As I reflect on my experiences reenacting, I think of my own changed view of the Civil War and the fight for the end to slavery. I admit, I thought I understood where the Confederates were coming from, believing that they were truly fighting for their state and their rights. To me that seemed justifiable. However, I have come to see that although they may say that it is about their rights, there is an undercurrent of racism wrapped up tightly in their beliefs.
Abolition of Slavery vs. State’s Rights
Confederate reenactors can deny it and say that it does not exist, but the belief that another person is less important than your own rights cannot be denied as crucial to this understanding of their rights. When put into the light that you are still saying unequivocally that you and your rights are more important than someone else’s life and personal freedom it is hard to …show more content…
They feel it is their duty to preserve their country’s history and honor the memory of the soldiers who died for the freedom of their fellow man. History comes alive on the battlefield, and when the cannons fire, and gun smoke fills the air, the reenactor is transported back in history. Spectators come along for the ride, and although the bullets may not be real, the feeling of being on a battlefield is authentic.
I have observed reenactors get carried away with their impression, especially with larger reenactments. Standing in a field, dressed in Union blues, brothers in arms to the right and the left, with the sound of gunfire raining down, the battle comes alive. The experience can look and sound real, both for soldiers and spectators. Watching as my husband takes an imaginary hit and hoping he doesn’t get injured or hurt in the battle, it feels real for me as well. It is easy to get caught up and carried away, and this is part of the excitement of reenacting.
A Day in the Life of a Civil War Soldier’s