Reenactment improvements

33rdVaCoB

Private
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Good morning everyone , I was wondering if you could improve anything at reeanactment what would it be ? For me it would be the amount of causlties. Since the war was bloody and gruesome, u believe having more soldiers fall at events would be a better way to show that.
 

captaindrew

Major
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Location
Whereabouts Unknown
Cars coming in and out of camp all weekend drives me nuts, wish that was policed better. Casualties are tough, nobody wants to go down early in the action. I always encourage guys to take some hits early then catch back up when the action moves on.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
Coming from the civilian point of view? Not enough costumed reenactors engaging the guests. And not enough people doing Quarter Master, Laundress..needs to be interactive stuff for the littles. I wander around and sing, I talk about what I am wearing etc..need more of that! You know, write your name with a quill on paper. some living history stuff would be good. One of these days I will set up a display saying “Are you hot in that?” And then proceed to talk about natural fiber, how it was woven etc and so on!
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Researched uniform and impressions standards by unit, that are actually researched.

The newest officer leading my unit told me and a new recruit buddy of mine the other day to get black cowboy hats so we'd have "Confederate" hats and there was zero tolerance for anything else. It was a good 12 or 13 years, but I must bid goodbye to the unit after this weekend. All the folks I knew and loved are mostly gone anyway. The new powers that be can't stand me trying to share what I do know anyway and love their Paki junk. Even in the old days while looking pretty farby it was still a great unit and looked authentic compared to the new standard, which is a lack thereof.

Used to, farbs and mainstream could be easily distinguished. Even though they may have been a little farby, the mainstream still looked good, and even looked more period than some newer and younger authentics do nowadays. But the farbs have just about took over. I blame shortsightedness combined with cheap prices on goods. Oh and Hollywood.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
Researched uniform and impressions standards by unit, that are actually researched.

The newest officer leading my unit told me and a new recruit buddy of mine the other day to get black cowboy hats so we'd have "Confederate" hats and there was zero tolerance for anything else. It was a good 12 or 13 years, but I must bid goodbye to the unit after this weekend. All the folks I knew and loved are mostly gone anyway. The new powers that be can't stand me trying to share what I do know anyway and love their Paki junk. Even in the old days while looking pretty farby it was still a great unit and looked authentic compared to the new standard, which is a lack thereof.

Used to, farbs and mainstream could be easily distinguished. Even though they may have been a little farby, the mainstream still looked good, and even looked more period than some newer and younger authentics do nowadays. But the farbs have just about took over. I blame shortsightedness combined with cheap prices on goods. Oh and Hollywood.
Golly. I am sorry you are experiencing this. Where in the war does he think Black cowboy hats existed?? Ain’t no slouch hat..ugh. Is there another company you can fall in with?
 
Joined
May 12, 2018
As much as I like a cold beer now and then, maybe keep the events dry for reenactors. Too many people drinking to excess at reenactments, in possibly one of the most obviously Farb things we do. Officers during the war would have had a fit at one of our beerfests. There's a reason that the army didn't want any alcohol in camp.

It would be nice to have more events that were by us and for us, but weren't quite so hardcore. I'd love to do more soldiery things that weren't solely based around blowing things up, like building entrenchments or camps ect. .

Efforts ought to be made to scrounge up all the young people in attendance, who are definitely out there but seem to be dolled out at the rate of one or two per unit, and get them to work together in a single unit per branch so that at least the most visible to the public units look the part. There should also be clearer paths to promotion for young people too, if they so desire. While we don't want an Army of Generals, I feel like we may have oversteered in that regard as at this rate I'll make corporal by age 80... and I'm getting into my late twenties now, so by Civil War standards I should be an "old man"!

People will probably laugh, but the hobby could learn a lot from the SCA in terms of organization, structure, and the way they run events. They are not perfect by any stretch, but they have some pretty good practices and ideas we could learn from.
 
