What Really Happens at Civil War Reenactments

JD Mayo

Retired User
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Location
Greensboro NC
One thing was seeing all those reenactors eating funnel cakes all the time the hardcore guys always complained about it not be authentic lol.
 

mofederal

Captain
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
Except for those of us who used to drink whiskey, and other things like artillery punch. I still remember the Franklin 125th Reenactment. It was a wild weekend around. We just about saw the entire cycle of life. A strange time.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
I seem to vaguely remember an incident at the 2016 Perryville reenactment, where after the Saturday battle I being hungry and not eating anything all of that day, (may have not since breakfast on Friday, I tend to not eat much at reenactments, I'd lose weight if I reenacted more), I saw the food stands and decided I was gonna help myself. I seem to remember someone getting onto me about funnel cakes and burgers not being period and I told them:

"I don't care! I ain't ate nothin and I'm gonna eat somethin!"

It went something like that.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
I thought all we did was drink beer and pee in the woods........

An old reenacting friend, first anniversary of his passing was the other day, once said of our hobby:

"All we are is a bunch of guys, that go out in the woods, play dress up, drink beer and play with explosives!"

I miss that crazy old fart.
 

poorjack

Corporal
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Location
NC
Let's see, no spectators around, it's dark, we have alcohol, we have black powder, what can possibly go wrong?

I think at one point, sometime, in a reenactment far far away and long ago, that some reenactors might have used bottle rockets as ammunition and staged an inpromptu "tactical" after dark in the woods. Maybe. And it was rumored that the "yanks" were roughly handled after being pelted by numerous miniature congreve rockets launched from Enfields.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Location
North Carolina
Let's see, no spectators around, it's dark, we have alcohol, we have black powder, what can possibly go wrong?

I think at one point, sometime, in a reenactment far far away and long ago, that some reenactors might have used bottle rockets as ammunition and staged an inpromptu "tactical" after dark in the woods. Maybe. And it was rumored that the "yanks" were roughly handled after being pelted by numerous miniature congreve rockets launched from Enfields.
We did that as kids - except putting them into rifles. We'd light them and fling'em off toward the "enemy." At times, it sounded like WWIII. I'm surprised that no one ever actually got more than a little powder burned.
 

poorjack

Corporal
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Location
NC
We did that as kids - except putting them into rifles. We'd light them and fling'em off toward the "enemy." At times, it sounded like WWIII. I'm surprised that no one ever actually got more than a little powder burned.

Put one in a musket, aim at the enemy, pop cap, whoosh boom. Good times....
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Let's see, no spectators around, it's dark, we have alcohol, we have black powder, what can possibly go wrong?

I think at one point, sometime, in a reenactment far far away and long ago, that some reenactors might have used bottle rockets as ammunition and staged an inpromptu "tactical" after dark in the woods. Maybe. And it was rumored that the "yanks" were roughly handled after being pelted by numerous miniature congreve rockets launched from Enfields.

Not as bad as when one guy took a bucket full of blanks and ran through camp blazing away with a Ruger Mini-14...
 

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Except for those of us who used to drink whiskey, and other things like artillery punch. I still remember the Franklin 125th Reenactment. It was a wild weekend around. We just about saw the entire cycle of life. A strange time.
My good friends had to deal with the remains of a man who died on the field during the reenactment. The entire cycle of life, indeed.
 

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
It has been a while, but the last event I had anything to do with was very well thought out & executed. An artillery crew & two infantry groups were ordered to pack up & leave the property following the night before the event. The tolerance for drunken yahoo’s running around in the night acting like fools seems to have run out. I suppose it has something to do with the graying of the participants. Seeing half the group too hungover to muster just isn’t funny anymore.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
It has been a while, but the last event I had anything to do with was very well thought out & executed. An artillery crew & two infantry groups were ordered to pack up & leave the property following the night before the event. The tolerance for drunken yahoo’s running around in the night acting like fools seems to have run out. I suppose it has something to do with the graying of the participants. Seeing half the group too hungover to muster just isn’t funny anymore.

Some of the funniest incidents I can recall from reenacting revolve around alcohol. I'm not a heavy drinker, but for years just about the only time I ever drink and get drunk is at a reenactment. Not anymore it seems.

My unit used to be the drinkinest, and funniest about it West of the Mississippi, but a Captain's passing, and a lot of the old crowd retiring, and others left not being able to drink due to medication that comes with age seems to have resulted in those being old times never to happen again. Plus add to that an SCV Color Guard I'm a senior NCO of that we're converting into a real reenacting unit, (not the farby disease its been, again old farts going), I'm probably just about the only one in it who will drink! The good Christians in there won't stand for it and I'm too respectful to ignore it.

Oh what I would give to relive the hilarious old days...
 

mofederal

Captain
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
I remember the 125th of Franklin cold as hell on Saturday night. Then we had a fire that night caused by the wind. After everyone was too cold to sleep, so we spent the rest of the night burning the soles of our shoes trying to keep our feet warm. One guy's shoe started burning, and he didn't even feel them burning. Then a guy across from us had a heart and died. To top it off a sutler got drunk and froze to death underneath a tree, they didn't find him for three days. All in all it topped most of the reenactments I had ever been too. I actually enjoyed the weekend. Too cold though. It made having the overcoat worth all of the money I had spent.

Of course the weirdest thing I had ever seen at any event had to be the midnight ritual dance by the Clan of the Bone when we were filming the Killer Angels. It was hands down the weirdest thing I had ever witnessed. If I didn't like beer so much I would have quit drinking right then and there. It happened at the main Confederate camping area, the actual site of the main hospital site of the Confederate 2nd Corps. This unit found a bone in the woods there and it looked a lot like a human thigh bone. They made up a chant/song about the bone and the ritual dance. The rest they say is history. I just hope a video of that never ever appears on youtube.
 

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