While at a reenactment I happened to hear a very enlightening conversation between a wide-eyed 10-year-old and a "colonel" of dismounted cavalry.

It sort of went like this...

Shelby Toe

Colonel: Howdy there little feller! You look like a fine little Confederate!

Boy: (shyly) Nawwww. (Covering eyes) I am an American. Who are you?

Colonel: Why, I am Colonel Alfred Bullrod Busby, 77th Texas Cavalry, at your service!

Boy: (Eyes opening up widely) Neato! Where is your horse? Can I pet him?

Colonel: Um um huh... Well, the Yankees... um… they shot our horses and we have no more, so we are "dismounted."

Boy: So you are regular soldiers then? And you have to walk?

Colonel: Why um, no. (Inspired) We rode our horses here and we fight on foot.

Boy: (Suspicious) I thought you said you didn't have no horses.

Colonel: Well, um, we um, we just have to... umm…

Boy: (Understanding tone) Oh I see. You pretend. I like to pretend too. I pretend I am a Pokemon trainer

Colonel: (Embarrassed) Sort of...

Boy: Well, sir, can I see your regiment? I want to talk to the Soldiers! I bet they are neat!

Colonel: (Proudly) Why, certainly son! (Pointing) That's them over there.

Boy: (Craning neck) Are they behind those two old fat guys and the woman dressed up like a man?

Colonel: (Turning red) That's my regiment.

Boy: Oh, okay. My uncle is in the Marine Corps and he has four guys that work for him, but he don't call them a regiment; he calls them a fire team, and he's only a corporal.

Colonel: Um, um, uh huh...

Boy: This looks like fun. Do you do it because its fun?

Colonel: (Looking noble) Why, I do this in order to honor the Confederacy and teach people the truth about the war!

Boy: Wow, so you are a teacher! Cool! I bet you are a neat teacher. What school do you teach at?

Colonel: Well, actually, I am not a teacher. I am, ah... an assistant manager at an automotive convenience mart.

Boy: Neat! My older brother pumps gas, too! At least until he gets out of high school.

Colonel: (Quickly changing subjects) As I was saying, son, I like to teach people the truth about the War Betwixt the States.

Boy: (Puzzled) Well, why wouldn't they just read books on it?

Colonel: (Looking indignant) Well, them books where written by Yankees! (Spits.) 

Boy: (Wide-eyed) Wow! You mean people from the South never wrote books?

Colonel: Um, ah… you ask a lot of questions...

Boy: I thought you liked teaching us kids. Well, if you want you can ask me a question.

Colonel: (Preening) Okay, son. Why did you pick me out of all the reenactors to talk to?

Boy: (Shyly) I thought you were Santa Claus.

Colonel: (Turning purple) Son, here's five dollars - go get yourself some soda and ice cream.

Boy: (Looking at the bill) Cool! Look, it's Abraham Lincoln!

Colonel: (Runs into tent, closes flap.)