View Full Version : Waltons and reenacting

10-13-2007, 10:58 AM
Watched a episode of the "waltons" today where a span am reunion was coming up and John Boy treid to get a reenactment of the charge up san juan on waltons mountain. well it was a go until the veterans found out and they canceled saying reenacting a war was disrespectful and in bad form. I know its tv but written by a real son of vet, and ive seen photos of some civ war vets posing on batlefields, but is this attitude a real one of the times and are we callous for doing something they wouldn't?

10-13-2007, 12:28 PM
I don't think so. I have documentation of a "sham battle" that wouldn't look out of place today at a "lower quality" event (funnel cake vendors, etc.), but it took place the summer of 1865. The veterans wanted the "folks at home" to see what they'd been up to during the war. They used real cannons and equipment from the National Guard Armory. The money raised went to fund the memorial column in town. I think it was modern Boonton, then known as Old Pequannock, NJ. Can't find my volume of Morris County history but it's in there.


10-13-2007, 04:59 PM
If you look at some of the videos shot of the 50th anniversary of Gettysburg, they look even more farby than the current Gettysburg reenactment.

Marc Shaffer
10-13-2007, 08:12 PM
The original vets would "reenact" battles. Not with weapons and such. But they would "charge" across the fields that they once fought on during the war. One of the more famous ones was across the fields that Pickett's Charge took place on. They met at the stone wall at The Angle and shook hands if I remember right. Sometimes they would wear their original uniforms at GAR events/reunions and do the same.

10-14-2007, 09:13 PM
Once the the smoke cleared and the horrors of war were a memory vets began to revisit their experiences at GAR encampments. According to some of their programs these "events" were pretty funky by today's standards, but then again whose going to tell a guy who was actually there that he can't sleep on a cot or have a ball on Saturday night. Here's a good thread from the AC regarding one of these encampments.

paul hadley
10-15-2007, 10:32 AM
Apparently was popular for the Federal vets to portray the butternut boys while the National Guard/state militia "fought" as National forces. Interesting that this multi-state reunion had the Monitor and Virginia at Hampton Roads -- via Nebraska.
For your consideration ... hope I've uploaded this poster correctly.

10-15-2007, 11:33 AM
My now late great uncle was a veteran of the WWII and held as a guest of the Japanese for four years following a march taking its name from the Bataan peninsula... upon learning I had taken up Civil War re-enacting asked me (and I'll paraphrase), "Why the *&^% do you do that?! War should be studied to avoid it, not re-enacted to remember it. The pain, anger and despair are best forgotten."

I didn't argue with him then, and wouldn't now if he were alive. I would disagree in part, and agree in part, though.

Pete K
10-16-2007, 02:43 PM
In 1933 the last few veterans met and there are photos of Boy Scouts helping the vets accross the fields to shake hands, Reb and Yank. Sure seems they put the agression behind them.

10-16-2007, 08:08 PM
thanks and the answers seemed mixed as to yea/ney. might be a good article for some magazine or college paper. The "waltons" is such a big part of my early life that i have paused to reflect on this subject.

10-21-2007, 06:15 PM
Even "The Bobbsey Twins" encountered a sham battle.

Huck Finn
10-21-2007, 07:31 PM
I grew up 15 miles from Skyler, Virginia. By the way, Earl Hamner is a really nice guy.

The Tye River basin is beautiful this time of year.

Miss Dixie
11-09-2007, 08:37 AM
everyone has their own opinion and/or reasons why they do or don't do anything, I would respect his/her opinion as I would expect them to respect mine, but their are always going to be people of the mindset of if you don't agree with them YOU are wrong.I know why I reenact, and I don't think that I am in any way being disrespectful of what soldiers on both sides went through, but respectful of what they endured, and what we can learn about and from them.

Robert A Mosher
11-11-2007, 08:56 PM
While I was in St Louis back in October, I was doing some research on the 1904 St Louis Worlds Fair trying to track down some of the art exhibits. While reviewing various accounts of the fair and its activities, I came across a photo and some information about a recurring reenactment of The Boer War! apparently down by the British delegation to the fair and possibly involving actual British troops.

Robert A. Mosher