Iím a fiction writer currently working on a short story that centers around Civil War reenactment culture, and I hope that some of you involved in this tradition might be able to provide some insight. I know nothing about this faction of society, but I wanted to write a story about a woman who must dress as a man in order to ďpassĒ within a detail-oriented subculture. Think of a modern day Mulan. My main character is a female history buff that wishes to engage in the battle part of the reenactment as a soldier, but is told that she canít by the eventís organizers. I'm seeking to respectfully explore why this would be a problem for the organizers, as well as how women involved in the culture feel about this in the context of historical accuracy. I picked up a copy of Confederates in the Attic on a couple of people's recommendation. The good folks at the Reddit Civil War forum directed me here. Iíve put together some questions that would help me out immensely in my writing. Feel free to answer all of them or just some of them. Any feedback would be helpful.
I thank you in advance for any help you might be able to offer.
- How long do battles last on average? I understand that, depending on historical context, they can be single or multi day affairs. What are the long ones like?
- If you die in the field, how long do you actually stay down?
- Describe the role of women in reenactment culture. Are they allowed to participate? What would a woman who wanted to fight have to do?
- Where do you get your costumes? How strict are the dress code regulations for participants?
- What sort of food do you eat in the field? Is there a drinking culture that goes along with re-enactment?
- Explain to me how the actual combat goes down. Are there set moves that everyone knows, almost like choreography? Do you use real weapons? Have you are anyone you know ever been really injured during re-enactment?
- How did you get involved in reenactment? Why is it meaningful to you?