ACW Reenactments.... Why?

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Buckeye Bill

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First of all, my post is not in any way, shape or form meant to step on anyone's hobby/passion.

Secondly, I have never attended a reenactment.

Thirdly, I have had the opportunity to visit the majority of major and minor American Civil War Battlefields. With this stated, I have never found an interest to attend a reenactment in person.

Change my mind?

Bill
 

Tin cup

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First of all, my post is not in any way, shape or form meant to step on anyone's hobby/passion.

Secondly, I have never attended a reenactment.

Thirdly, I have had the opportunity to visit the majority of major and minor American Civil War Battlefields. With this stated, I have never found an interest to attend a reenactment in person.

Change my mind?

Bill
At the end of each 24th Missouri News Letter, the editor, Cal Kinzer, (who has been doing this hobby since 1970) reminds us of this:
"Reenacting is more than a hobby. Pastimes such as stamp collecting, building model airplanes, or tending a garden are ends unto themselves, and carry no particular higher connotations. But ours is a greater calling, and involves a responsibility to accurately recreate some of the darkest but most important days of our nation's past. Therefore, we have an obligation to do it right, and to the best of our abilities. We owe this to history, to the memory of those we represent, to our fellow Americans - and to ourselves!"


Kevin Dally
 
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From my prespective, It's a way of remembering the past that is more tangible than reading a book, or watching a documentary. I love the roar of the cannons, the sulfurous smell of black powder, and being around like minded individuals.

For me, it's less about tradition, and more about teaching and demonstrating for others what the past was like.
 
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7thWisconsin

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I've reenacted for over 40 years, in 3 different timeperiods. Reenacting has caused me to approach historical research in a very interdisciplinary manner, touching not only on the military aspects, but on cultural aspects as well: art, music literature, popular culture, etc. The richer understanding and deeper perspective, I believe, have made me a better informed, more thoughtful and wiser individual. Although I don't stand on a soapbox trying to persuade people to my point of view, I do stand behind a pulpit every Sunday - a place where one would really want an informed, thoughtful and wise individual, regardless of the specific sect involved.
 

Mike Serpa

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First of all, my post is not in any way, shape or form meant to step on anyone's hobby/passion.

Secondly, I have never attended a reenactment.

Thirdly, I have had the opportunity to visit the majority of major and minor American Civil War Battlefields. With this stated, I have never found an interest to attend a reenactment in person.

Change my mind?

Bill
I've been to three reenactments. I feel the same way about them as I did when I first saw the Grand Canyon. I was let down. The Grand Canyon looked just like in the photos. I was not inspired or awestruck.

Maybe I expected too much from the reenactments. The action was short and the battle participants seemed confused. Perhaps they were experiencing the "fog of war." I did learn a lot talking to them but the events themselves left me feeling indifferent. I got the same feeling when I watched videos on youtube.

I would consider the events I witnessed to be small in size. I suggest going to a large event to hopefully feel more of a wonderment.
 

Wallyfish

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I have been to reenactments at Gettysburg years ago and I enjoyed them but most probably will not attend another.

Now having said that, I have had great experiences with reenactors. In the early 2000's, I did an anniversary battlewalk with Scott Hartwig. We did a walk as the Vermont regiment wheeled out to hit PPT charge on the flank. Scott had maybe 30 reenactors in front of us who squeezed off several rounds. After the walk, I had the great pleasure in talking to those reenactors. Their passion was very evident and their enthusiasm rubbed off on me.

Every year there is an arts festival at Twin Lakes park. Several of those years, there were reenactors who setup a typical CW camp. I went back and talked to those men and women (maybe 15) and had a great experience in talking to them as we sat around a campfire. That was great.

So for me, I enjoyed seeing thousands of participants in a large reenactment, but I prefer getting a more intimate look at at reenactors in a smaller setting.
 
