February 2021.
Comic Valentines," as they appear in the tradesman's stocklists, were more familiarly (and more honestly) known as "Penny Dreadfuls." They were always the subject of scorn—no "nice" person would ever send one!—but, somehow...many, many were sent, from the mid-19th to the mid-20th Century. All states of life, professions, and personal traits were catered for: fat; skinny; ugly; conceited; old maid; rake; kill-joy; drunkard. As Comic Valentines go, this military example is quite harmless: a large percentage plumb the lower depths of cruelty, and some are quite obscene. These items were produced by the lowest end of the printer's market and show it: the engravings are crude, the coloring—if present—slapdash; type can be broken and the inking hit-and-miss. The intended purchasers were the poor; young adults (urban domestics and apprentices, primarily); and the just plain ornery. In cities they would have been purchased at tobacconists, low-end stationers, and from street sellers in the run-up to Saint Valentine's Day; in better establishments, there was probably a selection kept under the counter to exhibit if called for. In more rural areas, general stores would have ordered a packet from their printer or jobber to meet the February demand; they were also carried by itinerants.

We carry one such reproduction with a military theme of the line of products produced by P. McDermott, and can be found here
Harper's Weekly February 1857.
Unmistakeable intent is seen in the impish selection of the appropriate valentine
Clearly the desired result was achieved.
Joys come no greater than the opportunity to share your life with someone who possesses a common interest. This month we are
profiling a few couples whose mutual affection has been bound by a mutual passion for history.
Nicky & Susan Lyons Hughes

The Hughes' have been reenacting the American Civil War since just three weeks after General Lee’ surrender at Appomattox. (Well, no, that’s not true, but so it seems to them sometimes.) In fact, they became living history enthusiasts while employed at the Kentucky Historical Society, where they met, in the early 1980s. He was curator of the Kentucky Military History Museum, and she was manager of the Kentucky Junior Historical Society. Both found living history to be an effective means of teaching history, and both soon took to it as both a tool and a hobby.
 Over the following forty or so years, they sampled many aspects of Civil War reenacting. Nicky wore uniforms of both blue and gray, held just about every military rank now and then, and gave his best shot to mastering the skills of the infantry, artillery, and medical branches as well as presenting various civilian impressions. He most enjoyed service as drum major to the Camp Chase Fifes and Drums and Saxton’s Cornet Band. 
Early in her reenacting career, Susan came into contact with independent civilian living history groups who focused on well-researched civilian impressions, including the Ladies Soldier’s Friend Society of Middle Tennessee. She spent a great deal of her time in reenacting on the event management side of things – parking cars and setting up events, including several at the historic site where she worked. Susan had articles published in Blue and Gray Magazine and North and South Magazine, as well as a monograph on Camp Dick Robinson, an early Federal training camp in Kentucky.
As the couple became more knowledgeable about the Civil War era, they worked to share their knowledge with others. They founded The Watchdog, a newsletter intended to help reenactors obtain more accurate reproduction goods. Nicky served as editor of the national magazines Camp Chase Gazette and Civil War Historian. Susan was the original and longtime editor of The Citizens’ Companion, a popular magazine for civilian reenactors, and associate editor of Civil War Historian. Both have become regular presenters at educational conferences, most notably at those staged by Genteel Arts. In recent years, they have on occasion made forays into other living history eras, including the 14th Century at the Days of Knights medieval history encampments.
Wesley and Yvonne Farrington Charlotte, NC

Not every first date begins with assistance in the relocation of an 1898 Baby Grand Piano and ends in moving swords off the couch so you can sit down. If you find yourself on a date with a reenactor keep an open mind. It's definitely worth it to find out what they are all about!

The great thing about most living historians is that they have a love for books, music, cooking, crafts, and vast cultures. There is never a dull moment! Yvonne was first introduced to chain mail armor by Wes, showing her how he makes the links and puts them together to eventually create a coif. He would take her to see live jazz on one date and the next sitting around a fire pit with Revolutionary War Reenactors playing the fife, drum, violin, and singing from the 1700's!

They found life as a couple in the Reenacting community is rather enjoyable, and even though they have common friends and activities, they often don't share the exact same interests. Wesley, enjoys wood work, sewing, and collecting historical militaria. while Yvone enjoys cooking, painting, and crafts. It's the perfect balance of experiencing what life was like during World War II as a soldier for him and an auxiliary support for her. They cut their hair, make the clothes, create ID papers, eat traditional fire cooked meals, and live in tents for the weekend without the comforts of modern life, bringing them closer together.

The experience of making our own clothes, as Wes takes measurements and sews a short jacket and skirt for Revolutionary War for Yvonne is an activity that they do together. As they share in the research and the process their knowledge and experience increases.

