Share your "bad history" questions from events or reenactments

Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
555
Location
Tucson, Arizona
#21
1) On my way to a CW Reenactment, I managed to get pulled over by a State Trooper. I was fully dressed in a Confederate uniform. The officer (who happened to be black) peered in, and he asked me if I was a Buffalo Soldier. Astonished, I told him I was a Civil War Reenactor, and that the term Buffalo Soldier referred to soldiers of the post-Civil War era who served on the frontier.

After a brief, and somewhat confused look, he remarked that he didn't know the U. S. fought against buffalos, and let me go on my way, as I was helping educate the public. I've often wondered if HE learned anything.

2) At a Living History demonstration, we had a portly participant dressed as a Union Zouave (I don't remember the unit.) As he stood off to the side, resplendent in his waist length jacket, baggy scarlet trousers, and tasseled fez, a young man asked a group of us (dressed as Confederate Infantry) what the deal was with the Genie. Seeing an opportunity for a little levity at the expense of the boys in blue, one of our unit stated that he was along for good luck. He told the young man that if one rubbed his belly, and made a wish, it might just come true.

Apparently he told his friends, as throughout the rest of the event, kids were continually coming up to make wishes. To the best of our knowledge, the Yanks never figured out the source of these kids' fascination.
 

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Joined
Dec 23, 2014
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3,148
Location
Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
#26
I haven't gotten historical questions, just the usual "Aren't you hot in that?" However, we reenactors need to be careful about our answers! One of the ladies in our group, who has been in reenacting a long time, responded to that question (on a 95+ degree day) by saying that we all use natural fabrics, no synthetics like polyester. Back in 1863 there were no synthetic fabrics and certainly no polyester! I chimed in, "You notice that we are sitting quietly in the shade, sewing and conversing and drinking lemonade, and not running around in the hot sun!" in hopes of distracting the questioners from our strange foreknowledge of fabrics 150 years ahead of our time!

I did once get a question (while watching a battle) if those guys in green uniforms were the Irish Brigade. I explained that they were sharpshooters. However, I felt that this was a perfectly good question to ask!
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Messages
151
Location
NC
#28
I don't reenact anymore, but I've been competing with Civil War guns shooting live ammo. When I bring it up in a conversation with fellow shooters at the range who are interested in my guns, they'll nearly always ask if the live ammo hurts in a reenactment and who on the mock battle is shooting it. God's honest truth right after I've just told them it's NOT a reenactment but live fire competition.

Letting them handle an 1862 Springfield, 1842 Macon, 1858 Smith or 1863 Sharps seems to be quite the treat for those guys along with capping some live rounds off as well.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
555
Location
Tucson, Arizona
#29
Just had an account relayed to me by a civilian lady who used to reenact. She once had a spectator complain to her that her dress was too colorful.

Her proof? All the period photos showed women wearing clothing in shades of Gray, and occasionally black.

Guess it didn't dawn on her that color photography wasn't around during the war!
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,537
Location
Midwest
#30
A guy doing a J.E.B. Stuart impression trying to impress a gaggle of teen girls with "you know the war wasn't about slavery" and the overstuffed Robert E. Lee next to him under the fly chiming in (not to be ignored) "that's right, all we wanted was to be left alone and the Yankees upped and invaded us"

Not all education happens at school.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
514
#31
A guy doing a J.E.B. Stuart impression trying to impress a gaggle of teen girls with "you know the war wasn't about slavery" and the overstuffed Robert E. Lee next to him under the fly chiming in (not to be ignored) "that's right, all we wanted was to be left alone and the Yankees upped and invaded us"

Not all education happens at school.
Don't get me started on "bad history" that comes from reenactors! We could do a whole other thread on that! :Ghost:
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
1,074
Location
Coffeeville, TX
#32
My favorite bad history from fellow reenactors was a dismounted cavalry kid running around with a cut down nickel plated "Zulu" shotgun telling anybody who'd listen that those were the favorite arm of Confederate cavalry along with his issued pair of revolvers.

There needs to be a thread on uneducated reenactors, I know I got a book's worth of stories!
 

Belle Montgomery

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
2,228
Location
44022
#33
I haven't gotten historical questions, just the usual "Aren't you hot in that?" However, we reenactors need to be careful about our answers! One of the ladies in our group, who has been in reenacting a long time, responded to that question (on a 95+ degree day) by saying that we all use natural fabrics, no synthetics like polyester. Back in 1863 there were no synthetic fabrics and certainly no polyester! I chimed in, "You notice that we are sitting quietly in the shade, sewing and conversing and drinking lemonade, and not running around in the hot sun!" in hopes of distracting the questioners from our strange foreknowledge of fabrics 150 years ahead of our time!

I did once get a question (while watching a battle) if those guys in green uniforms were the Irish Brigade. I explained that they were sharpshooters. However, I felt that this was a perfectly good question to ask!
I swear the next time some middle aged woman who looks like an overstuffed baked potato in her stretched from seam to seam tank top and short shorts donning 89 cent flip flops asks me "aren't you hot in that?" I should reply "aren't you embarrassed in that?" :giggle:
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,537
Location
Midwest
#34
I swear the next time some middle aged woman who looks like an overstuffed baked potato in her stretched from seam to seam tank top and short shorts donning 89 cent flip flops asks me "aren't you hot in that?" I should reply "aren't you embarrassed in that?" :giggle:
to be fair, the next middle-aged man who looks like an overstuffed baked potato in his stretched-to-the-max "wife-beater" undershirt just short of his sagging beer-belly, over baggy nylon knee-length "sport" shorts and donning grimy leather "mandals"...yes?
 
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Belle Montgomery

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
2,228
Location
44022
#35
to be fair, the next middle-aged man who looks like an overstuffed baked potato in his stretched-to-the-max "wife-beater" undershirt just short of his sagging beer-belly, over baggy nylon knee-length "sport" shorts and donning grimy leather "mandals"...yes?
Yes...but they never ask me! Perhaps they fear I'll whip them with my antique horse crop for being rude if they did! :rofl:
 

dlofting

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
1,254
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
#36
Finally, not from an event, but when in middle school, one of my kids (who was reenacting with me at the time) sat through a presentation by a student teacher on the Buffalo Soldiers and their role in the Civil War, which included the song "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley. This was from a teacher, no less.
IMHO this one takes the prize...it would have required a considerable amount of effort to come up with this "alterrnate history"
 

Mrs. V

First Sergeant
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
1,388
#38
I have gotten the “are you hot in that question as well” I think most of us have..along with the “ugh I could never wear a corsett!” Actually, once you get used to it, they are not that uncomfortable, and it’s not like you are laced up all that tight! I can even belt out the hymns when I am wearing mine.
 



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