Co.B 9th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry
Portraying Eastern & Western Troops of both sides of the War Between the States 1861 - 65
[ Back ] [ Home ]
I WONDER IF YOU RECOGNISE ANY OF THESE FELLERS.......?
In this Country and abroad, there's several types of Reenactor. Here's a tongue in cheek look at some types :
He's the fellow who just can't seem to get on in a group. He's been in so many Units and left that there's nothing left for him except to do a 'specialist' impression. He could be a Preacher, a visiting Politician, a Sniper or Sharpshooter, a Foreign Observer, War Artist or Correspondent, or, worst of all, invent some rank and parade about the camp as General this or that expecting the rank and file to fawn around him. Usually he's a complete farb and the idea of being a plain Infantryman would cause him to hide under the bed in his caravan.
Sees reenacting as a useful adjunct to his Country & Western passion. Has seen all John Wayne's films and bases his 'impression' loosely on 'The Horse Soldiers'. 9 times out of 10 he's a Dismounted Cavalryman, possibly the most ridiculed 'impression' possible..see lyrics to 'The Dismounted Cavalry'. He brings the family along for the weekend which includes Grandma, Auntie, Cousin Wayne and Bill from round the corner for a barbecue at the event. Will sit around the caravan all day until 10 minutes before the Battle, then saunter over with his Spencer rifle, falling in with the assorted Sharpshooters, Lancers, Ordnance Corporals etc and start the Battle as 'Skirmishers' unrealistically advancing to within a few feet of the opposing odds and sods and never taking a hit. This fellow is unrepentant, unwilling to change and uncaring about the Hobby. His partner will dress in 'Gone with the Wind' Ballgowns during the day enjoying the stares of soldiery and Public as they gaze into her mountainous cleavage on full view. Trouble is, these types attract the general Public as they've 'all seen that dress in the film' and 'what's the muzzle velocity of the Spencer' seem to be the preoccupation. He's a waste of time.
The 'CLUB WITHIN A CLUB MEMBER'
Usually Cavalry or Artillery. Keep themselves to themselves, camping, drilling, socialising and fighting in the Battle. Hold interminable meetings all day and every day. On average, out of 20 men present there will be three Officers, four Sergeants, six Corporals several 'Leading Gunners or Troopers' and two no-rankers (who've just joined). Will hold several 'Socials' throughout the year, inviting only Senior Officers and NCO's and Committee members from outside their particular units, thus ensuring that any new rules and regs requiring them to mix with other reenactors are kept to a minimum. Will pull finger out once a year to do something particularly helpful to the Society and thus get the recognition they regard as their due. Will NEVER be found in shelter halves or white tentage as this may spoil creases in their as yet unmarked uniforms. They will pass the time of day with you, but won't get too close as they may be contaminated by your dirty uniform.
Me on the right as a 're - enactor' at the American Museum, Bath, September 1988. My daughter Natalie in front.
Wants to do it right. Dresses in the uniform that his Company Commander detailed the last time he did any research (usually 10 years ago) and reacts violently to any suggestion that it's wrong. Bought Brogans two years ago, so he considers himself authentic. Lives in the 'Living History Camp' consisting of A frame tents containing sleeping bags, collapsible wooden cots and books and magazines pertaining to the Civil War that he's lending to his mates, huge firepit covered in various forms of ironmongery and littered with plastic water carriers, saucepans, enamel basins and mugs. The Federal 'Reenactor' wears Corps badges, brass Co. letters, Irish Harps, Masonic Regalia, modern pocketwatch and, when in Battle, lurid ear protectors. The Confederate 'Reenactor' wears various feathers in his shapeless 'hillbilly' hat, has a 'uniform' that looks like it was scavenged from a dustbin, has a 'bowie knife' or two, tucks his trousers into his hiking socks to highlight his 'distressed desert boots' and has the straggly beard from Hell even though he lives in a camp that has all the comforts of home including washbasin, mirror, electric razor and Spanish Holiday towel. The sad thing is that if he were taught right from the beginning, this well-meaning and usually salt-of-the-earth fellow would be a first class Living Historian.
Me looking a bit better at the American Museum in Bath in 1993
Does it right. Pores over the photo's back home. Bases his impression on real ACW soldiers, not other reenactors. Always willing to learn. May have some wrong stuff but knows about it and will replace it ASAP. Will always report for drill and will galvanize at the drop of a hat. Will be on friendly terms with all other reenacting types with the exception of the 'Enactor'. Will attend even the biggest farbfests knowing that he may, by example, convert some 'Reenactor' types or help them along with their impression. Will drink with them, eat with them and camp with them to this end. He prefers the Campaign style events with no Public around as he can enjoy some real Living History and First Person with his Pards. Will be embarrassed by his faults and count the days until that new piece of correct kit from the States arrives on his doorstep. Cringes with pain at old reenacting pictures of himself.
Me getting a bit better at this Living History game at Euromilitaire '97
The 'CLOTH NAZI'
Also known as the 'Button Pisser' or 'Thread Counter'. Insufferable know-all that believes everyone else in reenacting is a complete farb compared to himself. Has no sympathy with money problems, family problems or Illness. Will destroy new reenactors with a few chosen words. Funnily enough, he gets on better with the 'Enactor' than anybody else; they're equally as ignorant and bad mannered as each other. Will not attend farbfests - they're beneath him. In fact does very little reenacting because his standards are so high. Will eventually leave the hobby and join the Ermine Street Guard or some other elite group, to everyone's relief.
What category do I belong in...well I started as a 'Reenactor' and I'd say I was a fledgling 'Progressive' now...but there's a bit of everything in all of us !
of my favourite pix - Paul, Pete and me at Lookout Mountain,
Tennessee, November '98
(Pic by James Rapai of the Mudsills)
[ Back to top ] [ Home ]