In this photo taken April 15, 2012, Chuck Caldwell, of Moline, Ill., speaks during a presentation on the Civil War at the Rock Island County Historical Society in Moline. At right is fellow Civil War re-enactor Darwin Gillespie of Port Byron, Ill. (AP Photo/The Dispatch, Jonathan Turner) QUAD CITY TIMES
Moline, Ill. — Despite being the deadliest war in U.S. history, the Civil War was, at times, actually civil.
Soldiers on each side respected and helped each other, said a presenter Sunday at the Rock Island County Historical Society. Darwin Gillespie, of Port Byron, recently visited Fredericksburg, Va., and learned Confederate soldiers went out on the battlefield after fighting was over and supplied water to Union soldiers.
"There was that kind of respect. That's just the way things were back then," said Mr. Gillespie, who's been doing Civil War re-enactments for 24 years. "It was a totally different time period. That's one of the reasons I re-enact — I love the beliefs back then, what we stood for, the hardships we went through to make this country what we have."
"I say, we're wimps compared to what they did," he said of 21st-century life. "The way they lived, endured during that time period, really we're totally wimpy. That's what I totally admire about the time — the dedication each man had toward what they believed in. It wasn't over land. Nowadays, we fight over oil, we fight over land. They fought for what they believed in. It wasn't over possessions."