- Sep 19, 2006
- Reaction score
- Washington, PA
I've been re-enacting since 1974.I have been reenacting almost fifty year, on and off, mostly off; but an active muzzleloader shooter most of those years. I have done mostly American Revolution and WW-II, as well as other periods.
So the first questions is what periods are you interested in, since you are here I am assuming most likely 18th and 19th Century America?
So with this broad swath of a time period your primary reenacting themes are French and Indian War, the American Revolution, War of 1812, Texas Independence, Civil War, Indian Wars, and Early and Late Frontier Fur Hunters/Trappers. To a lesser extent there are some European events of the Napoleonic or English Civil wars in America.
Regional location have a great influence on the type of period reenacting organizations and events that take place.
- French and Indian War: The Great Lakes, Canada, Upstate New York, Western Pennsylvania, the interior of Western MD, VA, WV, NC, SC, GA.
- American Revolution: IL, Great Lakes, Canada, and most of the East Coast from Maine to Georgia
- War of 1812: Canada, Northern New York, LA, Washington / Baltimore area
- Texas Independence: I know almost nothing about living history there, but every now and then I see a post about something in TX.
- Civil War: Do I need to say anything more, a pretty bid swath of the US, from the West to the East Coast
- Indian Wars, not only the Plain Indian battles of the second half of the 19th Century, but also the Indian Allies of the French and English during the 18th and first half of the 19th Centuries.
- Early and Late Frontier Fur Hunters/Trappers: More of the Rendezvous type events. See alot of these at the Fur Trade Forts across the Mid-west.
Second many periods have large umbrella organizations: For example the American Revolution:
- The British Brigade (The British Brigade)
- The Brigade of the American Revolution (Home | BAR)
- The Continental Line (The Continental Line – The Continental Line, Inc.)
I won't say much about these except, there are pro's and con's to each. The biggest thing they attempt to do is sponsor events and bridge the gap between sites, smaller groups of reenactors and the requirements of both logistically and legal to hold an events.
As for historical accuracy, it spans the range of almost fantasy to progressive. There are many different terms used to describe this.
- Farby, Mainstream, Campaigner, Progressive, Immersive and many other term.
On the low end of the historical accuracy would be a Farby, machine sewn clothing, of modern fabrics or colors, not historically accurate at all in their presentation of history.
Mainstream, would be machine sewn clothing, the inclusion of Cotton, which was not commonly seen in the 18th Century. An attempt to be historically accurate with more period correct firearms or camp equipment.
Campaigner is sort of more of a bridge between levels of historically accurate clothing and equipment. Balancing accurate materials and a mix of machine sewn, hand finished, and hand sewn clothing.
Progressive and Immersive strive for 100% accurate. Hand sewn everything. Minimalist camps, accurate food to be cooked.
I assume these definitions have similar delineations in the Rendezvous World.
Lastly, like ALL social clubs we have from softball leagues, Golf, Rod and Gun clubs, veterans organizations there are politics involved. If you can't stand politics don't play in reenacting. It is one of the reasons why I have been in and out of the hobby many times over the years. When I get fed up with the politics I take a break.
The other important thing to remember, this is a hobby. Family first, work second, and hobbies last. There are times over my life time where I could not afford my hobbies over my family, or work demands and career kept me from my hobbies. When my kids were small and in school, their lives and activities took precedence over hobbies.
Other posts have focused on how to find units/organizations, and events. All good advice. When something stops being fun I stop doing it.
I primarily do American Revolutionary War, French and Indian War, and American Frontier.
I have done the War of 1812, as well as the American Civil War.
I also belong to several historic sites as well as an S.A.R. Chapter color-guard unit.
I agree with the above post in all of Paul in Pa's main points.