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Thread: Cedar Creek this past weekend

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Maryland
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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
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Wouldn't you like to know.
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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
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Near Hanover, PA
    Posts
    1,161

    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

    We welcome any and all new members and visitors, come see us:

    http://thecommonground.proboards.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Where the heck do ya think? The SOUTH!
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    41

    Default

    Want to change this event for the better? Then vote with your feet. STAY AWAY.
    - Sam Glennett

  5. #5
    ruby1082 Guest

    Default

    I was actually surprised that the last two events at ceder creek we were soo close to the spectators. As a cavalry trooper, I was more watching my horse then anything when we were right up near that rope. I like to say also we spend a lot of time and money buying gear, drilling and working with our horses. We try to do our best at reenacting battles. I have over a dozen pictures of the ANV cavalry doing a great job in portraying confederate cavalry. It upset me that some one you reenactors or spectators act like we are disrespecting the civil war soldier. To me your the joke. Your the ones making reenacting difficult and unpleasent. This is the reason why we have two 150th events with two seperate groups....and one is not different from the other. What ceder creek battlefield foundation has been doing and will keep on doing is amazing. All the money goes to the battlefield. They will continue having an event every yr because they have a morgage of 16,000 dollars every month trying to preserve the battlefield. So telling people to not go to event only hurts preservation not your bitter ego cause you think you do it better. I will continue reenacting and teaching others civil war history at every event. Get use to us because we are the younger generation who cant afford everything you seemed to get yrs ago for a low cost we will make do with what we got to keep history alive

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    233

    Default

    The young cav trooper deserves a "huzzah" for his attitude. It will be the chore of the younger members to carry on after this 150th cycle is compleated and us "greybeards' head to Fidler's Green wherever they may be. The hobby has room for all aspects/levels from the farby newbies to the most grizzled campaigner. The continued bad mouthing of this event vice that event and the inability of unit's politico's to work togather have created an atmosphere resulting in the all to common theme of the 150th cycle "multi-events". As a sailor, I'm in the minority whever I choose to go. As an old sailor it's time to go ashore and spin yarns. LOL

    Geo. Dailey
    acting volunteer ships gunner
    U S Naval Landing Party (western waters)
    Pvt. Battery D 1st Michigan light artillery

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    On 3/4th of the world's T-shirts.
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    179

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ruby1082 View Post
    . It upset me that some one you reenactors or spectators act like we are disrespecting the civil war soldier.
    Reenacting has been critisized and mocked by its peers and the public since the 1960s. An angry defense does not in anyway counteract their criticism. Rise about it gracefully before hauling out the insults.

    It upset me that some one you reenactors or spectators act like we are disrespecting the civil war soldier.
    You must try to be open-minded enough to view it from their perspective:

    Is it respectful to the wounded who actualy were injured int he Civil War for a reenactor to take a hit in front of the crowd, yelling and screaming and carrying on, and even scaring children with over-the-top theatrics? Happened at this years's Cedar Creek.

    Is it respectful to the dead who fell in the war for a reenactor to prop himself up on his elbows to watch the battle and or take pictures with a barely concealed camera? Happened at this year's Cedar Creek (as it does every year, not just at this event, but many others too).

    This is type of stuff that gets both spectators and other reenactors laughing and when the accusations of disrespect emerge.

    This is the reason why we have two 150th events with two seperate groups....and one is not different from the other.
    On the contrary, they are very different. Mostly because of something called the "free right of association". I saw both "Maryland, My Maryland" and the "150th Antietam". Light years apart in quality and mindset. I applaud seperating the wheat from the chaff. It promotes healthy competition. It is an indication that progress is being made.

    What ceder creek battlefield foundation has been doing and will keep on doing is amazing. All the money goes to the battlefield. They will continue having an event every yr because they have a morgage of 16,000 dollars every month trying to preserve the battlefield...So telling people to not go to event only hurts preservation not your bitter ego cause you think you do it better.
    Keep in mind that CCBF is not universally liked by everyone in the preservation community. Some boycott the event because of too many alleged past compromises with the gravel company. I'm no expert and don't know the issues, but I do know that several high-profile units refuse to attend due to philosophical differences. To each his own.

    Get use to us because we are the younger generation who cant afford everything you seemed to get yrs ago for a low cost we will make do with what we got to keep history alive.
    Those who have built this hobby from the days of polyester uniforms of the centennial era to today's much finer adhearance to material culture and authenticity deserve respect, not an angry dismassal.

    My advice: turn it down a notch. Going on an angry defensive doesn't accomplish much.
    Last edited by Che; 10-29-2012 at 02:26 PM.
    - Ernesto Serna

    "...I'm struck by the contradiction at the core of Civil War reenacting. On the surface it's a hyper-macho hobby, focused on guns and battle. But the longer I hang out with hardcores ... the more they remind me of supermodels, chatting endlessly about their jackets and shoes and hair and how many pounds they've lost since the last event." - Tony Horwitz

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Near Hanover, PA
    Posts
    1,161

    Default

    I didn't say skip the event. What I suggested was to send your registration fee directly to the Cedar Creek folks to help preserve the field, and then skip the event.
    Eli Heagy
    187th PV

    We welcome any and all new members and visitors, come see us:

    http://thecommonground.proboards.com/

  9. #9

    Default

    Although Cedar Creek is an annual event, I find that I enjoy it more if I put 2 or 3 years between the times I attend. Makes the good times seem better and the crazy ones less, well, crazy.
    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

  10. #10

    Default Cedar Creek

    It was our first Cedar Creek. We have just started re as a way to preserved history and to explore a passion for the civil war. We were at Md MY MD, Antietam 150 and at Cedar Creek this year. All 3 were very different and all 3 were nice events. The best battles were put on by the hard core. sorry folks. It was put on the spectators, it rolled and moved and you left smelling like black powder. Antietam was put on a mile away. Cedar Creek wasnt bad. Close cavalry was nice. This brings us that point. Creek was a great horse show. Amazing work done with those animals. Thanks to the Cav units for bringing the horses up to meet the meet the people and answer questions after sat battle.:
    We walked the camps and met people, we're new and looking, we saw a different side, mothers riding horses with infants across open fields with hair , manes , and tails, blowing in the breeze, we saw soldiers holding their kids, parents with kids out for their first events, we saw some great stew and chili pots, one of the FVB units invited unit invited us to stay for dinner.
    At Antietam we saw grandfathers holding precious little ones, we saw adults dancing with 2and 3 yr olds and having a great time. We've talked to re's in the dark stillness of Harpers Ferry and a Viet Nam vet that was dishonored by the American for his service.
    What do you want from your experiences. You can find it is all there. Go participate and have a good time. I agree that you should continue to reseach, study, and learn, but remember a bad day on the battlefield is way better thana good day in front of the tube!!!

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