I had a wonderful childhood, growing up in a small lakeside village nestled in the scenic wooded hills of southeastern Ohio. It was an area steeped in history; an area where famed Civil War generals Phil Sheridan and William T. Sherman grew up. My own family was rich in Civil War heritage, with direct ancestors on both sides of the family serving in the Union Army, including three of my great-great-grandfathers.
My Dad, whose 97th birthday would have been yesterday, and Mom gave me a giant set of Civil War toy soldiers for Christmas back in 1962. It was the 54mm Marx Giant Blue & Gray playset which I believe they bought at the local Montgomery Wards store, which my Mom frequented in those long ago days. As a kid I played with them extensively and lost parts of the set in my outdoor “wargaming” activities. The rest survived the years, and are now enjoyed by my two grandsons.
Here are a few shots of the remnants of that old playset (I also still have the tin mansion).
President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee direct the action from the porch of the ruined mansion. These are some of Stonewall Jackson’s boys in action.
The original playset had perhaps 25% more figures than I still have, including a falling horse and rider which I left behind accidentally at a beach when I was a lad. I still wish I had those two particular figures!
The rare occurrence of U.S. Grant and Abe Lincoln surveying a battlefield while bullets and cannon shells whiz by.
Rebel artillery takes aim at the distant Grant and Lincoln… bad day for the Union in store.