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Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Golly. I am sorry you are experiencing this. Where in the war does he think Black cowboy hats existed?? Ain’t no slouch hat..ugh. Is there another company you can fall in with?
Probably not. The main big battalion in my region is getting farbier and I picked a fight with the head honcho over the Forrest Reinternment and some grave "concerns" on the goings on, and he's one of the senior officers. Plus the whole battalion being so concerned with reenacting politics instead of history, good times and good shows has really been ticking me off.

(I've handsewn Confederate uniforms years ago, one a pair of $70 a yard blue-gray kersey trousers, and not been allowed to wear them at events I do make it to because we're going Federal to get some other battalion to come and allowing them to be Confederate takes precedence among other complaints. Heck they only come to them every year if Confederate, while we go blue. And our battalion officers go CS with them!)

But there's enough other fed up "enemies of the state" that I'm hoping a new company can be formed. Better to be exiled and happy than stuck and unhappy.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
As much as I like a cold beer now and then, maybe keep the events dry for reenactors.
NEVER!!!!!!!!:D

But I agree with everything else you say a hundred percent. Don't feel bad on rank, I've been a private since I was 15 and am 31 now. New officer in charge is way older and got to be his rank after only a year. Rank is a problem at events, too many folks that've been officers for 20 and 30 years, and no one under 40 can rise up less they're at every event or behind kisser. Rank is way overrated, being in the ranks is less to no work and far more enjoyable.
 
Joined
May 12, 2018
I know of some other CS reenactors who have decided to do the same Rusk, hopefully this will become a trend and will lead to more authentic units.

For me the rank thing is more an interest in getting a chance to make some tactical decisions on the field from time to time... I have no interest in herding cats behind the scenes. I get enough of that with my actual cat!
 

7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
NEVER!!!!!!!!:D

But I agree with everything else you say a hundred percent. Don't feel bad on rank, I've been a private since I was 15 and am 31 now. New officer in charge is way older and got to be his rank after only a year. Rank is a problem at events, too many folks that've been officers for 20 and 30 years, and no one under 40 can rise up less they're at every event or behind kisser. Rank is way overrated, being in the ranks is less to no work and far more enjoyable.
There is actually only one rank: reenactor. I´ve been a career private; the highest rank I ever sewed on was sergeant and I am happy with that.
I would like to see more private tacticals or nonspectator events. They don´t need to be so hardcore that they´re like ¨Survivor: Civil War,¨ but doing things beyond the traditional ¨battle - beer - ball¨ schedule.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
I know of some other CS reenactors who have decided to do the same Rusk, hopefully this will become a trend and will lead to more authentic units.

For me the rank thing is more an interest in getting a chance to make some tactical decisions on the field from time to time... I have no interest in herding cats behind the scenes. I get enough of that with my actual cat!
As for authenticity, while I'm frequently accused of being a stitchcounter by mainstreamers, I'm accused of being a farb by authentics. If someone wants to wear a jean shell jacket from Pakistan or a mainstream sutler with an off pattern with leathers not appropriate to the time and place, I won't stop them or talk smack, although I will encourage them to do better, usually to no avail. I just take issue with all the "Frontier Classics" trousers, "CS" and State belt plates, "Confederate Sack Coats" and light gray "wool" junk from Pakistan in general. And cowboy hats! Oh and so-called "hawken" guns!

But a mainstream Columbus Depot jacket, rifle-musket not defarbed, mainstream jean Richmond Depot jacket, tents with cast-iron cook sets and so on? I'm fine with it.

