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Thread: Cedar Creek this past weekend

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  1. #1
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    Default Cedar Creek this past weekend

    I guess this is where to put this:
    Did anyone wander through the spectators after Cedar Creek this past weekend? If you did, did you have a chance to talk to them at all? I did, and got asked lots of good questions and a few disappointing ones.

    I also got an overall feel for the event from a spectator’s point of view, they think were stupid looking!
    What they mean is that they know the first ½ hour of the battle no one is going to be “Killed or wounded”, and then, when we are tired or out of blanks then there are casualties.
    They also noticed that our Officers, ride on their horses out in front of the line of men and never ever gets shot out of the saddle! They witnessed miracle after miracle, it looked unrealistic and extremely out of place.
    One even remarked about the officer on the horse in the movie “Gettysburg”, that was told he was a target and did get shot off his mount.
    Another said he has come to this event for years and has noticed a decline in the efforts of reenactors to try and be realistic or even follow the true historical events that took place here.
    Many said it was a good show, but that they are tired of having to use Binoculars to watch the show, and wanted to know why we don’t move things closer to the viewing line like we used too.
    A history teacher / veteran said that, “what he saw today, was an insult to the brave men that did fight in the real war”!
    I was a bit embarrassed to have asked what he thought of our “Show”, and of those whom I didn’t ask, they came right out and told me of their disappointment in our portrayal of those hero’s of 1861-65.
    I would hope that over the upcoming winter many of our fellow reenactors would sit down and really think about why you’re in this hobby and what you want to give to it and get out of it. AND that they would also look at the persona that they have adopted, and their Kit, and really sit down and study a good book on the war, then dump the FARB out of their impression!
    If we soldiers do a great job in our realistic impression, dump the farby crap, and learn to take hits than at least we look good, even if our officers want to look stupid and ride on top of a horse in full view of the enemy troops that are blazing away at him.

    Gerald Drake

  2. #2
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    Default

    I am a reenactor, but was a full-time spectator at this event. I talked to several people but mostly just kept my ears open and listened. Some really enjoyed the event. Those who didn't can be numbered among those detestible people that like to ridicule anything and everything, not matter if it is good or bad. My perspective was the crowd mostly enjoyed it, they may even have learned a thing or too. Most were smart enough to realize that it is a mock battle and not intended to be like the real thing (in fact the announcer explained that to them over the PA repeatedly) and they understood nobody is going to drive for hours only to exit the battle at the very beginning to play dead for the next hour and a half. The only real complaint I heard was the battle seemed too short.

    Whoever said the battle was too far away was either blind or stupid. Indeed, I was shocked at how close the mounted cavalry was to the spectators. The flanks of horses were actually rubbing against the flimsey spectator rope and some observers had to back away to keep from being stepped on. The cav was also firing pistols too close to the spectators. My ears started to ring as a result. The Cedar Creek reenactment is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I give the entire event very low points in safety for the spectators.

    The increasing farbism at this event is the fault of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation. They were once advised not to have the event every single year, that it would grow stale for the participants, but they refused to listen. They are all about raising money, not ensuring a quality event. They no longer enforce their own reeanctor guidelines as posted online because if they did they would get only handful of participants. There is a reason the Cedar Creak event is called Cedar Freak. I saw the wrong corps badges being worn, sunglasses in ranks, earrings on participants (this is a Civil War reenactment, not a Pirate festival) and a host other farbisms. But that's what you get if you attend a farb event - farbiness. In spades.

    It think the teacher/veteran you quoted was being overly melodramatic and chest-thumping to prove what an expert he is. He needs to get a life.

    Keep in mind the "heroes of 1861-65" were human beings and very few of the real heros of that conflict ever called themselves heroes. Lets not make all CW soldiers out to be more than they were. A very large percentage were stragglers, shirkers, deadbeats, coffee-boilers, deserters, and bounty-jumpers. In short, they were humans, not gods.

    If we soldiers...
    I take except to calling reenactors "soldiers". We are not soldiers (unless that is your real-life profession). A "realistic impression" is impossible to fully attain. As a goal, it is fine, but admit you can never fully attain it. You only get points for trying and for your sincerity, but they can only be awarded to yourself by yourself. Concentrate on your impression, not on those of others. But be humble about it. This hobby has been and continues to be ruined by egotistical jerks who spend too much time passing judgement on others. It is a hobby, not a contest.

    My advice to all reenactors who are tired of the same ol', same ol:

    - Always refer to yourself as a farb (even if you are not). This builds humility.
    - Dump Cedar Freak from your yearly schedule.
    - If you must do battle reenactments, go only to a Chris Anders events or those of a similar quality.
    - Do mostly non-battle, living history events the remainder of the year, preferably for the NPS.
    - Ween yourself off of the desire to burn powder.
    - Dread going into "battle". Straggle. Run away! Take the cars home early and beat the stampede!
    - Dump battle reenacting completely if you can (you'll get sick of it eventually... mark my words).
    - Don't portray a "hero".
    - Portray a less-than-ethusiastic Civil War soldies such as a straggler, a beat, a coffe-boiler, a bounty-man.
    - Never clean your uniform (except launder a shirt once in a while).
    - Throw dirt on your uniform and make yourself look like you've really been on a long march. Even the hardcores are starting to look way too clean.
    - Never pitch a tent unless it looks like rain.
    - Develop a healthy distain for officers and NCOs; avoid them at all costs and if they order you about, be insubordinate.
    - Always seek shade.
    - Drink plenty of water.

