View single post by Widow
 Posted: Wed Dec 27th, 2006 02:59 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 19th, 2006
Location: Oakton, Fairfax County, VA
Posts: 321

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Dave, another of your delightfully instructive tidbits, researched with your usual meticulousness.

Yes, I too find sutlers' row a fascinating place to visit at a reenactment.  Usually some musicians are singing and picking.  Always there is food.  The smell of the leather goods.  The feel of the starched crinolines.  A banquet for the senses.

At a reenactment a sutler had a hand-lettered sign posted out front of his "funeral parlor."  It was a list of prices for his services.
  • Privates:  $5
  • Captains:  $10
  • Colonels:  $20
  • Yankees:  $25
Another sutler's signboard announced "Oxymoron Product, Fresh Hardtack."

The reenactment sutlers are good-natured and engaging, always ready to chat for a few moments, to answer questions, to show you something, and help you find what you're looking for.

Usually the soldiers considered the sutlers to be robbers and thieves, and occasionally got their revenge.  After a particular fight where a Federal camp was overrun and the sutler had to escape without his goods, the Rebel and Yankee soldiers stopped fighting each other in order to ransack the abandoned wagon.


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