers.

Their program, “Victorian Fashions and Military Artifacts of the Civil War”, travels the country presenting an interesting and informative program based in the mid 1800s. Their journey has taken them across the United States from Dallas to D.C. and New Orleans to Michigan. This time it took them to Crossroads Library in Cambridge, Ohio.

They travel around the country sharing Tom’s history of the Civil War and Cindy’s information on Victorian fashion, which she includes accurately in her romance novels. They don’t claim to know everything, but as Tom mentioned they want “to share what we know.”

Cindy Nord Civil War

 Original Civil War items on display could be gently touched.

Tom’s knowledge of Civil War Reenactments led to recruitment by filmmakers in Hollywood. He organized all reenactments in “North and South” with Patrick Swayze, “Glory” with Denzel Washington and “Lincoln”, based on the novel by Gore Vidal.

The program began with Tom describing the uniforms worn by North and South. Then shifted gears to the artillery used by both sides. The officers carried pistols, while the infantrymen used rifles. Bayonets were often attached to the ends of rifles for close range battle, while swords had several purposes.

Tom with a Civil War rifle

Tom gave detailed information on the artillery available.

When a cavalryman rode horseback, a shielded sword, rifle, cartridge box and breastplate were part of his gear. That sword could slash its way through an attacking regiment. Afterwards, it might be used to cut branches off a tree or even dig a trench.

Their display contained numerous items from a heavy cannon ball to rifles, pistols, and ammunition. Everything could be touched, which definitely made it more memorable.

Cindy Nord Victorian

This sampling of Victorian items gave a peek into the fashion of that time. Note the book: The American Frugal Housewife, 1833.

Next Cindy told about Victorian dress. She stated, “The women had to take care of everything while the men were playing war.” But when the soldiers came home from battle, they wanted the women to be beautiful from head to toe.

Queen Victoria, queen of England from 1837 – 1901, ruled the fashion world at that time. This young queen brought bright colors into popularity and was responsible for nearly all the fashion and hairstyles of that era.

Nord Tom and Cindy

Cindy and Tom dressed for a reenactment.

Pictures and actual garments exhibited the progression of fashion from 1840 – 1900. Looking good ranked first in importance to the well-heeled lady as her main purpose in life was to find a husband.

Corsets kept the waist small, while skirts lined with crinolines took on a bell shape. Until the Civil War ended, bonnets shielded their faces from the sun and offered potential suitors only a glimpse of the lovely lady.

Nord Tom and Cindy in Williamsburg

Tom and Cindy visited Williamsburg.

During that time “a lady was to be seen and not heard”. Cindy does not fit that description today, as she captivates the audience with her great sense of humor and writes romance novels that capture your attention even if you aren’t a Civil War fan. Every word in her story has importance.

Cindy book signing

Cindy always takes time for book signing and talks with fans wherever they travel.

When Tom and Cindy aren’t talking Victorian Dress and Civil War, they enjoy camping, hiking, and an occasional luxurious cruise. They frequently stop along the way to visit  places like the Mayan Ruins or the Grand Canyon. Of course, stopping at a Civil War battlefield is always high on their list.

True love awaits you in the writings of Cindy Nord. She found hers in Tom…and the rest is romantic history.

Check out her website at: Writings of Cindy Nord.

“Digging the Past” at Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Dig into the past and discover facts about people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago. At Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio, those interested in archaeology had an exciting day called “Digging the Past”. Special displays by area people, who are interested in what is under the ground, provided valuable information for anyone who wished to listen.

One of the speakers at Archaeology presentation

One of the speakers at Archaeology presentation

Five knowledgeable archaeologists and collectors gave slide show lectures on various archaeological subjects. Some of my favorite dealt with the various groups of mounds around the state of Ohio. Bruce Lambardo, ranger at the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, explained why we should change the term “mounds” to “earthworks”. These structures are not just piles of dirt built by early Native Americans, but precise, geometrical art works that were not only enormous in size, but also aligned astronomically. He described the Hopewell Culture site near Chillicothe as the most spectacular configuration of Earthworks in the world.

Dr. Jarrod Burks, Director of Archaeological Geophyics at Ohio Valley Archaeology, discussed the earthworks throughout the state including Newark, Chillicothe, and Marietta. While many of the mounds have been destroyed by farming and housing developments, there are still new ones being discovered in the last fifty years.

Mound City Artifacts explained.

Mound City Artifacts explained.

There seemed to be a strong connection between the Newark and Chillicothe Earthworks when they were constructed in 300 B.C. – 400 A.D. These earth architects constructed these ceremonial mounds, where the circles had the exact same diameter, and squares measured the same corner to corner. Even more exacting was the fact that the circle would fit perfectly inside the square. How did these early people perform such mathematically correct shapes and even have them aligned to the winter and summer solstices? How did they construct Great Hopewell Road directly between the two mound centers? Either they were geniuses or perhaps they had some extraterrestrial help. Keep your mind open to all possibilites.

Wes Clark explained his finds at The Castle Museum, where pottery and earthworks artifacts have been discovered. Nathaniel Clark Pottery (1808 -1849) existed on the same site as today’s Castle, so many pieces of pottery have been discovered from red earthenware to stoneware. Earthworks artifacts also frequently appear, including flint arrowheads.

From all the buttons found at the military sites, Archaeologist Greg Shipley remarked, with a smile, that the thread must not have been very strong. A wide variety of buttons appeared in archaeological digs in western Ohio military sites while looking for footprints of an outpost there. The hot spot for buttons seemed to be in the area of the taverns.

Flint Knapper demonstrates skills.

Flint Knapper demonstrates skills.

Flint knappers displayed  the intricate methods they use to shape the pieces of flint found. Their methods are beyond my description as they magically formed arrowheads by chipping and shaping the layers of the flint. Long ago the Indians used either stone or bone to shape their arrows from flint, in much the same manner. After use, the arrowheads would need re-sharpened by removing flakes to reshape, so they would get smaller and sharper as time passed. The flint knapper at Marietta had been creating flint pieces for fifteen years so was quite excellent at his craft.

Archaeology displays filled the lobby of Campus Martius Museum.

Archaeology displays filled the lobby of Campus Martius Museum.

Numerous displays throughout the lobby included historic artifacts from collections around the state. Not only were there Indian artifacts from the Adena and Hopewell people, but also artifacts from military camps of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars as well as historic Marietta.  The Pipe Tomahawk intrigued me with a head that has an ax on one edge with a pipe bowl on the other. It enjoyed multiple uses as a pipe to smoke, a ceremonial instrument, and also a weapon.

Tomahawk Peace Pipe

Tomahawk Peace Pipe had several uses.

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta holds informative speakers throughout the year on a wide variety of subjects. If you are interested in Ohio history, check out their schedule at Campus Martius Museum website.

Marietta is located on the beautiful Ohio River just off I-77. Take Exit 1 to downtown Marietta and follow State Route 7 / 60. Turn left on Washington Street and one block down on the right hand side, you’ll see Campus Martius Museum. There is parking to the right of the building or one block behind at the Ohio River Museum. Visit both museums if time permits.

 

 

Tag Cloud