    Happy reenacting!

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CheeseBoxRaft View Post
    - Always refer to yourself as a farb (even if you are not). This builds humility.
    - Dump Cedar Freak from your yearly schedule.
    - If you must do battle reenactments, go only to a Chris Anders events or those of a similar quality.
    - Do mostly non-battle, living history events the remainder of the year, preferably for the NPS.
    - Ween yourself off of the desire to burn powder.
    - Dread going into "battle". Straggle. Run away! Take the cars home early and beat the stampede!
    - Dump battle reenacting completely if you can (you'll get sick of it eventually... mark my words).
    - Don't portray a "hero".
    - Portray a less-than-ethusiastic Civil War soldies such as a straggler, a beat, a coffe-boiler, a bounty-man.
    - Never clean your uniform (except launder a shirt once in a while).
    - Throw dirt on your uniform and make yourself look like you've really been on a long march. Even the hardcores are starting to look way too clean.
    - Never pitch a tent unless it looks like rain.
    - Develop a healthy distain for officers and NCOs; avoid them at all costs and if they order you about, be insubordinate.
    - Always seek shade.
    - Drink plenty of water.
    I agree with much of that but need to identify some alternate...

    If you call yourself a "Farb" enough you will become one. It doesn't build 'humility' it only builds 'complancency'...

    Instead of being the all the time shirker and ne'er-do-well, just try to be the best Volunteer you can. Be realistic in what you would know and what you wouldn't know. The Civil War lasted for four years because hundreds of thousands of civilians became professionals and had the moral and character strength to stick to their colors.

    You can disdain officers and ncos, but don't expect them to care for you when you do. Once again, much over played, why not think about it as many soldiers did... that was the son of the local banker or mill owner... the man that would be running said bank or mill after the war and that you as a common soldier might very well have to come to for a job or a loan. You might not like him, but you wouldn't be openly hostile or disrespectful especially in ranks.

    But then, I do agree most reenacting 'officers' are fully worthy of the score they get piled on them. I would add... if you wear stripes and straps for your regular unit, find opportunities to be a rear rank private at least once or twice a year to keep yourself grounded.

    OH... and yes stop supporting See-Da-Freak until they respect the views of the reenactors who desire something more than a reprise of the last 40 mock battles there.
    Your Obedient Servant,

    Peter M. Berezuk

    Proud Member of...
    69th NYSV Historical Association - USMC Historical Company - Washington Guard

    Builder and Maintainer of the Ray Prosteen Memorial Event Calendar

  4. #4
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    Red face



    Pete,

    How, oh how, did you miss the tounge cheek?

    But seriously...

    If they want to have Cedar Creek year after year to pay the mortgage, fine. But the CCBF needs to change it up each year or risk loosing both participants and spectators in an ever declining annual spiral that leads straight to a similar fate as that of New Market.

    Potential remedies?

    Drop any pretense at reenacting Cedar Creek. Make it a generic CW combat demonstration with action highs and lows throughout both days and a variety of scenarios. Mini tacticals?

    Make provision for progressives/hardcores, even if it means giving them a sepearte weekend of their own, or segregating the battlefield (they certainly have the room).

    Run a phased event with action/combat highs and lows. Make it short battle demos/tatical ever two/three hours on the hour, in different locations, with time to rest, water, eat, visit sutlers, etc. during the lulls. The that would give spectators the chance to come and go a will and never have to worry about missing the big battle.

    Now, having thrown out some ideas I know I'll be told why none of them will work. OK, so what's YOUR idea. Come up with something viable.

    CCBF has the potenetial of having one of the best events on the east coast every year, maybe twice a year. Repeat the location, but change up the event. Leverage off the beautiful location and the great fall weather. Be pro-active in reacting to a worsening situation. Or go down the drain.
    Last edited by CheeseBoxRaft; 11-02-2012 at 05:13 PM. Reason: To ensure the point gets across, but with this crowd, I doubt it will work. Bring on the vitriol!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    2,426

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CheeseBoxRaft View Post


    Pete,

    How, oh how, did you miss the tounge cheek?

    But seriously...

    If they want to have Cedar Creek year after year to pay the mortgage, fine. But the CCBF needs to change it up each year or risk loosing both participants and spectators in an ever declining annual spiral that leads straight to a similar fate as that of New Market.

    Potential remedies?

    Drop any pretense at reenacting Cedar Creek. Make it a generic CW combat demonstration with action highs and lows throughout both days and a variety of scenarios. Mini tacticals?

    Make provision for progressives/hardcores, even if it means giving them a sepearte weekend of their own, or segregating the battlefield (they certainly have the room).

