Has reenactment never gone too wild?

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Rebel from Finland

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I was just thinking has there ever been a reenactment that went out of hands? Maybe some unit after too many beers wanted to change history, course of the battle and took "control of the field"? :laugh1:
 
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Craig L Barry

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Happens irregularly but it happens. A man was shot in Isle of Wight county at a filming about a year ago by a nut job who "forgot" he had loaded his revolver. At Gettsyburg 145 some CS yahoos decided to rewrite history at the high tide of the Confederacy with a little unscripted hand to hand combat. At 135th Gettysburg, a re-enactor in the 19th VA Co B was shot in the neck by a French walk-on with another "I didn't know it was loaded" revolver, &c. At Resaca a Union soldier decided to play capture the flag a few years back which led to fisticuffs. Those are a few off the top of my head.

Because of the danger of mixing black powder, alcohol and the unpredictable nature of people, events generally require participants to sign liability waivers.
 

K Hale

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At Gettsyburg 145 some CS yahoos decided to rewrite history at the
high tide of the Confederacy with a little unscripted hand to hand combat.
I recall reading about this. According to the version I read, the "script" called for these particular CS troops to make it over the wall, and it was a few of the boys in blue who objected to it and broke the script, refusing to let them over, causing some justifiable outrage among the Rebs.

I think this was the same one where an ice angel got too close to the action and was hit in the face with a rifle butt.
 
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Karen Lips

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This incident did happen. Some people got hurt and one person actually had to get stitches!
I recall reading about this. According to the version I read, the "script" called for these particular CS troops to make it over the wall, and it was a few of the boys in blue who objected to it and broke the script, refusing to let them over, causing some justifiable outrage among the Rebs.

I think this was the same one where an ice angel got too close to the action and was hit in the face with a rifle butt.
 

Craig L Barry

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All of the incidents mentioned happened, and probably a lot more of which I am unaware.
I was around, or had comrades-in-arms who were (in the case of the 135th G'burg shooting).
Remembered another one...A few years ago somebody thought it would be funny to shoot a
blank round at an exposed foot sticking out from under a blanket and shot a piece of someone's
toe off. That one was at a different Gettysburg event, too.

There was some scripted hand to hand at the Dollinger Farm event near Chicago this October and one
participant got a bayonet through the fleshy part of his hand between his thumb and forefinger. I was
there for that one and suggested against the hand to hand combat during the practice. Frankly, it is a wonder more people aren't injured or killed with the stupid things you see going on at events. I once stopped a group of guys loading black powder rounds by the light of the campfire. Never occurred to them that might not be a good idea...

See the following column from Civil War News:http://www.civilwarnews.com/watchdog/wd_010901.html
 

elfdream

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Wow.

The only thing I witnessed personally wasn't wild or dangerous but it did cause confusion and pandemonium. At a Cedar Creek re-enactment in the 90s someone thought it would be a good idea to actually reenact the surprise 5 am attack of the Confederates on the sleeping Union troops. I assume the people who lived in the locale community were forewarned...but apparently the Boy and Girl Scouts who were were camping close by enjoying their fall Camporee were not. I'm sure it must have been on schedule somewhere but I don't remember seeing it. Five a.m. comes, the guns go off waking us rudely from sleep which was bad enough but then it somehow set off all the car alarms of every car within the vicinity. Honk Honk Honk Honk Honk multiplied hundreds of times over.. all the while there are the sounds of battle in the background. I'm sure there was a lot swearing and I remember people spilling from their tents not knowing which way to turn... and then the realization of 'that's how it really started'...without all the car alarms of course.

I have no idea if they still do that or not.
 
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Rebel from Finland

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Wow.

The only thing I witnessed personally wasn't wild or dangerous but it did cause confusion and pandemonium. At a Cedar Creek re-enactment in the 90s someone thought it would be a good idea to actually reenact the surprise 5 am attack of the Confederates on the sleeping Union troops. I assume the people who lived in the locale community were forewarned...but apparently the Boy and Girl Scouts who were were camping close by enjoying their fall Camporee were not. I'm sure it must have been on schedule somewhere but I don't remember seeing it. Five a.m. comes, the guns go off waking us rudely from sleep which was bad enough but then it somehow set off all the car alarms of every car within the vicinity. Honk Honk Honk Honk Honk multiplied hundreds of times over.. all the while there are the sounds of battle in the background. I'm sure there was a lot swearing and I remember people spilling from their tents not knowing which way to turn... and then the realization of 'that's how it really started'...without all the car alarms of course.

