Living History

When covering an event at the Wartime Memorial Museum.   We learned that most people involved in time period reenactments prefer to refer to what they do as “living history”. This is because it allows for room to naturally improvise in front of spectators and also it allows them to talk about the history behind the character they’re  representing.


On The Frontlines: A Weekend as a Civil War Reenactor

TIME reporter Nate Rawlings joins a group of devout reenactors at Gettysburg, in a season of reenactments honoring Civil War anniversaries.

Reenacting the American Civil War began even before the real fighting had ended. Civil War veterans recreated battles as a way to remember their fallen comrades and to teach others what the war was all about.  

Motion picture and television producers often turn to reenactment groups for support; films like Gettysburg, Glory and Gods and Generals benefited greatly from the input of reenactors, who arrived on set fully equipped and steeped in knowledge of military procedures, camp life, and tactics. 

In a documentary about the making of the film Gettysburg, actor Sam Elliott, who portrayed Union General John Buford in the film, said of reenactors:

“I think we’re really fortunate to have those people involved. In fact, they couldn’t be making this picture without them; there’s no question about that. These guys come with their wardrobe, they come with their weaponry. They come with all the accoutrements, but they also come with the stuff in their head and the stuff in their heart.”

Windy skirts, wintry spring days, and my lumpy farb glasses. ❤

I worked on so much stuff for my impression this weekend!! I have a new dress in the works, a really nice gingerbread brown wool with cranberry velvet accents, and I made two petticoats and am working on an apron! Eeeek! So excited! Spring break is off to a good start!! Only one week until I go back to the Burg, though, so I don’t have to be away from my favorite place long.


Hilarious -Conan Becomes A Civil War Reenactor -

Finally something that both Southern rebels and the Union can agree on: Conan would be a TERRIBLE soldier

Reenacting the American Civil War began even before the real fighting had ended. Civil War veterans recreated battles as a way to remember their fallen comrades and to teach others what the war was all about.  

Categories of Reenactors

  • Farbs” or “polyester soldiers" are reenactors who spend relatively little of their time or money maintaining authenticity with regard to uniforms, accessories, or even period behavior. The ‘Good Enough’ attitude is pervasive among farbs, although even casual observers may be able to point out flaws. Blue jeans, tennis shoes, polyester (and other synthetic fabrics), zippers, velcro, snoods, and modern cigarettes are common issues. 
  • Mainstream-Another group of reenactors often is called "Mainstream.” These reenactors are somewhere between farb and authentic. They are more common than either farbs or authentics. Most mainstream reenactors make an effort at appearing authentic, but may come out of character in the absence of an audience. Modern items are sometimes used “after hours” or in a hidden fashion. The common attitude is to put on a good show, but that accuracy need only go as far as others can see.
  • Progressive-At the other end of the spectrum from farbs are “hard-core authentics” or “progressives”, as they prefer to be called. Sometimes derisively called “stitch counters”,many people have misconceptions about hardcore reenactors. Hard-cores generally seek an “immersive” reenacting experience, trying to live, as much as possible, as someone of the 1860s might have. 
  • Character reenactors-Some reenactors portray a specific officer or person such as General Robert E. Lee, General Ulysses S. Grant, President Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, or a less well known officer such as Col. Abram Fulkerson. Character reenactors may also portray a civilian man, woman, or child of significance. These reenactors often do not participate in the actual combat portion of the reenactment and serve as narrators to the audience during the battle. Often, character reenactors have extensively researched the person they portray and present a first-person narrative of his story.

Hi, @celestiaspaladin

You mentioned you reenact civil war medicine. I’d like to pick your brain if you don’t mind.

You have a solider with a through and through chest wound, from a lead musket ball. No organ or bone damage, and assuming no infection sets in, what kind of recovery time could be expected?