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jackt62

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I've been to a three reenactments and a larger number of encampments, and have always found them enjoyable, informative, and exciting. Battle reenactments bring to life what is usually just read about in the history books. Talking to reenactors and examining their weapons, uniforms, flags, and equipment, is a great way of getting first hand knowledge about those particular matters.
 

archieclement

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Personally I go for the food venders, sutlers with period reproductions, and sometimes find interesting cw books to add to collection, and to support the community, which is a main reason to attend any community event.

view from a non reenactor
 
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I've been to three reenactments. I feel the same way about them as I did when I first saw the Grand Canyon. I was let down. The Grand Canyon looked just like in the photos. I was not inspired or awestruck.

Maybe I expected too much from the reenactments. The action was short and the battle participants seemed confused. Perhaps they were experiencing the "fog of war." I did learn a lot talking to them but the events themselves left me feeling indifferent. I got the same feeling when I watched videos on youtube.

I would consider the events I witnessed to be small in size. I suggest going to a large event to hopefully feel more of a wonderment.
"I've been to three reenactments. I feel the same way about them as I did when I first saw the Grand Canyon. I was let down. The Grand Canyon looked just like in the photos. I was not inspired or awestruck."

And that's ok! They're not for everyone. I think if you were in the right enviroment you'd enjoy it.

P.S. Did any of these reenactments have cavalry? That always makes the differnece for me.
 
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Buckeye Bill

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Okay.....

Missouri is a wonderful state!

Judging by the comments above your comments, I think individuals truly comprehended my question.

GOD bless,
Bill
 
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archieclement

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Okay.....

Missouri is a wonderful state!

Judging by the comments above your comments, I think individuals truly comprehended my question.

GOD bless,
Bill
Pretty sure I did too, as I said I attend community events to support the community, its what civic minded minded people do, I generally dont watch the reenactments anymore, but still support community food venders, visit sutlers, and look at ACW books. Perhaps if you actually went to one, you'd see there is more to do then watch a reenactment.
 

Buckeye Bill

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Pretty sure I did too, as I said I attend community events to support the community, its what civic minded minded people do, I generally dont watch the reenactments anymore, but still support community food venders, visit sutlers, and look at ACW books.
Outstanding!

Have a great weekend,
Bill
 
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Mike Serpa

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"I've been to three reenactments. I feel the same way about them as I did when I first saw the Grand Canyon. I was let down. The Grand Canyon looked just like in the photos. I was not inspired or awestruck."

And that's ok! They're not for everyone. I think if you were in the right enviroment you'd enjoy it.

P.S. Did any of these reenactments have cavalry? That always makes the differnece for me.
Yes, the one I went to this year did. I agree, better with horses.

Maybe I was expecting too much. 13" mortars, 15" Rodman guns and a naval bombardment!
 

Mrs. V

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Well, I’ve been to a few reenactments, and for me, being that close to the battlefield, to hear the thunder of hooves and the roar of the cannon..gives me chills. At Zoar, the smoke was so thick in the valley you couldn’t see parts of the battle..you just saw forms shifting..it was creepy as all get out..but you could see how hard it would be to orient yourself in that kind of atmosphere. It made it seem more real/true to what an actual battle with thousands firing would have looked like. Plus I got to see cannons firing as a large group. That was cool.

I am a very social person, so I enjoy wandering around and talking to people, both civilian and reenactor..I’ve only had one bad experience with that. But then I’ve had quite a few lovely experiences as well.
 
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Yes, the one I went to this year did. I agree, better with horses.

Maybe I was expecting too much. 13" mortars, 15" Rodman guns and a naval bombardment!
Just thought of something, have you ever tried reenacting yourself? It's different to watch, but when you're out there it's a completely different feel.

Most people have gear to loan, that's how I got started.
 

Polloco

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It's a teaching experience for the youngsters/ spectators who might be watching and a "warm + fuzzy" experience for the old guys who put it on.By youngsters I mean folks who aren't really into it yet but just may get hooked. And old guys, I'm sorry but truth hurts don't it?
 
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