Friday, October 12, 2012

Civil War Soldiers at a Dance

Do you wonder what dances civil war soldiers were fond of? According to this Harpers Weekly article, the Virginia Reel was a favorite. I love the idea that they would repeat the dance seven or eight times in a single evening. Did you notice that the soldiers wore clean white gloves?


THE view on page 236 of a ball of the non-commissioned officers and privates of the Fifteenth Corps at Huntsville, Alabama, is thus decribed by Mr. Davis, who furnishes the sketch: Since the occupation of this place by General LOGAN the soldiers have made many friends, and a few evenings since they gave a ball, at which a considerable number of ladies were present. The ball was as well conducted and as full of enjoyment as any affair of the kind ever given in this place. The soldiers, with their well-brushed though somewhat worn uniforms, clean white gloves, and bronzed, happy faces, presented a sight well worth seeing. Their very intimate acquaintance with balls of a far different nature and mission seemed to have peculiarly prepared them for enjoying such a gathering. The sketch gives the ' Virginia Reel,' danced with energy, and often performed as many as seven or eight times during the evening. General LOGAN attended the ball for a short time, and expressed himself pleased to see the quiet respect that was every where shown the gentler sex by their brave attendants." (Harpers Weekly, April 9, 1864)

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