Top Five Impression Killers

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Brendan

Corporal
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Aug 11, 2008
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377
Location
Colorado
I had to come back to the computer because I remembered what irks me the most.

What is it with the whole vest but no jacket thing? I have never ever seen a picture of a soldier wearing just a vest.
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Oops...disregard that last one...
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
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Denmark
Top pic is officers doing drill.
There is another picture of some of the same men where they are wearing their jackets... with rank.

So its not an excuse for privates to do the "vest but no jacket thing"
 

Diplogeek

Sergeant
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May 13, 2013
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Deutschland
Es kann sein, dass der spätere Unterdrückung der tatsächlich entrichteten Beiträge des Deutschen, weil wir gekämpft hatte in zwei Kriege gegen sie.
Ja, das ist eine Möglichkeit, aber gibt es so viele Nachspieler, die den Zweiten Weltkrieg (und sehr oft als Deutscher!) nachspielen. Deswegen denke ich dass die Geschichte von Unterdrückung nicht das einzige Problem ist. Mehr Amerikaner haben deutsche Abstammung als jede andere Nationalität. Vielleicht sehen wir bloß deutsche Kultur und so weiter als nicht "exotisch" oder "interessant" genug.
 
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28thNewYork

First Sergeant
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Atlanta
Ja, das ist eine Möglichkeit, aber gibt es so viele Nachspieler, die den Zweiten Weltkrieg (und sehr oft als Deutscher!) nachspielen. Deswegen denke ich dass die Geschichte von Unterdrückung nicht das einzige Problem ist. Mehr Amerikaner haben deutsche Abstammung als jede andere Nationalität. Vielleicht sehen wir bloß deutsche Kultur und so weiter als nicht "exotisch" oder "interessant" genug.
I agree. It's probably both.
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
10,448
My #1 impression killer? Too many guys in a unit with gray in their hair and beards.

Now, please don't beat me up for this. If it weren't for you gray-headed guys ( and ladies) who go out there and do this, we'd probably have no re-enactments at all. I respect you guys folks who take the time and invest your resources in putting on a good re-enactment. I respect the research that you do. I'm just saying that I have never seen a re-enactment battle or encampment that was mostly populated by teenagers and early 20-somethings, which is what I would expect to see if I could time-travel back to the 1860s. You middle-aged re-endactors can't help your age any more than I can. I'm not being critical of your commitment to accuracy about your uniforms and accoutrements. I admire that and respect it. There's nothing you or I can do about our age. I wish we ALL could get young again! In spite of my observation here, even if they temporarily rankle you, please keep up the good work!
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
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Feb 20, 2005
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South of the North 40
My #1 impression killer? Too many guys in a unit with gray in their hair and beards.

Now, please don't beat me up for this. If it weren't for you gray-headed guys ( and ladies) who go out there and do this, we'd probably have no re-enactments at all. I respect you guys folks who take the time and invest your resources in putting on a good re-enactment. I respect the research that you do. I'm just saying that I have never seen a re-enactment battle or encampment that was mostly populated by teenagers and early 20-somethings, which is what I would expect to see if I could time-travel back to the 1860s. You middle-aged re-endactors can't help your age any more than I can. I'm not being critical of your commitment to accuracy about your uniforms and accoutrements. I admire that and respect it. There's nothing you or I can do about our age. I wish we ALL could get young again! In spite of my observation here, even if they temporarily rankle you, please keep up the good work!
In the past 15 years or so I've recruited about 20 less than 20's young men... problem is they have jobs or college now and I'm west of 40 now. Maybe time to pass the baton.
 
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Patrick H

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In the past 15 years or so I've recruited about 20 less than 20's young men... problem is they have jobs or college now and I'm west of 40 now. Maybe time to pass the baton.
Yes, Sir, and there is the problem with getting these young men in. Most of them simply don't have the time nor the resources. If it weren't for those of us with some gray in our beards, we might not have nearly so many re-enactments. So....I say who cares? My only point is that I typically DO see a bunch of middle aged play actors out there in disproportionate numbers. I don't ever quite get past that. But I don't really care. God Bless all of you re-enactors, regardless of your age. I mean that sincerely.
 
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Oxkern

Sergeant
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Mar 16, 2008
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602
Location
Oxford, England
I actually speak German (not natively, but probably enough to get by), and I've considered doing a German military portrayal. Not wanting to put words in anyone's mouth, some of the things that come immediately to mind as stuff that might specifically identify an immigrant, aside from first person impressions, obviously, could be things like food choices, backstory (a lot of the Germans who fought had also fought in the Revolutions of 1848 back in Germany), possibly professions, et cetera. Germans are way, way, way underrepresented in Union military portrayals, considering how many of them there were. You encounter plenty of people playing Irish, but almost never anyone who identifies themselves as German or German-American. I guess it just doesn't have the same "cool" factor to people. Warum ist das so? Ich habe keine Anung!
I've often toyed with doing all-German one day too, if only to make my long-suffering sergeant even more ['pleased with my enthusiasm'] than usual. I always stress the mix of nationalities when talking to the public and it would be a fun side-project. I think there was an all-German company in the regiment we portray (18th Mo.) or I might be confusing them with the 17th Mo. .

(Ich sollte das auf Deutsch schreiben, aber heutzutage bin ich zu mĂĽde und bin vor vier Jarhen in Deutschland gewesen. 'Nachspieler' - re-enactor?)
 

Diplogeek

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Deutschland
One of my favorite stories about the German regiments is that when Lincoln went to tour a regiment based in DC, he specifically asked to visit a German one. Upon seeing the overall orderliness and cleanliness of the camp, he said something to the effect that this was what all units in the Union army should strive to be. I'll have to poke around and see if I can find the source later (after I've recovered from my post-World Cup hangover, perhaps).

