Fifth Mass, Fall In!

By Kate, age 17, New Hampshire

Like everyone else this summer, my schedule is filled with so much to do! There are colleges to think about, jobs to work, people and places to visit, and of course, writing for Sweet Designs! But some things are just traditional and fun - something to look forward to every summer. For me, it's my home away from home, my second family, a way to get away from the norm. Some call it a hobby. I just call it the Fifth Mass Battery.

The Fifth Mass is a Civil War reenacting group made up of various people. My family and I were introduced to this through a co-worker of my mother's who is the captain of the battery. It started with just me, but my family went to every event with me, and soon we all became members.

We usually stay local (around New England), but this past July we actually spent a week down in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Usually I dress as a soldier because I ride the horses. But there are times when we don't bring horses down to where I work on the cannon or I dress as a civilian.

That's me on the left!

Each event is generally the same. We arrive and set up our tents, which are called A-frames, and are very similar to what the soldiers in the Civil War actually slept in. We try to keep everything very period - no jeans, cell phones, coolers, or earrings! We do sleep in cots and sleeping bags, but we try to keep the tent doors closed so people visiting won't see.

Usually there is a battle or two a day. We generally pull the cannons to the battlefield, but on the hot days when the battlefield is quite a distance away, we often hook the canons up to the trucks and drive them down.

The battles may all seem the same, but I find each one is so different and exciting. The booming of cannons is all around you, along with the snapping of musket fire. Horses prance and neigh, and everyone is shouting orders to everyone else. It's usually pretty chaotic, which makes things that much more interesting. Everyone really gets into it. We've been charged upon and have charged others. We have saber fights on horseback with men pretending to die. And at the end of the day, we all sit around the campfire and joke around.

I look forward to each event and the fun times we always have. I'm not a big history buff, but you do learn a lot. And seriously, how many people can actually say they've shot a cannon or had a saber fight on horseback? Reenacting is something people (my age especially) don't ever think about getting into or don't have the opportunity to do. It really is a great experience, even if you just want to come and watch the battles and see what it's all about.

If you live in the eastern Massachusetts or southern New Hampshire area, we frequently have events in Lawrence and Amesbury, so feel free to come and watch!

For more photos and information, visit

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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