American History Major Looking To Chat With Reenactors/Living Historians

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smason47

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Sep 23, 2019
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Hi everyone! Thank you for welcoming me to this forum. I am excited to have the opportunity to converse with you all!

My name is Sam and I am a history major with a focus in American history at my respective College in upstate New York. After taking a course titled "Civil War America" last semester, I have become really interested in this portion of our country's history. I am currently in a seminar course that is examining how the Civil War is seen today in American popular culture.

For this course I am researching Civil War reenactment/living history. The real question I am looking to answer for this project is what attracts people to this hobby/profession?

If anyone here is willing to help me out by connecting with me to talk to me, either on the phone or via this forum, about why you reenact, and what some of your best (and worst) experiences were, I’d be really interested in hearing your stories!

Thank you!
 

captaindrew

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Welcome Sam, from South Florida and the Reenactors Forum. You'll find lots of info regarding your questions if you look through the Reenactors Forum. If you need something specific I'm always happy talking about the subject so fire away.
 

johan_steele

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Feel free to drop me a line via PM I’ve been a Living Historian off and on pushing 30 years now.

Certainly take a look in the Reenactor forum as Captain Drew suggested.
 
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johan_steele

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Feel free to drop me a line via PM I’ve been a Living Historian off and on pushing 30 years now.

Certainly take a look in the Reenactor forum as Captain Drew suggested.
 
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Booner

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Welcome to CWT.
Read "Confederates in the Attic" by Tony Horwitz. I believe the book would answer many of your questions, or at least give you some direction.
The book is at least 20 years old, but I read it again last summer and was amazed by how far we've come and regressed in those 20 years.
 
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Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
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Kirk Womack

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Jun 29, 2019
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Brookville, Indiana
Welcome from southern Indiana! I'm a private in the 6th Indiana Volunteer Infantry reenactment unit. I would be happy to help you all I can, PM me if you have any questions!
 

111thNYSV

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Jul 23, 2019
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Rochester NY
I see you are in Upstate NY. If more towards the western/central area you are always welcome to come out to one of our events and see what its like. We have plenty of loaner gear and even a couple extra muskets if you feel so inclined to fall in. We portray company E, 28th NY infantry which was recruited out of Canandaguia NY. We have members as far west as Buffalo and as far east as Cortland.
 
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Mrs. V

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May 5, 2017
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Welcome! I do a living history piece for a middle school, and I do a musical impression. I specialize in singing with no instrumentation.
 

poorjack

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Former reenactor here who found shooting live Civil War ammo far more entertaining than blanks. Check out the North South Skirmish Association.
 

DixieRifles

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Collierville, TN
For this course I am researching Civil War reenactment/living history. The real question I am looking to answer for this project is what attracts people to this hobby/profession?
Welcome.

I probably cannot help you----unless you want to hear My reasons why I declined to pursue Re-enacting.
 
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Hey Sam! I have a degree in History and am a recent graduate so I’m more than willing to lend you a hand.

So, why did I get into reenacting? I have always enjoyed reenactments, and living history, my primary experience being with the Mackinaw state parks in Michigan. They do a really good job of interpreting their sites, a Colonial and a War of 1812/1890s era fort and a 1890s Lighthouse we’ve been going to for years.

I got involved in living history back during the Centennial. Already having an interest in the Civil War and especially the music of the war I was invited to contribute to the Ohio Chautauqua history programming, which was a troupe of reenactors traveling around the state at the time. I’m a violinist and sort of specialize in learning songs by ear. I went on to preform with the Chautauqua again a few years later when they had a War of 1812 theme. In college I did an internship with a local historical society and a course about living history which helped convince me that living history was something I wanted to do (both professionally and as a hobby).

It took me ages to break into reenacting. Mainly I lacked the money to do so for many years, since the kit is really expensive especially if you buy new rather than used. Facebook marketplace is awesome for finding good quality used gear.

My best experiences have to be my experiences with the 1st Ohio aka Statehouse battery this year at Hale Farm, where I got to fire a 12 lb Howitzer or working the limber during the woods battle at Zoar, where the gun powder formed a low hanging fog in the air that obscured everything. That was a truly eerie.

Worst might be dealing with some people in the hobby who aren’t very welcoming and make life hard for new members of the community. That’s not unique to this hobby, but encountering it isn’t fun. I’m not a huge fan of people who seem to be more interested in policing other people’s fun rather than having fun, either. I also have some professional disagreements with some people over the history of the war which occasionally are expressed online. Other than that I have had a mostly positive experience.

PM me of you want to ask me anything else!
 
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