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drummerboyMarine
09-12-2007, 05:19 AM
What kinds of different Civilian immpressions are there for women? I need to know this for a relative who wants to reenact. Also what is there for men? Thank You

NoahBriggs
09-12-2007, 05:50 AM
Read RebeccaMI's comments from a few days ago. Then read in general.

The Search Function works, by God. Maybe not as well as we'd like, but it does work.

ElizabethClark
09-12-2007, 05:52 AM
Scroll down the forum page a bit--you'll see several recent discussions of potential roles at events. The "world" is pretty wide when it comes to citizens mid-century! Really, since the majority of soldiers in the War were citizens before and citizens after, knowing an individual's work and living options are pretty much vital no matter what impression is undertaken.

More information for the relative would be helpful: what region of the country, what sort of political sympathies, what economic level sounds interesting? Family participating, or single? Will she be camping, or living in buildings, or hitting a motel each night? Does she sew? Since there is no one "uniform" for citizens, there are many factors to consider.

Linda Trent
09-12-2007, 08:08 AM
More information for the relative would be helpful: what region of the country, what sort of political sympathies, what economic level sounds interesting? Family participating, or single? Will she be camping, or living in buildings, or hitting a motel each night? Does she sew? Since there is no one "uniform" for citizens, there are many factors to consider.And to add to that list, what kind of events is she wanting to attend? That, too, will make a difference. Is she more interested in the modern socializing, the clothes and accessories, or is she looking for something more history heavy (like immersion style events)? If you could narrow down her areas of interest it would certainly save a lot of people a lot of time typing up things that she has no interest in to begin with. ;)

Linda Trent
lindatrent@zoomnet.net

drummerboyMarine
09-14-2007, 05:18 AM
She would like to be in full-immersion, history heavy type events, some will have dances. Since she will be with the Civilian part of my group, she will be cooking around the fire for us. So, anyway, what kinds of immpressions could she possibly do in this type of setting?

KarinTimour
09-14-2007, 06:08 AM
Dear Sir:

"History heavy, immersion events" are events that have pretty tight standards on what civilian impressions will be acceptable. Their standard is what can you document for your unit for the particular battles and sometimes even for the particular scenarios or parts of battles that will be portrayed at the event.

There are very few documented instances of women travelling with the armies. If your unit is portraying a garrison impression, of a unit that is stationed in a fort or other building, she could portray a civilian employee of the Army hired to cook for officers (for example if you will be reenacting at Fort Delaware, where it is documented that this was done).

I've never heard of any documentation of civilian women being hired to cook for enlisted men, whether on campaign or in garrison. You may have documentation for your unit that this was done, in which case you should be prepared to present it with registration for her participation in an event there this is going to be portrayed.

If she is doing early war events, you could put together a laundress impression, but this does involve a fairly substantial investment in several tubs, buckets, etc. and it will preclude her cooking for the soldiers.

A more reasonably priced alternative, and one that is much more likely to be easily accepted at most history-heavy immersion events is to work on a basic working woman's wardrobe and to focus on the aspects of the time period that she particularaly enjoys doing already. If she enjoys cooking, perhaps she could be someone's hired girl, or be cooking for her children and family. If she enjoys quilting, knitting or period needlework, all of these can be incorporated into her impression. If she sews, you can save even more money in putting together the basics that she will need to portray a period civilian. She shoulod start with the basic underpinnings -- several chemises, drawers, stockings, a well made corset (this is a custom made garment, not something that she can buy ready made, unless she is very slender and not very curvy), a petticoat or two, and potentially a corded petticoat or very small diameter hoop or cage crinoline. Women in our time period had few dresses, but many more sets of underwear, so if she starts with making underwear, it will give her a head start on the clothing she will need. If she checks out the website of Elizabeth Stewart Clark (www.elizabethstewartclark.com) she can get free patterns, lots of terrific advice and a number of publications that will prove very helpful for her.

History heavy civilian impressions tend to be tailored to the specific event and the civilian impressions that were documented as being in the area at the time of the battle. Having a basic civilian kit for a working or lower class woman will give her alot of flexibility in terms of being able to adapt her impression to the civilians being protrayed at that event.

This is only a short answer to your much larger questions, and I'm hoping my fellow civilians can step in and add information for you.

Where are you living presently? It is often very useful to get together with a more experienced mentor who can take her shopping for fabric, help fit clothing, etc. and get her started. Are you in Virginia, Oregon, California, Maine, Indiana, Arizona? You don't have to give a specific town, but if you post the state, then those who are interested in welcoming her in person can send you PMs and arrange a time to meet.

Having re-read your last post, is it possible for her to work with the civilian members of your unit to put together her impression? Or do you feel that this would be a bad decision?

I hope that's helpful,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

hanktrent
09-14-2007, 07:38 AM
She would like to be in full-immersion, history heavy type events, some will have dances. Since she will be with the Civilian part of my group, she will be cooking around the fire for us. So, anyway, what kinds of immpressions could she possibly do in this type of setting?

I'm wondering also about the dances and cooking... doesn't quite sound like the "full-immersion, history heavy type events" I'm used to. Dances are pretty rare, and the only time I've seen women protraying hired cooks for the soldiers was at hospitals or forts in period buildings.

It's probably way too soon, but if she's got clothes, we've got another spot with us for a civilian at the "October 1862" event in Loudoun Co. Va., Oct. 5-7, if she meets approval of Laura Anders, the civilian coordinator. Our little group will have the usual immersion standards, no modern talk, no hidden non-reproductions except medical items, but we'd be glad to work with a beginner to get her up to speed, if she's got the clothes. Email me at the address below if she/you are interested.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

ElizabethClark
09-14-2007, 08:33 AM
I'm reading some ambiguity in the event descriptions... like Karin and Hank, I find it rare for an immersive, history-heavy event to have group dances (though there are sometimes small pockets of merriment, it's not typical for an immersion event to have a social gathering with mixed troops).

Perhaps your group attends more "smorgasboard" events? Where there are a variety of different scenarios and set-ups, depending on the specific unit, with a few organized social activities for the group as a whole?

What activities do your hobby group's civilians do currently?

Dittos with Karin on the infrequency of citizen women cooking in camp for enlisted men--this would be highly unusual. Would you mind terribly sharing more information on where you found the historic reference to the practice for your unit? I'm always looking for good stuff to add to my files, and this would be an unusual thing to document--always a helpful thing!

If you're near enough to do so, consider taking Hank up on his offer; the citizen coordinator is a nice lady, and I know the Trents are always willing to mentor a newbie and help get them up to speed with the material culture and "internal culture" needs of immersive events.