They mainly participate in WWII events, doing either German, Soviet, or US impressions. Traveling side by side in the field at tacticals using strategy, camouflage, and tactics to outmaneuver their opponents. Win or  lose they enjoy the adrenaline rush out in nature. Together they visit schools for historical presentations, set up historical encampments at plantations, display militaria, and listen to stories from veterans in parades and at air shows. For them, it means the world to come home after the weekend and share stories about what they learned, who they met, and retell fascinating stories from Veterans!

Yvonne said that she can't say what life would be like without History as a cornerstone of their life together. She said that by studying history together in such a unique way. Reenacting has created a special bond in their relationship. Moving the the swords off the couch is a small price to pay so that she can make room to sit next to him.
Edward & Lynn Kalil.

Ed and Lynn met in high school and have been married 55 years. They were both interested in history, and in 1972 joined a local Civil War unit, the 17th Michigan, and from there, joined a national unit, the Mudsills, part of the Western Brigade. They were active until the late 90s, when the Mudsills disbanded,and have since continued in Civil War period civilian re-enacting. They loved traveling to many events, and their three children grew up going to events in many states. They now do events whenever they can with our five grandchildren imparting love of history among other family members.
Kate O'Mara & James Grantham.
United Kingdom

Kate herself had been involved in living history from a young age, portrahing everthing from Edwardian and Medieval to Victorian and WW2. She said that she was probably rooting through the piles of old green stuff at car boot sales when she met James, who was only living 13 miles away from her in East Yorkshire.

They formally met through a local group and became friends long before they started dating. James was mainly collecting German militaria at the time but had a good amount of WW1 and WW2 British kit because his maternal and paternal grandfathers and great-grandfathers all served in both world wars.

Together they have portrayed all sorts of different scenarios, from Dunkirk to a Great War casualty clearing station and have travelled to the Netherlands, France and Belgium to take part in living history events.
They got engaged in Oosterbeek at the old church, close to where Kate Ter Horst had sheltered British Airborne forces in 1944 and in 2012 gave birth to their son, Edward.

They now run a small company, Edward's Shed making authentic replicas of everything from ammo crates and signs to selling true vintage clothing and homewares. They've supplied items to museums all over the world, films and TV shows,

They will be celebrating their 18th anniversary on March 17th (St Patricks day!), which is looking like will be another lockdown dinner at home.
Bill Christen and Glenna Jo first met at the 130th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg. As it was very likely going to be the biggest reenactment ever, I was happy to be invited to ride the First Minnesota’s “troop train”, AKA a chartered bus. The only reason a (gasp!) female was allowed to ride with them was because a few members drove in order to do tour battlefields afterwards. One of those people, Keith Gulsvig, kindly offered to bring my wedge tent and reenacting gear so our mutual friend, Suzanne Carter, who had moved to the DC area, and I would have a place to stay during the event.

In camp, Glenna Jo asked for an escort up to officer’s country, a tall officer strode up, removed his hat and, with a slight bow, introduced himself as Bill Christen, Officer of the Day. He
offered his assistance, a seat and much appreciated cool water. She said that if she wasn’t already smitten, his thanking her for being “so historically accurate” and noting that she was wearing a corset, a bonnet and no makeup would have certainly done it. We stayed in in period character all weekend, and before they parted, Glenna Jo offered a copy of The Spray of the Falls, a quarterly publication of her group, which also had the address where she could be reached.

Upon his return home, Bill wasted no time, and wrote the first of a series of period letters between us, and eventually asking if he could escort her to the Grand Ball. The first hours of the weekend flew by talking about a variety of period topics, and ended with Bill speculating about where we would live when we got married.

He formally proposed on the same spot they first met outside Gettysburg and were married in period style wedding in Minnesota. As they approach their 25th anniversary, Glenna Jo said that still stay it was worth waiting 43 years to meet him

The safest fashion advice to give is to ALWAYS wear earrings on a day that ends with "y".

Estee Lauder once said that trust and lover are wonderful, but don't forget the earrings!! Yours can be had on our website, through the link below.
The Cayce Historical Museum:
Surprising History from Prehistoric Times to the 21st Century

