By Chloe Ellefson, Historic Site Curator
of the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries
by Kathleen Ernst
All I want to do is host a stellar Civil War reenactment at the historic site where I work, Old World Wisconsin. I want to work with a small group of great reenactors, and focus on social history.
|Reenactors at Old World Wisconsin|
Our first planning meeting quickly devolved into a battle of its own. Petty actually threatened to fire me if the event did not go well. He's tried before.
My stress faded a bit when I met Gunter, leader of a top-notch reenactment group. We walked out to the 1860 farm restored on site, once home to German immigrants.
|The Schulz Farm|
As we approached the farm, an interpreter was shooing geese toward the stable. When several darted behind the building, she hurried after them. She stopped abruptly. Then she turned and ran, long skirt held high, shrieking.
This was not good.
We ran to meet her. Her eyes were huge, her cheeks white. She was one of the summer hires, a college kid with only a few weeks' experience. "Behind the stable--I--he was... Oh God." Her eyes welled with tears. "A man's hurt really bad."
"Go call 911," I told her, and kept running. My skin prickled. I sent up a silent prayer: Please let the man be OK."
But when rounded the corner, my heart plummeted like a stone tossed into a kettle pond. A middle-aged man wearing a Union army uniform lay motionless on his back. The reenactor's head lay at an unnatural angle. His eyes were wide, vacant, staring at the sky. One arm was flung wide.
I think my Civil War reenactment is already doomed.
Giveaway! Leave a comment below, and you'll be entered in a drawing for a signed and personalized trade paperback copy of A Memory of Muskets. The Giveaway closes at midnight on July 19. The winner will be announced on July 20. Please either include an email with your comment or be sure to check back on the 19th. Happy reading!
* * *
Kathleen Ernst is the author of thirty-six books, including the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries, mysteries for young readers, historical fiction, and two nonfiction books. Before becoming a full time writer she worked as a curator at Old World Wisconsin.
To learn more about the award-winning Chloe Ellefson series---including the latest, Mining For Justice, see Kathleen's website.
Kathleen is celebrating the series with an eight-month-long retrospective, and it's A Memory of Muskets month! Stop by her blog to learn more about the book, and watch her Facebook Author Page for another Giveaway.