I have no idea if they still do that or not.
Nice story, something like that I was looking for, anybody doesn´t get hurt.
 

CWJoanna

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Hi, new user here who has been following through facebook.

Anyways, regarding the troubles at the 145th Pickett's Charge, Confederates hit the wrong part of the wall (apparently they misread the marker indicating where they were supposed to go), and missed the Federal reenactors they were supposed to do the scripted hand-to-hand with. Therefore the Federal reenactors they did "hit" were only pushing back for what they believed was self-protection because they were facing these CS reenactors who were trying to do what they thought to be unscripted hand-to-hand.

It was a simple mistake and the Federal reenactors were only doing what they thought right. They believed the CS reenactors were breaking the scenario. The CS reenactors were angry because they believed the Federal reenactors were the ones breaking the scenario.
 

CWJoanna

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Additionally, there was a serious incident at, I believe, the 2004 Franklin where there was an unscripted fight over a flag. (NEVER, EVER try to take another side's flag without prior agreement of both units and the event organizers!) And there was the serious shooting at Raymond II (Vicksburg Campaign) in 2001 in which a Federal cav guy was shot. There is still controversy to this day among reenactors who were there about whether the man suffered an accidental self-inflicted wound by a pistol, or if some nut off in the woods thought he'd "bag" himself a Yankee.
 
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Republican Blues

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Resaca has had a few nasty turns.. we got in a fight with another unit (that we later fought WITH) when they did an off scenario charge and started some hand to hand... that got nasty but we finally convinced them to back the heck off.. then there was the guy that had wax bullets in his Sharps cartridges.. yeah, that got fun. But here is to the event staff, who I know personally, they really handled that in a most diplomatic and swift manner. Then there were the ladies that launched a Nancy Hearts type thing at the same event.. that got ugly, with firing IN the camps, no safety measures, and very close to spectators and children... again, the staff stepped in quickly, not so diplomatically, and violently......yeah, heads rolled.
 

Republican Blues

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The Nancy Harts were an all female militia unit in LaGrange, Georgia, that stood up to Col. (here is irony!) La Grange's Cavalry

During the American Civil War, LaGrange was defended by a volunteer women's auxiliary group known as the Nancy Harts. After the Confederate defeat in nearby West Point, Georgia, the Federal troops, led by Colonel Oscar LaGrange, marched north to LaGrange, with Confederate prisoners near the front of the column. The Nancy Harts formed and negotiated a surrender. Although local assets were burned and looted by Union troops, Colonel LaGrange spared the homes of LaGrange, including Bellevue, the home of Senator Benjamin Harvey Hill. This may have been a returned favor. Colonel LaGrange had previously been under Confederate medical care for wounds received and had been cared for by the niece of Senator Hill. After his care, LaGrange was later exchanged for a Union prisoner and returned to duty. This became an opportunity to return the kindness he had been shown.
The little scenario they kicked up only borrowed on the female militia thing.. the rest of it, went very badly. My bad on the misspelling.. oops
 
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Craig L Barry

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Well it is certainly true that with time you develop a preference for better
events, which ultimately leads some (re)enactors to doing no events at all.
 

johan_steele

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Over the years I've seen some really stupid stuff. Had my Sack Coat set on fire because of a !@#$% cowboy, politely informed him that if he pulled that trigger again I would introduce his skull to the wrong end of my Enfield. Same event we had a unit of CS troops refuse to wake up/sober up enough for the Sunday morning safety inspection which was required after the incident on saturday when there was wonder wad flying across the field at the US troops. That was the point when I lopst any interest in Mainstream powder burning events.

If an event has no published standards that is a quick indicator of what to expect.
 
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Bonny Blue Flag

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K Hale, to to the search button and type in Nancy Hart. There are several really nice threads about the heroine and her namesakes.

--BBF
 

CoA49thNCT

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I know somebody was killed at the 2008 Cedar Creek reenactment when he was shot by a walk-on with a loaded rifle. Don't know if they ever figured out who it was.

I also hear stories of people who forget to pull out their ramrod (Which very rarely happens now, since ramrods aren't used during the actual battle scenarios), and shot it and it pierced a guy's leg.

But these only occur once every blue moon. I usually feel safe when out on the battlefield.

God bless!
 
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