The Cayce Historical Museum tells the story of four communities in time. These communities, in the Midlands of South Carolina, include the Native American villages of the Congaree Indians and their prehistoric ancestors, the German and Swiss German speakingsettlers in the colonial township of Saxe Gotha, the interior river port community of Granby, and finally the current community of the City of Cayce, South Carolina.
The museum’s main building is a replica of a frontier trading post built in the area in 1765. This post was seized by the British during the Revolution and used as a fortification called Fort Granby. Later the structure became a family home for the Cayce family. This family’s name was chosen for the present city of Cayce when it was chartered in 1914. The museum’s mission includes preserving, maintaining, and utilizing historical properties in the area to enhance knowledge and to educate and advance community relations as well as promote morale, pride, and a better understanding of the value of history.
A highlight of the Cayce Historical Museum is the extensive collection of Native American artifacts. The collection was donated by the son of Samuel Watson, a local pharmacist who was an active collector in the area as well as other parts of the United States. This museum exhibit contains nearly 8,000 pieces including arrowheads, pottery, axes, tools, grinding stones, and more. These cultural materials were collected from South Carolina, the Southeast, and the Midwest. There are artifacts from the earliest prehistoric period like Clovis points as well as objects from many other periods of Native American history.
There are also museum exhibits on the Colonial and American Revolutionary War periods, the Civil War, the locks on the Congaree River, and an exhibit on the famous Doolittle raiders of World War II who trained in the area before their historic bombing mission of Japan in 1942. The museum has several outdoor structures and piecesincluding a 1749 detached kitchen from a local plantation home, an 1820 smokehouse, a railroad speeder and boxcar, and the restored 1936 REO Speedwagon fire engine that was the city’s first firetruck.
Before the 18th century, the native Congaree people lived along the Congaree and Wateree River drainages. Nearby, during the 1700s, the German-Swiss settlement of Saxe Gotha, the town of Granby, and eventually in the 20th century the town of Cayce, were established and thrived near the confluence of the Broad and Saluda Rivers. This area, known as “the Congarees” in the 18th century, was at the head of navigation for the Congaree River. This meant that goods could be shipped from the coast to this confluence. Indian traders made their way into this area in the late 17th century and began to trade with Native Americans. One such group they traded with was the Congarees who gave their name to the river and the area.The 1718 Fort Congaree and the subsequent 1748 fort became important trading points on the Carolina frontier and a staging point for travel both to the coast by way of the river and to the mountains and Charleston by way of two existing Native American trails that converged at the Congarees.One of the trade paths was the Catawba trade path from the northeast and the other was the Cherokee Path from northwest leading north and south from the Lower Towns of the Cherokee near Seneca, South Carolina.

One of the interesting stories from the 1748 fort was about Peter Mercier. Lt. Peter Mercier was of French Huguenot descent. He served in Oglethorpe’s 42nd Regiment of Foot at Frederica, Georgia in the 1740’s. By the early 1750’s he was a sergeant in command of 30 men who were one of the South Carolina Independent Companies. They were stationed at the second Congaree Fort. These military units were usually controlled by the colonial governor unless called to action by the Crown.
This is what happened in 1754, under the orders of the British Secretary of State, South Carolina Governor James Glen sent a composite of 1/3 of SC’s Independent Companies to be commanded by James Mackay to join a young Virginian who had just been given his first command at a place called the Great Meadows in the Ohio Country. Soldiers from Fort Congaree joined others in Charleston where they embarked on a ship called the Jamaica and sailed to Hampton, Virginia. There they boarded schooners and sailed to Alexandria. Then they marched overland to southwestern Pennsylvania (part of the Ohio Country). This company and the Virginians already there proceeded to build Fort Necessity.
 The young Commander was none other than George Washington. Washington was attacked by the French and their Indian allies during a rainstorm. It was a 9 hour battle. It was Washington’s first major battle as commander and he lost it and also set off the French and Indian War with his actions in this area. Peter Mercier was killed in the battle. Washington and also the Postmaster General of Philadelphia, Ben Franklin, both extolled the courage of Peter Mercier who Washington wrote was a “a gentleman of true military worth and whose bravery would not permit him to retire,” “Though dangerously wounded,” he continued to fight, “till a second shot disabled him, and a third put an end to his life.”

In 1765 two Camden, SC merchants built a trading store on the Cherokee Trade Path When the Revolutionary War came to the South, the British wanted to control the South Carolina Backcountry. To do so they had to insure both their communication and provisioning lines. This trading post was seen as a strategic place for the British to occupy because it sat on a main road and near a ferry crossing over the Congaree River.
In 1780 British Regulars sized the trading post, threw up earthworks (abates) and trenches, built a powder magazine, and equipped it with two 12 pounders and smaller cannons and men. Initially it was called “the post at Congarees.” It was one of a chain of British outposts in the South Carolina Backcountry. It stood between the British posts at Ninety-Six and Fort Mott. Large quantities of provisions were sent to and stored at Fort Granby prior to being transferred to the British headquarters at Camden and other British positions in the Back Country.

