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I spent yesterday at the re-enactment of the Battle of Kirksville, selling books and generally drinking in the atmosphere of a Civil War re-enactment. Here’s a photo.

Civil War re-enactors are an interesting bunch. They are fussy about details and dedicated to accuracy, yet they seem to know that their dramatics are a paltry substitute for the actual warfare. This group used about two dozen men on the rebel side and a slightly larger number on the Union side to stand in for roughly 2,000 Confederate recruits and 1,000 more disciplined Union troops. Yet they perform an important service of memory for us today.