On the way home from the Wives & Daughters Picnic in September, the Gemini in me decided to create a new character for Civil War events. I'm normally Mrs Rosbrugh from Maryland who's from a well-to-do upper middle class family with her husband off to fight for the North.
Lily, who manages members with our group, wants to see us expand into more class portrayals with a distinct separation of those with and without money. As we develop our first person impressions, the clothes we wear, how we talk and interact, and even personal possessions reflect those characters who would have lived in the early 1860s.
So as a complete change from the monied Mrs Rosbrugh, I created Mrs Minton - a woman who's recently had her oldest son run off to find his father in the military, her youngest daughter die, then hearing word that her husband died a few days after a bloody battle. She is Southern, being born and raised near the town in North Carolina.
Mrs Minton owns but a small apple orchard just outside of town and Oak Street. Without help to keep her field and any income, she approaches Mrs Cressman at the Johnson Oak Inn to become a parlor maid, working for food and possibly a bit of money.
I wanted to really make a contrast between my two characters. Mrs Minton debuted last Sunday at the Moorpark Reenactment. It will take another appearance or two for the rest of the town to get to know her and to become familiar with my new impression as we develop new scenarios and interactions.