After several American successes in late 1780 and early 1781, General Thomas Sumter appeared before the post on February 19th and laid siege to it and overran parts of it. He was on his way to capturing it when on February 21st Lord Rawdon’s army appeared on the opposite bank of the Congaree, having marched from Camden to relieve the post. In the face of superior numbers Sumter abandoned the siege but not before he blew up the powder magazine and destroyed a quantity of provisions in the sight of Rawdon’s Army

A second attempt was made to take the structure that now became known as Fort Granby in the months that followed. On the 15th of May, 1781, Lt. Colonel Henry (Light Horse Harry)Lee, commander of Lee’s Legion and future father of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, besieged the post. It was then manned by 19 officers and 329 men, mostly Loyalists, under the command of Major Andrew Maxwell of the Prince of Wales’ Regiment. Colonel Lee reached the fort before dawn and began to erect a cannon battery at the edge of the woods to the west side of the fort. The morning was foggy and this enabled the Americans to finish their battery before it was discovered by British forces. A six pounder cannon was mounted in the battery and as soon as the fog lifted an attack began on the British post. The American infantry advanced and took possession of the land around the fort without much opposition, cutting off a part of the British pickets. Colonel Lee called on Major Maxwell to surrender which he did after some negotiations.
Maxwell was a plunderer. He had gathered immense amounts of stolen property in Ft. Granby including slaves, horses, household goods, and other bounty belonging to Sumter’s men and their families. Colonel Lee feared Lord Rawdon would rescue Fort Granby and for this reason he offered Maxwell fantastic terms for the surrender of the fort. The British were allowed to keep their booty including cannons and baggage of all sort. Maxwell tried to haggle for even more concessions when Colonel Lee fired a cannon sending a cannonball into the north end gable of Fort Granby. Maxwell hastened his acceptance to the terms and departed with his plunder.General Thomas Sumter was furious when he learned of the terms. Colonel Lee departed hastily that August to avoid a direct confrontation with Sumter and his men. Fort Granby was occupied again by the British briefly on July 1, 1781 by Lord Rawdon as he retired from his relief mission to Ninety-Six. However on July 4, 1781 General Greene, on his way from Winnsborough to overtake Rawdon, reoccupied the post for the Americans. It was never used again by the British or Americans as a military establishment. The structure later became a family home for the Cayce family.
As you can see, this area has a long history before the 1786 establishment of South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia across the Congaree River. The museum would like to build on some modest successes in living history in the year prior to 2020. Goals include a colonial fair for children highlighting various trades such as candle making and blacksmithing and other living history events highlighting the colonial history of the area. Our hope is to develop this programing with the help of reenactors and living historians in the near future.
The Cayce Historical Museum is located at 1800 12th Street in Cayce, South Carolina. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday from 9:00 to 4:00 and on Saturday and Sunday from 2:00-5:00. There is a small admission fee (Adults $3,00, Seniors $2.00 and Children $1.00). There is free admission on Sunday Afternoons. Call to check on any current Covid restrictions. Also visit the City of Cayce website, the museum’s Facebook Page, Twitter Page, and Instagram Page for more information.
1800 12th Street
Cayce, SC 29033
We have added a new section to the website, featuring various topics of interest to those in our community. There is also an announcement section, which will also premiere new videos.

We have just uploaded a wonderful excerpt from February 1857 from Harper's Weekly, giving a full history of Valentine's Day. Clearly it is was a big a holiday back then as it is for us today.

One can never have enough books!
Discounted magazine subscription offered to our cusotmers!
President's Day!
We would not want to go through this President's day without mentioning the items that we offer which are in tribute to President Lincoln. These are all on hand and can go right out!

Denis Abramov.
I got into reenacting in 2008. It was the American Civil War. And it's been my main and favorite era ever since. Although I also do US WW2.
Like many, I started out in the mainstream, but after a couple of years learning ACW, I began to interest experiencing more authentic portrayals and with my pards organized their own group, which now adheres to theauthentic for their impression and events.
In 2014 I and my friend attended an event in Europe (France) and since then we regularly go to events in Europe and are now members of the European Campaigner Battalion.

And, of course, I want to say a big thank you to all my friends and acquaintances from America and Europe, who helped a lot at the beginning of the journey with researching historical materials and getting quality uniforms and equipment. I look forward to seeing when the pandemic issues are over and I can attend events in Europe. And I look forward to realizing the opportunity to come to America for the event.
 Reenacting is my main hobby. It's an opportunity not only to study history, but also to touch it. And, of course, spending a few days immersed in that era is for me the best break from everyday life and work.
In addition to trips to events, we also hold LH displays, translate articles and books into Russian, and run groups on social media.
I hope young people would be more interested in history and come to the reenacting.
Gifts for the man of the house, ready to ship
We have a variety of cravats and suspendes on our website, which is always the perfect gift for the man of the house.
We have several richmond haversacks on hand for immediate shipment on our site, or at our ebay store.
Battlefield Trust Marks 22 years.
The Battlefield trust is setting new records and has successfully saved over 1,000 acres of battlefield land. Follow these links to read more on this monumental achievement.