On a gorgeous spring day in April, we headed out early to Cumberland Gap Tennessee for a Civil War reenactment. Red buds were fading to green, dogwoods blooming in brilliantly, lighting up the woods. This tiny town is sidled up next to the famous Cumberland Gap, on the Tennessee side, where Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky meet.
Abraham Lincoln wanted the Cumberland Gap secured for the Union, thinking it impenetrable. The Confederates took the Gap early in the war, and tried their best to maintain it. It changed hands 4 times during the Civil War.
The Confederate Army was encamped in the middle of town, in a park shaded with huge trees. White tents, campfires and tethered cavalry horses stood in contrast to the neat little town.
The mountains towering over the gap were filled with Union soldiers during the war. They pushed their cannon up the mountains, and trained them below. Thousands of soldiers guarded it, with nothing to eat for the men and animals. They froze and starved up there. Supplies were rare, so the Union was forced to come down the mountain to forage for food and supplies.
The town of Cumberland Gap was full of hardworking women, with their husbands at war.
The Confederate Army was aware of the troop movement, and were bustling around preparing for the assault. Cavalry thundered through town on horses, from both armies, shooting. General Lee stood in the center of town, getting his troops ready for the battle, encouraging the troops, urging them on to bravery, honor and dignity.
The battle started with Union forces lobbing cannon fire from the base of the mountain, near the trees.....