Civil-War-Reenactment

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After Gettysburg, is there a future for Civil War re-enacting?
Everyone knew someone, it seemed, for whom Gettysburg would be the last re-enactment.

“It does let you step back and have a breather,” said John Browne, a 22-year-old Civil War re-enactor originally from Seattle but who has lived in Brevard, N.C., since he was 12.

Browne said in his Civil War re-enactment camp he doesn’t have to worry about people pulling out their cell phones, getting connected to the outside world and ignoring everyone else around them.

Sitting in his Confederate camp at Gettysburg with only a lantern and the stars for light, Browne said, “It’s a good thing that we’re not supposed to have technology out here because (the technology) inhibits us from being able to develop relations with the humans right next to us, instead of being very deep into our phone at the moment.”

“Everybody should go camping,” he said. “Things move very, very fast today with our communications… It’s almost unnatural the speed we’re going.”

It’s more than just a camping adventure, though. For some, there is also the tug of ancestry, particularly in the South.

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A Black man joins the Confederacy! My friend, and fellow “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” writer,  Dwayne Kennedy went to a Civil War re-enactment in Kentucky and hilarity ensued. 

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I’m staying out of the whole #whiteout/#blackout drama thing, but I do think the whole week of beauty thing is an awesome idea. Here are some selfies of me when I feel post comfortable: riding horses at reenactment, shooting guns, and wearing dark lipstick. :)

Confederate Veterans Reenact “Pickett’s Charge” at Gettysburg During the 1913 Reunion

The year 1913, marked the 50th Commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg. From July 1st through July 4th, thousands of Civil War veterans embarked on the town of Gettysburg. On June 28th, the New York Herald wrote: “Today fifty thousand veterans of the great War are moving on to take peaceful possession of the field where the ardor of youth they strove in such deadly conflict. No better evidence of healing of the nation’s wounds could be offered than the spectacle of men of the Grand Army and of the Confederacy striking hands on the spot where they made history.”

During the Commemoration, many governors and veteran organizations spoke. Many activities were planned, and a recreation of the Pickett’s Charge was reenacted by 120 veterans of Pickett’s Division, and 180 veterans from the Philadelphia Brigade. The Confederate veterans charged over 100 feet of ground to the wall and shook hands with the Union veterans. (source: Smithsonian). Info from Emmitsburg Area Historical Society

Civil War reenacting with a disability

I’m going through my storage bins of Civil War reenacting stuff because I’m going to the Battle of Resaca in May. I haven’t done this in several years due to bad health and a relapse of my anxiety disorder. But this year, I plan to start getting back into it.

As I was going through my storage bins, I realized some of my stuff is different because I’m a quadriplegic. So I wanted to write about it a little bit, maybe hoping that other disabled people might see that it’s possible to do something like reenacting too. And reenacting is not completely like theater or even cosplay if you think about it. We invest a lot of time, energy, materials, and resources into our Civil War personas the way those in the theater or in cosplay do. So if I can do it from a wheelchair, you can too.

This is 2014 me:

And this is 1863 me:

It’s not easy to discern my quadriplegia when I sit for glass plate photographs, right? It’s not accidental. Wherever possible, like any great actress, I do what I can to convince the viewer of the part I play. For photo sittings like these, I transfer from my wheelchair to a regular antique chair the photographer has in his or her period correct studio. A 21st century wheelchair would destroy the historical illusion.

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