"You may not like what you see, but do not on that account fall into the error of trying to adjust it to suit your own vision of what it ought to have been."
-- George MacDonald Fraser, "Quartered Safe Out Here: A Recollection of the War in Burma"
Most Civil War reenactors begin their experience with an eye toward the military. After all, without the military it wouldn't be called Civil WAR reenacting, now would it?
Being a military reenactor is EASY! Most units have at least done minimum research into the uniforms and equipment used by the men they are representing. So then, when a person joins a military unit they automatically have a very narrow set of clothing and equipment standards to follow.
But what of the person who wishes to reenact the Civil War time period but not as a soldier?
There are so many choices to make when representing a civilian of the Civil War era! So many different kinds of people with so many different social and economic levels, occupations, and experiences! Once a civilian reenactor has chosen his or her persona these variables must be considered when putting together the overall impression. Civilian reenacting is COMPLEX!
Too often, civilian reenactors are told to "get a white shirt and a drawstring, calico skirt" because it's easy, cheap, and "that's what they wore." Activities include cooking over a fire-pit and attending fashion shows and teas.
Civilian reenacting is so much more! This page has been created with the hope that those entering the hobby/obsession will receive well-researched information to begin with and that those reenactors who are already absorbed in the hobby/obsession will continue to learn more and improve their impressions. There is always room for improvement for each and everyone! Isn't that part of the fun?
After all -- do you want to look like a reenactor? Or do you want to look like a person who lived during that era? The choice is yours.
Last updated 6/19/02.