THE grassy paddocks by Ballarat Airport were turned into a bloody battlefield on Saturday afternoon as the American Civil War and Napoleonic Wars were recreated.
Infantry, artillery and cavalry charged and fired at one another, with the sounds of gun fire ringing out across the fields.
Though the bloodshed was not real, the uniforms, tactics and weapons used were accurate of the early 1800s.
Several of the about 50 people involved travelled from New South Wales and Queensland for the all arms training weekend.
Event organiser Adrien Rousset said that although taking part in the acted battles was addictive, it also served an important purpose.
“The inspiration is to recreate history and teach the public a little bit more about how people lived and about the wars that formed the modern world,” he said.
“You’ve got to get into the period, into the mindset of the people at the time. It was a very rough time.
“In England at this period the poor were selling their children so they could afford gin. The poverty in the world was a much harsher place and this is probably the more pageant side of it and the more flamboyant side of it.”
The event was organised by the Victorian branch of the D Troop 15th Kings Light Dragoons (Hussars), and is hoped to take place annually.
“It’s awesome fun, a lot of our riders are professional riders,” Mr Rousset said.
“The amount of training that purely goes into the cavalry is astronomical because you have to be safe. If you’re not safe on a horse to start with you shouldn’t even think about doing this.”