Maybe the event has successfully lowered my expectations, but I didn't think it was so bad this year. And I didn't observe any egregious misbehavior from where I stood in the midst of the federal forces. It has, however, gotten smaller and older over time, with less participation from the younger set of more active reenactors. I think that, for the reenactor, Rob's approach is probably the best tact.

The organizers have a different challenge, though. They may not only have diluted the brand by holding the same thing in the same way every year, but they've doubled down by trying to have a second major annual event. Rather than increase interest and income, this could lead them down the sad road of New Market.

I go to Cedar Creek every year because my home unit holds an annual meeting there, and it's a beautiful location in good wool wearing weather. But increasingly that just doesn't feel like enough to make up for the tactical equivalent of Groundhog Day.

And there are great alternatives for those who want to vote with their feet. People seem to have enjoyed Perryville, Ridley Creek was just a couple of weeks before CC, and Unison was just last weekend. There's no reason to get too upset about Cedar Creek. It is what it is.