    Run a phased event with action/combat highs and lows. Make it short battle demos/tatical ever two/three hours on the hour, in different locations, with time to rest, water, eat, visit sutlers, etc. during the lulls. The that would give spectators the chance to come and go a will and never have to worry about missing the big battle.

    Now, having thrown out some ideas I know I'll be told why none of them will work. OK, so what's YOUR idea. Come up with something viable.

    CCBF has the potenetial of having one of the best events on the east coast every year, maybe twice a year. Repeat the location, but change up the event. Leverage off the beautiful location and the great fall weather. Be pro-active in reacting to a worsening situation. Or go down the drain.
    Seriously, I think you have some great ideas.
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CheeseBoxRaft View Post
    [IMG]Pete,

    How, oh how, did you miss the tounge cheek?

    But seriously...
    Yes I did. But I didn't miss your gleeful response.

    First off, if you don't have the sand to use your real name on a forum, then your opinion about the hobby doesn't matter.

    Second, I deplore subterfuge in all its forms so I'm going to be do what this forum asks and instead of really giving you a piece of my mind, I'll just send you to coventry with the likes of CHS, Irish Rifles and WTH.

    Adios!
    Your Obedient Servant,

    Peter M. Berezuk

    Proud Member of...
    69th NYSV Historical Association - USMC Historical Company - Washington Guard

    Builder and Maintainer of the Ray Prosteen Memorial Event Calendar

  7. #7
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    Wakarusa,IN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PMB1861 View Post
    First off, if you don't have the sand to use your real name on a forum, then your opinion about the hobby doesn't matter.
    So not using our real names on here means we have no idea what we are talking about or matter? well then guess im just a big ole idiot, have no idea what end of the big firing stick to put the bang powder down and hopefully I point the correct end at the enemy and not shoot the guy behind me in my company! Really now, are names really that important? get real dude

  8. #8

    Default

    I was under the mistaken impression for a long time that we needed to sign posts with our real names here, as over at Authentic Campaigner. Turns out I was wrong. I think I gave someone the "if you have a real opinion, you'll put your name on it" speech too.
    Check the dates, though: this thread was necro a long time ago. Let it go...
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  9. #9
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    Sep 2009
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    Default

    Moderator Note: Real names are not a requirement here due to the formation of this forum in the earlier days where "handles" or nicknames were the norm. Today, using your name is a common courtesy and highly suggested. Many people on here that matter go by the practice of only recognizing or answering to those who do use their own name and not hide behind a moniker. I myself, whether as a private member or moderator, will rarely acknowledge queries or get into discussions with those that don't use their own name or at least are well known enough within the hobby. Now, either discuss Cedar Creek like the intitial post discusses, or stay out of the thread.
    Ross Lamoreaux
    Moderator and Sewer of Historical Clothing and Tall Tales

    "But our opportunity to learn and grow, to communicate the richness of the lives that have gone before us, that does not change. We do not outgrow it. It does not tatter and fall apart in our hands..." -Mrs. Terre Lawson, 2010

  10. #10
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by csaduck View Post
    I guess this is where to put this:
    Did anyone wander through the spectators after Cedar Creek this past weekend? If you did, did you have a chance to talk to them at all? I did, and got asked lots of good questions and a few disappointing ones.

    I also got an overall feel for the event from a spectator’s point of view, they think were stupid looking!
    What they mean is that they know the first ½ hour of the battle no one is going to be “Killed or wounded”, and then, when we are tired or out of blanks then there are casualties.
    They also noticed that our Officers, ride on their horses out in front of the line of men and never ever gets shot out of the saddle! They witnessed miracle after miracle, it looked unrealistic and extremely out of place.
    One even remarked about the officer on the horse in the movie “Gettysburg”, that was told he was a target and did get shot off his mount.
    Another said he has come to this event for years and has noticed a decline in the efforts of reenactors to try and be realistic or even follow the true historical events that took place here.
    Many said it was a good show, but that they are tired of having to use Binoculars to watch the show, and wanted to know why we don’t move things closer to the viewing line like we used too.
    A history teacher / veteran said that, “what he saw today, was an insult to the brave men that did fight in the real war”!
    I was a bit embarrassed to have asked what he thought of our “Show”, and of those whom I didn’t ask, they came right out and told me of their disappointment in our portrayal of those hero’s of 1861-65.
    I would hope that over the upcoming winter many of our fellow reenactors would sit down and really think about why you’re in this hobby and what you want to give to it and get out of it. AND that they would also look at the persona that they have adopted, and their Kit, and really sit down and study a good book on the war, then dump the FARB out of their impression!
    If we soldiers do a great job in our realistic impression, dump the farby crap, and learn to take hits than at least we look good, even if our officers want to look stupid and ride on top of a horse in full view of the enemy troops that are blazing away at him.

    Gerald Drake
    I've been sayin' for years, the 'tater's aren't stupid. And, Cedar Creek has it's nickname for a reason. If you want it to change. DON'T GO! The only way it's going to change is if folks stop buying the product. If you still wish to support the battlefield; send them a check, in the amount of your registration fee instead.

    The event has been broken for years. Imagine if you can, what the 150th will be. Sigh.
    Eli Heagy
    187th PV

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