The author is both a gardener and Civil War reenactor who participates in the reenactment of the Battle of Manassas, fought in 1861. During the 2006 reenactment, weather conditions at the battlefield mimicked those 145 years earlier; the temperature was recorded at 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Historically, Union forces retreated the morning of the final battle and Confederate soldiers did not pursue. The reenactment followed suite, however the reenactors finally understood the impact heat had on the battle—Confederate forces had neither the energy nor the enthusiasm to follow their enemy. Pierce further discusses the impact that weather has had on the energy and efforts of those living in southern states.