An old-fashioned wedding
Annual Civil War re-enactment weekend ends with a wedding
— After the cannon fire had quieted and most of the visitors had gone, the Civil War encampment in Veterans Memorial Park became a wedding venue for two of the re-enactors.
On Saturday afternoon,
Rita and Richard Rhine renewed their vows. The re-enactors from Baltimore marked 10 years of marriage in May but waited for the Rising Sun weekend for this special ceremony.
“I wanted my oldest reenactor friends here,” Rita said.
This was the 22nd year that Rising Sun has hosted the living history event, which brings Civil War reenactors to town from Friday through Sunday.
Although both Rita and Richard participated in the skirmish earlier in the day — Rita being one of two women in the battle — for the wedding she changed into the period dress of the era, complete with hoop skirts and a snood.
Brother David Coe from the Order of St. John in Emmitsburg, officiated the ceremony, which concluded with the happy couple walking under an arch of swords held aloft by soldiers in blue and grey. As Rita passed the final soldier, the sword swooped low and swatted the bride on the behind, eliciting laughter in the ranks.
The wedding was just one part of the free event that shows visitors how soldiers lived as they moved from one battle to the next, often with family in tow. The encampment also featured a hospital tent, a photography tent and lots of opportunities to ask questions, which the re-enactors stayed in character to answer.
That included Gregory Newson, an African-American in a Confederate uniform with “Does this Uncle Tom have a problem with history?” embroidered on the back. Newson, an author and publisher of Civil War literature, took every opportunity to ex- plain why more than 65,000 southern slaves fought in the Confederate Army and that many blacks were early members of the Ku Klux Klan.
“There was a black division of the KKK under Nathan Bedford Forrest,” Newson explained.
With help from the town, Civil War Weekend is hosted by the Rising Sun Historical Preservation Commission.
Brother David Coe officiated the renewal of vows for Richard and Rita Rhine. The Baltimore couple, both Civil War re-enactors, wanted to have the ceremony with re-enactor friends witnessing.
Two Confederate re-enactors travel through the forested area of Veterans Memorial Park in Rising Sun during the Saturday skirmish.
John Milleker, a professional photographer and also a Civil War re-enactor, shows TimMcGee and Nate Wessin how his authentic wooden box camera works.
Richard and Rita Rhine walk through a line of Union and Confederate soldiers after renewing their vows Saturday during the Civil War Weekend in Veterans Memorial Park in Rising Sun.