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Civil War Re-Enactments?

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Is anybody here familiar with Civil War re-enactments? I'm considering a trip to the East Coast with two of my nephews, and part of the itinerary would include stops at one or more civil war battle sites. So I was thinking it might be cool to be there during a re-enactment. Are there any PSers who have been to a re-enactment as a spectator? Or, can anybody point me to a good source of information about re-enactments?

Thanks!
 

vintagelover229

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I think it's a great idea to go! I have a friend in HS who actually was way into it, so much so he wore his uniform to school on picture day (confederate uniform in MI no less lol). I've been to a few of them and they are actually lots of fun and the people you meet there are very friendly and great people. They are really nice and they have booths set up and actually make things like back in the day and you can buy items that are hand made as well as watch shows/cannons being fired/ the big hoop skirts and music. They are a blast!

I'd have to contact my friend but he used to make yearly trips to that area to do the big battle at Gettysburg and THOUSANDS of people came from all over the world to participate and watch them. It's really quite an amazing production that they put on and a lot of them are pretty hard core (like my friend. He's currently getting his masters in history) and the old fashioned instruments and everything is quite something to behold.

Here is a link I found by google. I didn't look at them much but they might help :)
http://ezinearticles.com/?Ten-Great-Civil-War-Reenactment-Events-Across-the-USA&id=3455796
 

diamondseeker2006

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Some of the battle sites are parks now and can be visited year round. But the actual battle reinactments are only done like once a year or something like that. So you'd definitely have to have a schedule in order to find one.
 

soocool

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I went to a Civil War Re-Enactment years ago. Try this website to help you with your trip. http://www.civilwartraveler.com/events/

I have gone to a re-enactment of Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas Day a number of times in my neck of the woods. They have done it every Christmas for at least 25 years. It is very authentic and sometimes I had even gone to the rehearsals as they are less crowded. Yes, they blast cannons, shoot weapons, and cross the Delaware depending on how the river is. One year they had to walk across because the river levels were so low (draught year). They have speeches and have many activities: http://www.ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing/reenactment/index.htm
 

VRBeauty

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VIntagelover, diamondseeker, and socool -

Thank you all so much! Those look like great starting points, so I'll get in there and start doing some research. I'll let you know if we're able to pull this off!
 

somethingshiny

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There's a whole bunch of people in this area who do re-enactments. They do them at various sites, historical and non. The day the re-enactment is to be, they decide who will win. They really get into it. The ladies dress as the nurses and the men dress from both sides. If they get "shot", they even fall off their horses while at a gallop! That night, they usually have a period-style dance.

If you get the chance, go for it!!
 

JewelFreak

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They are a lot of fun & informative -- boys of any age would love them & girls too (I did). The re-enactors are great, friendly, enthusiastic about their subject. Don't know how old your nephews are, but the "soldiers" love to explain to anybody about their guns & ammo, uniforms, how they travel, everything. I've also talked to women about how they cooked & what they wear. (And a couple of them playing camp prostitutes -- that was a gas!)

My brother did Civil War re-enactments for several years & had a great time. Good learning experience for kids to see it. This, the 150th anniversary, should provide quite a number of them in a lot of places.
 

AGBF

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I have friends who have gone to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania several times because they cannot imbibe enough there. Apparently the facilities are being constantly updated. As someone pointed out above, the 150th anniversary of the war will be commemorated with even more special tributes. The re-enactments at Gettysburg are not an amateur production...and from what I have heard, even the "amateur" productions can be absolutely spectacular!

http://www.gettysburgcivilwar150.com/

At Gettysburg, as their website tells you, "Each weekend, April through October, various entities including the American Civil War Museum, General Lee's Headquarters and the Gettysburg National Military Park, host Living History Encampments. Reenactors front different regiments, both North and South, and civilian groups set camp and live as they did in 1863. Take a step back in time as these groups offer military and medical demonstrations, and shed light into the life and times of the Civil War. Visitors have the opportunity to interact with the soldiers and civilians - learning about history in a fun and memorable way!"

Deb/AGBF
:read:
 

movie zombie

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even w/o an enactment the national park at Shiloh in tennessee is impressive. we were there in june and the park is marked in such a way that you understand the exact troop movements for both days of the battle.
 

VRBeauty

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Thanks MZ - that's exactly the type of thing that started me thinking in terms of re-enactments. About 10 years ago I took one of my older nephews to Washington DC with the idea of (among other things) giving him a head start on 8th grade civics and high school history, in addition to having some fun, of course! We spent time in DC, saw the monuments, the mint, and the air and space and natural history museums... all sorts of things that I thought he'd find fascinating. Hands down, what resonated with him the most was our trip to Mananas. There's very little there in the way of interpretive displays, just enough to fire up your imagination so you can "see" and feel what that battle must have been like. On a more recent trip with my niece a stop in Fredericksburg had a similar impact, though I suspect the shopping opportunities in the town of Fredericksburg made a more lasting impression on her!

But you're absolutely right - in many cases a visit to the right battle site would probably have the same lasting impact as a re-enactment, and Shiloh sounds like such a place. Thanks for your input!
 

movie zombie

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there was a troop of boy scouts there at the same time....and i over heard one say how great it was....and he had only been inside the interpretive center and seen the movie. admittedly, the movie was made in the 50's but it was still very well done. i also think the kids were able to put on replicas of some of the clothing worn at that time and have their pictures taken.

http://www.nps.gov/shil/index.htm

check their calendar of events.....perhaps you could time your travel to coincide with one.

also, this is a National Military Park and for anyone interested in military history a must visit, imo.
 
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