As for the rank stuff, like a wise man once told me, "Be a leader." Of course that doesn't always work, it depends on your unit. Mine for instance, during one "battle" very early on our Captain went down, the Lieutenant went down and then the 1st Sgt. fell. We still had a 2nd Sgt. and a few Corporals, none stepped up to command the company, I finally yelled out a question about who was in command, no one replied, so I declared I would take command. I led our company through the rest of the battle. But I'm still a private, when you'd think I'd have at least got Corporal stripes, most other units that would've happened. To be honest though, I don't care its a good story and I'm happy at the bottom, so long as people listen to me on uniform and scenario subjects before making excuses and not belittle me as a worthless "kid" (it still happens even though I'm in my early thirties) or other belittling. I've been belittled so much at events, I halfway wonder if I got issues.
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
We still had a 2nd Sgt. and a few Corporals, none stepped up to command the company, I finally yelled out a question about who was in command, no one replied, so I declared I would take command.
I can accept corporals who do not want to take command. Their main job is making sure things in camp works and to be the experienced and steady men in the rank when in the field.
But sergeants and up should have tried commanding at drills and be willing to do so if needed.
 

grognard

Private
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
I can accept corporals who do not want to take command. Their main job is making sure things in camp works and to be the experienced and steady men in the rank when in the field.
But sergeants and up should have tried commanding at drills and be willing to do so if needed.
Part of an officer's job (and this applies to NCOs as well) is being prepared for the duties of the next higher grade. A Corporal should have a working knowledge of a Sergeant's duties, any Sergeant should be able to act as First Sergeant, and the First Sergeant should be able to command the company if necessary.

If only a squad of men are left, a Corporal or Sergeant should look for another company to combine forces with.

I'm probably an exception, but once the shine wore off my shoulder straps I LOVED taking hits and forcing Lieutenants (and later Majors and Lt Cols) to experience "Golden Opportunities for Leadership".
 

7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Cars coming in and out of camp all weekend drives me nuts, wish that was policed better. Casualties are tough, nobody wants to go down early in the action. I always encourage guys to take some hits early then catch back up when the action moves on.
LOL - for 40 years I´ve been reading ¨All vehicles must be out of the camps by 9 am Saturday.¨
 

grognard

Private
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
What's funny - and maybe a little sad - is that not one of these topics is "new". You could have found this same thread on Bob Szabo's "Civil War Reenactors Forum" back in 1997.

What's next? Obvious women in the ranks?....
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
What's next? Obvious women in the ranks?....
You mean in the ranks with the Obvious 60+ year old, 300+ pound man who have issues even walking?


I take younger fit women in the ranks over fat old men any day of the week. That is way more authentic with an age, weight and height that is closer to the historical numbers.


Either we care about what is inside the uniform and make very clear physicals requirements for everyone.
age limit, weight limit, height limit... and yes limit on gender.

Or we don't care and accept anyone who like to join what is just a hobby.

Caring about what a person got between their legs, but not about weight or age (or their kit) is just pure discrimination.

pruss.jpg

I prefer to face all of the "prussians" in this photo.
But If I had to start removing anyone for the physical appearance, the woman is not the one I would remove first. I would start with the big guy, who is also older than the historical 22-25. Then the old guy (partly hidden, he is 60+ but fit)
and then we can look at the last 4 who was all the correct age 22-23...
Fit. (since they where all attending the army NCO school to become sergeants)
But one is a woman.
 
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7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
What's funny - and maybe a little sad - is that not one of these topics is "new". You could have found this same thread on Bob Szabo's "Civil War Reenactors Forum" back in 1997.

What's next? Obvious women in the ranks?....
Well, realistically, it´s the same hobby - some of us are even the same reenactors! If you think changing reenactors is a slow process, you should try changing church folks!
 

grognard

Private
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Either we care about what is inside the uniform and make very clear physicals requirements for everyone.
age limit, weight limit, height limit... and yes limit on gender.

Or we don't care and accept anyone who like to join what is just a hobby.
And some took that same position 30 years ago. The point is, the argument still goes on.

Since I worked on a military base - and even for a female General at one point - it always seemed strange to me NOT to see women in uniform. But the military women I worked with met height and weight standards, wore only authorized jewelry, and kept their hair in place - just as the men did.
 
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