Und ja, "Nachspieler" meint "reenactor." Meine Lehrer haben eine kleine Debatte gehabt, denn sie haben damals noch nie über "reenacting" gehört, aber ich sage normalerweise "Nachspieler," und ich denke dass die Leute meine Meinung verstehen.
 
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Mustered Out
One of my favorite stories about the German regiments is that when Lincoln went to tour a regiment based in DC, he specifically asked to visit a German one. Upon seeing the overall orderliness and cleanliness of the camp, he said something to the effect that this was what all units in the Union army should strive to be. I'll have to poke around and see if I can find the source later (after I've recovered from my post-World Cup hangover, perhaps).

Und ja, "Nachspieler" meint "reenactor." Meine Lehrer haben eine kleine Debatte gehabt, denn sie haben damals noch nie über "reenacting" gehört, aber ich sage normalerweise "Nachspieler," und ich denke dass die Leute meine Meinung verstehen.
Wunderbar!
 
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Clean uniforms. I was in Gettysburg, Glory, Gods and Generals, American Outlaw (ashamed to say), and the Alamo with Billy Bob in it. If you clean your uniform your not real. Jean Wool Confederate, after early war. Blanket roll was a quilted blanket and they are hot, soggy when wet, and don't warm you enough. No tents if battle was during the middle of a campaign and learn to wear the right cover. The US military, never gave a different type hat for a different company or different men in a company. That is why it is called a Uniform! Wear the same type hat for the unit or at least one given for the unit. That still gives you 3 to choose from. Pork Pie for Western Confederate enlisted was the favorite while the slouch hat in the east was the enlisted favorite. Learn a song or two from the period. Battle Cry of Freedom, each side, and Kingdom Coming are good for Yank while Good 'ol Rebel is not written until after the war. Goober Peas, with Battle Cry of Freedom (both sides) good for corn feed. Learn the slang so that talking to camp visitors get more flavor. (note one thing the last movie of True Grit got right was there was not one contraction. Lazy language is not in the picture until after Victoria dies.) But Rip Raps, Quick Step, Browning of Lee's Army, Johnnie, Billy, Gray Back, Blue Belly, are all terms you should know and understand.

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Polloco

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South Texas
Some things can't be helped but I doubt old men with beer guts were seen very often on battlefields.Short, clean fingernails. Not every soldier had a pair of fingernail clippers.
 
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James N.

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Clean uniforms. I was in Gettysburg, Glory, Gods and Generals, American Outlaw (ashamed to say), and the Alamo with Billy Bob in it. If you clean your uniform your not real. Jean Wool Confederate, after early war. Blanket roll was a quilted blanket and they are hot, soggy when wet, and don't warm you enough. No tents if battle was during the middle of a campaign and learn to wear the right cover. The US military, never gave a different type hat for a different company or different men in a company. That is why it is called a Uniform! Wear the same type hat for the unit or at least one given for the unit. That still gives you 3 to choose from. Pork Pie for Western Confederate enlisted was the favorite while the slouch hat in the east was the enlisted favorite. Learn a song or two from the period. Battle Cry of Freedom, each side, and Kingdom Coming are good for Yank while Good 'ol Rebel is not written until after the war. Goober Peas, with Battle Cry of Freedom (both sides) good for corn feed. Learn the slang so that talking to camp visitors get more flavor. (note one thing the last movie of True Grit got right was there was not one contraction. Lazy language is not in the picture until after Victoria dies.) But Rip Raps, Quick Step, Browning of Lee's Army, Johnnie, Billy, Gray Back, Blue Belly, are all terms you should know and understand.

Edited
Welcome to the forums from the host of the Stonewall Jackson Forum and another old (and now retired) campaigner and movie extra!
 
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KHyatt

Private
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Jan 7, 2019
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88
I see this thread goes back to October of 2014. I noticed that Pvt A. Wells (are you/is he still around?) objected to sunglasses, particularly blue lenses. I’m very new to reenacting and I’d like to know, why? I have worn corrective lenses since I was 12 and my eyes are sensitive to bright sunlight. I have to wear dark glasses even on cloudy days. I have three pairs of period glasses, all with original blue lenses. I’ve been thinking of changing out the lenses in one pair for dark brown, gray or amber because even the darkest blue lenses are still a bit too bright. Anyway, I’d like to know what’s the beef with reenactors wearing sunglasses, if they’re period correct.

And for the record, I’m an old graybeard (but no beer gut) who didn’t have time or money when I was younger to be a reenactor. It doesn’t help that I’ve lived west of the Rockies most of my life. It has been hard to connect with like minds.
 

7thWisconsin

First Sergeant
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Nov 21, 2014
Messages
1,246
Reenactors have been death on sunglasses from the 1980s. It probably comes from trying to keep an uncommon item in the day from becoming ubiquitous among reenactors. We have a habit of looking for cool old stuff that will make us stand out, then trying to find research that validates our unusual or odd impressions. A lot of this goes on at a less than conscious level. It also probably comes from trying to distance our serious history :smile:O o:smile: from the steampunk crowd. There was an old wives tale that circulated among reenactors that dark glasses at the time were associated with STDs. That kept the numbers down. I wouldn't wear them drilling or on the field without talking with your unit and pards, but off the field I wouldn't complain. You're going to get a lot of ribbing, so just be prepared to take it. (BTW, Edgar Allan Poe's hero, August Dupin, wears dark glasses in "Murders in the Rue Morgue.")
 
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