Thursday, April 21, 2011
For the last dozen years or so, I've been dressing up in clothes that have been out of style for 150 years, to go out to a field and watch as my friends shoot at each other.
Before you get the idea that I'm some sort of masochist freak, let me explain.
In 1997, my boyfriend (who is now my husband) invited my family to come and see a reenactment of a Civil War battle in North GA. My mom knew a woman who sewed Southern Belle style dresses for the Atlanta 4th of July parades and pageants and such. So we rented a couple and went out to Tunnel Hill, GA for the day on a Saturday in September.
It didn't take long. The smell of the campfires, the hay, the sulfur from the cannons, the leather of the horse saddles. I was hooked.
Over the years, I've been to events in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Florida. We do at least one event a month, when we can. There is so much to tell about them, so many stories about fun things that have happened, that I really can't do it justice in a blog post. I love sewing costumes for, and going to, the events. We take canvas A frame tents and camp out all weekend. The kids have fun and it is really good for us as a family to be disconnected from the constant electronic buzz of cell phones, computers, cars and technology. We connect with each other, and with our friends and always end up making new friends as well.
Though it hasn't been updated in a while (we're working on it), you can take a look at our unit website. It answers a lot of general questions about reenacting, such as how we fire guns at each other without getting killed, what we eat, what we wear and other FAQs.
We portray units that were in the south-eastern theatre during the war: the 28th Georgia Heavy Field Artillery, Co. C; the 1st Ohio Light Artillery; and the 76th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
We do both North and South impressions*, depending on what's needed at an event. (Usually it's Union, though. A good 98% of the time.) It's a close-knit community of people from every walk of life.
If you are interested in coming to an event, or just want to know more, please feel free to send me an email or comment and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.
Our next event is coming up next weekend in Selma, Alabama. There is a grand ball there, in a historic home, and I will try my best to finish my new ballgown in time. I'll be sure to post pictures from Selma after the A-Z challenge is through. In the meantime, here is a 4 part video of our group at past events. It's the best way to show you what reenacting is like. A number of the photos in it were taken by me. :)
Here are more photos on my Facebook albums:
Resaca, GA 2010
Aiken, SC 2009
*Even 150 years later, there are still high political tensions regarding "Yankees" and "Rebels", particularly here in the south. Know in advance that our unit are proud Americans who reenact to educate the public on the way life was back in the middle 19th Century, for both sides, and I won't publish any comments that put down one side or the other. (No "Boo, hiss, Damn Yankees" comments, especially. That's a typical reaction I get when I tell people we portray a Union unit.)