The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 08, 1997, Page 7, Image 7

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    Sunday afternoon, history revisited
Nebraska City as Civil War enthusiasts
came to Arbor Lodge to reenact Chalk’s
Bluff Battle.
Soldiers hailing from North Dakota to Kansas, from
Minnesota to Colorado, fight each other in the battle
originally staged in Missouri.The enthusiasts, portraying
Confederate and Union soldiers, face each other and wait
for their commands. With a thunderous roar, cannons let
fly a volley of munitions into enemy lines, while several
soldiers fall to the ground.
Fighting in columns and with guerrilla warfare, 300
actors battle.
Doug Helgeson, a modern-day painter and printer
turned Civil War doctor, helps haul off several wounded
“The hand is broken, it has to come off,” he says,
grabbing the saw and amputating on the war field.
Nearby, a nurse attempts to help a wounded soldier.
Young and old men alike fight over a few small acres
of land. This is how it was back them, Dianne Helgeson
says, after telling a spectator why the actors did not have
a wastebasket at their camp^Her husband, Doug
Helgeson, and daughter play at cutting off the girl’s hand
because of a shrapnel wound.
Doug Helgeson enjoys the outings, even if they are t
8‘/2 hours from his Minnesota home. He explains to a
gathered group the medical procedures used in the war
while he pulls out a plastic leach.
The costumes and props for this display of living his
tory do not come cheap, unless cheap is $700 for the out
fit, not including weaponry.
After fighting for an hour, soldiers from the two
armies decide they have had enough of the hot sun. The
Confederates surrender, moving to the shade of nearby
trees. The soldiers wipe blood off their faces and hands,
share a smoke or make a joke.
The war is over, now all that is left is to pack the mus
*" kets and canvas tents and hop into cars to drive home.
Story and photos by Dan Luedert
tends to wounded
soldier Jason
SON (left), a Civil
War-era doctor,
helps carry a fallen
soldier from the
reenacted Chalk’s
Bluff Battle.
across the ground
as a young boy
portrayed by Dawn
Helgeson eyes the
BLARES across the
normally quiet
meadows near
Arbor Lodge.