Thursday, August 27, 2009

5 things you may not know about re-enacting

Charlie Rice, 68, of McDonough, Ga., talked with me last night about the upcoming Battle of Atlanta re-enactment at Nash Farm in Henry County. Rice, who will demonstrate wartime blacksmithing, is bringing his traveling forge and battery wagon. His home unit, the 9th Georgia Artillery, will employ two guns he owns --an 1841 smoothbore six-pounder and a 3-inch ordnance rifle.
Rice had these observations:
1. Tent city: Yes, re-enactors spend the night at camps and eat food common during the Civil War -- be it stew or hard tack. Some substitute Pop Tarts for the brick-hard hard tack.
2. Gear: Please don't call the uniforms they wear "costumes." Some will take offense.
3. Versatility: Re-enactors commonly "galvanize." They change tunic colors and hats from Federal to Confederate, and vice-versa, when needed, so that the battle will reflect the ratio of blue-gray forces.
4. Realism: There are times you get lost in the moment. Rice recalls an Antietam event when the intense gunfire, smoke and shouting made him "stop and think where we really were."
5. Continuing education: Re-enactors get some schooling on their event weekends. "You meet a lot of people and learn a lot of history," Rice said.

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