Today I met an interesting individual who, among other things, has a very active interest in the Civil War. Many Americans, including myself, have ancestors who fought in the Civil War. Today I learned a little bit about how the history of the war that our ancestors fought comes to life every year through Civil War reenactments. The gentleman that I was speaking with today has been a part of many Civil War reenactments and they are a staple of his summer vacation plans each year.
Historic battles like Gettysburg and Fort Sumter are reenacted by passionate folks who truly immerse themselves in the history of the battles as they practice for the reenactment in all kinds of weather. Reenactors learn first hand what it was like to be a Civil War soldier as they meticulously recreate the details of the battles. They do it so well that spectators feel as though they are watching an actual battle taking place before their eyes.
The Civil War is not the only war that gets reenacted. Various groups of history buffs gather to reenact other battles from other wars as a way to preserve the memories of those who fought them. For genealogists who want to learn about the wars that their ancestors fought, watching or participating in a reenactment is a great thing to do. You will be able to learn how they fought, what they wore, what weapons they used, and how they set up camps, among other things. You can learn about the strategies that were used during the battles and get a sense for what it may have felt like to be involved in the battle. Regardless of whether your ancestors fought in a particular battle, if you have a chance to go to a reenactment you will certainly learn a lot about American history as you see it in living form.
Photo by taliesin on morguefile.com.