Huge oak trees on the sprawling grounds of a downtown Baton Rouge historical home shaded the Civil War camp reenactment where peaceable uniformed men representing both sides and ladies dressed in period costumes mingled. I swished my bell skirts through the crowds, chatted with friends, and met new historical reenactors at this event. I talked with school children who were there to learn about historical clothing, cooking, blacksmithing, and other living skills from that period.
People were still arriving as a few left early. On my way out the ornate gate, Governor Edwin Edwards approached me. His face glowed with his political charm. He smiled at my attire and handed me his campaign card. “I hope you will vote for me,” he said.
“Oh, sir,” I replied with my Civil War demeanor, “Women can’t vote.”
Notes: This picture of me portraying a Union soldier’s wife amid the tents was taken at a different camp, but it’s the same costume I wore the day I met Governor Edwin Edwards. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920 more than 50 years after the Civil War period I represented here.