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lucky_you_0412
07-04-2007, 02:23 AM
I've been reading some of the posts on here about who's more important when it comes to reenactments. Of course, the men on here will tell you that of course the military is more important. They are the ones who "put on the show", referring to the battle and that's what the people come to see. That it's the soldiers that fought the war, and just because they carry a musket, they should recieve all the attention or the glory. But what about the ladies and civilians of the era? Are some so narrow minded that they believe that women and children alike were not affected by this conflict?

I reenact because there is a story to be told, other than just the blue and the gray shooting at each other. When you attend a reenactment and the tourists come to see the events, is it only men who attend? No, it's not. There are many young women and girls who attend these events, and they show much interest in how the women of the era lived and dressed.

My question is, why should reenactments only be limited to the men, or the battle, or the boys in the wool?

hanktrent
07-04-2007, 06:17 AM
Well, there are reenactments put on by civilians, for civilians, where the military has a minor role or isn't needed at all. There's also a whole civilian-focussed living history world, from farb to hardcore, outside of the Civil War reenacting community, at historic villages, old time craft demonstrations, "founders day" celebrations, and so forth.

But speaking of civilian events that generally target the Civil War reenacting community... Ironically, they generally have fewer civilians in attendance than at battle reenactments. To a certain point, that's a good thing, because they generally require more infrastructure per person than military reenactments.

But you tell me, why do so many civilians prefer to attend battle reenactments put on by military reenactors, rather than attend or put on reenactments about civilian life?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

tompritchett
07-04-2007, 12:27 PM
But you tell me, why do so many civilians prefer to attend battle reenactments put on by military reenactors, rather than attend or put on reenactments about civilian life?

Speaking from the Mainstream side, I can give you two reasons. First, many, but not all, Mainstream civilians attend events because their significant others are attending as military. They really do not have an impression outside that of supporting the military side of the unit. For those Mainstream civilians that do have roles separate from a military significant other (we have several in my unit), these are typically individuals that were recruited into the hobby as part of a unit and would likely fill uncomfortable among a bunch of strangers (I know that I do initially).

Civilady
07-05-2007, 08:05 AM
Hello all,
I am new to the forum, but not to the hobby. My husband started out about 12 years ago with military impression. I have very little interest in the military aspect of the age and needed to find something to interest me. I started researching what a woman with children, my age would have been doing while the war was going on around her and became intrigued. I started sewing clothing and in turn, researching it. Meanwhile my husband lost interest in reenacting battles and started doing civilian impression. To say that the world was full of soldiers is ignoring a very important and progressive (at least for women) part of history. Those who think that the soldiers are all there is are ignorant and self centered. Shouldn't we be protraying LIFE as it was and not just the battles (which are often represented poorly with camp settings in what would have been campaign settings).
I know I'm a thread counter, but to be any less vigilant in our interpretation is misleading the public.
Thanks for letting me rant!

NoahBriggs
07-05-2007, 08:41 AM
To reiterate from an earlier discussion - the dearth of civilian-oriented events is expanding. There is room for more citizen events if one is willing to step up and offer it. It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round. "Teas", fashion shows, and parlor crawls may satisfy one person's desire for a good weekend, but it ain't the same for everybody.

There are events where the military was either in the background or not even around at all. The military groups understood that from the start and had no problem with it.

There are a plethora of good living history villages across the US. They are slowly being invaded by reenactors who set up for the weekend and add to the ambiance. The public gets a slice of life and the citizens get to play on the world's coolest playground (to them, at least).

tompritchett
07-05-2007, 10:11 AM
To say that the world was full of soldiers is ignoring a very important and progressive (at least for women) part of history. Those who think that the soldiers are all there is are ignorant and self centered.

I was not arguing that civilian reenacting had no role outside of providing support for the military side. I was just merely answering the question based upon what I have seen in my years as a Mainstream reenactor. I am truly sorry if you interpreted it any other way.

netnet81
07-05-2007, 01:14 PM
Speaking from the Mainstream side, I can give you two reasons. First, many, but not all, Mainstream civilians attend events because their significant others are attending as military. They really do not have an impression outside that of supporting the military side of the unit. For those Mainstream civilians that do have roles separate from a military significant other (we have several in my unit), these are typically individuals that were recruited into the hobby as part of a unit and would likely fill uncomfortable among a bunch of strangers (I know that I do initially).

I tend to agree with this impression. I also think there are a few other issues. 1) not enough civilian-heavy events across the US. Most are in the east or mid-west. 2) not enough civilian-centered groups. If someone wants to be part of a group, there aren't many civilian-centered groups across the US.

I personally see a problem with separating military from civilian. If one is portraying a person in the military in 1860s isn't that person also a citizen of his state? Shouldn't that person have some "civilian" thoughts and background? When the men went to war they didn't forget everything back home; they were still concerned about the happenings at home.

Civilady
07-06-2007, 06:12 AM
Net, I agree. When we went civilian with our military group it was very odd. And finding a civilian group isn't easy. We, kind of, hang on the fringe of events and we were never ones to embrace the larger events anyway.
Both military and civilian should work together (albeit, hoopskirts should stay away from the dogtent village). There is room for "both camps" and it only tends to give any event more depth. eg. Mr. likes the military and Mrs. likes the civilian.
Tom, I am hard to offend. I'm simply opinionated! LOL
I encourage this post to go military. I'd love to see more civilians at military events (of course, on the fringe, so as not to confuse the masses) and vice versa.
Maybe I'm just bitter from events of the past.
I'll get over it.

Linda Trent
07-06-2007, 08:48 AM
Weighing in late, and I apologize for a mish-mash of quotes and responses.


Are some so narrow minded that they believe that women and children alike were not affected by this conflict?

I'm not sure what you're referring to, but I haven't ever heard anyone say that women and children were not affected by this conflict. And to the best of my knowledge (I haven't read all the posts on this forum) the only events that civilians don't attend are the c/p/h campaign events where civilians can't be documented to the specific time and place being portrayed.


I know of at least one event where many of us (unbeknownst to each other) researched and tried to prove citizens in the area. It was funny when it became known to each of us through a common friend that none of us could document civilians in the area, for the sake of accuracy (and therefore event rules), we didn't attend, but did send our husbands. :p Though admittedly it wasn't a spectator event anyway.


My question is, why should reenactments only be limited to the men, or the battle, or the boys in the wool?

There are events out there that are entirely military and some that are entirely civilian, and some that are a mix of both. However, the reason there aren't more civilian heavy events, in my humble opinion, is because it takes a lot of time and effort to organize it -- especially if you want to be as accurate as possible.



I'd love to see more civilians at military events


I'd love to see more quality civilians at events of any type: military, civilian or mixed. :p



Maybe I'm just bitter from events of the past.


I know your pain, and then some. :(


Linda.