I've always portrayed a Union soldier. Last weekend was the first time I ever wore grey instead. My passion for the Union soldier began when I was in 4th grade. I wondered which side I would have supported had I lived at the time. Two things stood out for me then: Union and slavery. Believe it or not, I had a strong feeling that the Union must be preserved even at that young age. I also could not conceive of owning another human being. So I made my choice. Oddly, as I have gotten older, racial reconciliation has become a major theme in my life. My wife and I have adopted transracially. In the terms of the 1860s, I would be considered the blackest of the "Black Republicans." I also recognize at this point that the vast majority of those in my profession, white northern clergy, were fiercely anti-slavery. So my choice to wear blue is supported at those points. One of my ancestors got a Medal of Honor at Fair Oaks, but I don't reenact his regiment, or even troops from his state. My passion for the Iron Brigade has deepened in the years of study that I have done into them. They were just average men who once upon a time committed acts of almost inconceivable bravery. What is it that Jeff Wertz said: "The United States Army has never known their equal."
Sorry, getting a little emotional there. Anyway, my blue runs very deep, and is very much attatched to themes continuing to work out in my life now.
Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
"We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
-Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty