Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-17-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,484 posts, read 6,482,602 times
Reputation: 3792

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_k_k View Post
I can actually empathize quite a bit, because the South is quite diverse in every way one could imagine, and no one likes being lumped together as though one has no personal or regional identity.
That, my friend, is one of the most perceptive and culturally-aware posts I have ever read on this forum, or on any other for that matter. Well done!

To quote country singer Tanya Tucker,

The Jacksons down the road were poor like we were,
But our skin was white and theirs was black,
I believe the South is gonna rise again
But not the way we thought it would back then,
I mean everybody, hand in hand,
I believe the South is gonna rise again!


And ya know what? I believe she was right...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-17-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Willow Spring and Mocksville
275 posts, read 394,766 times
Reputation: 482
Quote:
Originally Posted by mco65 View Post
I believe they do re enactments in the north as well...
The re enactors are not doing this to some how glorify slavery or the OLD SOUTH as much as they are doing it because they LOVE HISTORY. Sordid or NOT, it is OUR HISTORY and not just the SOUTHS History but the entire COUNTRY's History, including the NORTH.
You're quite right: it's our national history. I'd say the vast majority of Civil War reenactors are genuinely just interested in history, but there is a certain minority with an agenda. Before I became a Civil War reenactor, I considered myself rather sympathetic to the Confederacy. (Fully cognizant, of course, of Slavery and it's ramifications, yet being a Southerner I thought I understood why people may have felt as they did.) But after listening to what some of my fellow Confederate reenactors had to say, I RAN to buy a Blue uniform! Then I made sure to find a unit who portrayed both sides with equal enthusiasm.
But truthfully, the problem isn't just Confederate reenactors. There is a certain type of Civil War reenactor on both sides who thinks that no one can possibly have any knowledge of history if they haven't been "in the hobby" for 20 years. They have some kind of weird sense of moral and intellectual superiority that lends to an astonishing degree of arrogance and rudeness. This is truly sad, because it has led to what people call "the incredible shrinking hobby".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-17-2011, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Wheaton, Illinois
10,261 posts, read 21,645,257 times
Reputation: 10453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strelnikov View Post
There is a certain type of Civil War reenactor on both sides who thinks that no one can possibly have any knowledge of history if they haven't been "in the hobby" for 20 years. They have some kind of weird sense of moral and intellectual superiority that lends to an astonishing degree of arrogance and rudeness. This is truly sad, because it has led to what people call "the incredible shrinking hobby".

Not meaning any specific insult to you but frankly I think reenacting is kind'a odd. I think it' shows a certain lack of sensitivity for the actual travails of those who fought. The war was a bloody mess and to dress up in costumes and play Civil War like little kids playing Sgt. Rock (budda-budda) with guys falling "dead" and all just seems........unseemly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-17-2011, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 23,967,234 times
Reputation: 21237
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Not meaning any specific insult to you but frankly I think reenacting is kind'a odd. I think it' shows a certain lack of sensitivity for the actual travails of those who fought. The war was a bloody mess and to dress up in costumes and play Civil War like little kids playing Sgt. Rock (budda-budda) with guys falling "dead" and all just seems........unseemly.
Perhaps, but they strike me as largely harmless, I view them as the Trekkies of the historical world, folks filling whatever vacuum exists in their lives with obsessive focus on one thing.

They aren't all alike. I've talked with perhaps a dozen at different times. Some were just out for a lark, some were unreconstructed Confederates, some seemed a bit disturbed and one that I met was a seriously well informed historian. We didn't just talk history, we talked historiography.

They are humans. One of them was telling me that every time that they staged a reenactment, there was always a big argument over whose turn to die it was. No one ever wanted to portray a casualty, what they all wanted to do was to stand in line and blaze away with their rifles..that was fun. Lying on the ground while everyone else got to do the shooting...that wasn't. He also told me that his regiment almost broke up over an argument about whether or not just the guys who owned their artillery piece had to pay for the shells and powder used in reenactments, or the entire regiment had to contribute.

So, within the framework, they are normal. It just isn't a very normal framework.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-17-2011, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Willow Spring and Mocksville
275 posts, read 394,766 times
Reputation: 482
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Not meaning any specific insult to you but frankly I think reenacting is kind'a odd. I think it' shows a certain lack of sensitivity for the actual travails of those who fought. The war was a bloody mess and to dress up in costumes and play Civil War like little kids playing Sgt. Rock (budda-budda) with guys falling "dead" and all just seems........unseemly.
What you are describing are battle renactments, which are a very small part of historical reenacting. These are generally for spectators, who pay to attend events and the proceeds usually go to support a specific park, museum, or other good cause. These events may be "trivial" but my philosophy is that if one person goes home and reads one book after speaking to me, it was a success.
As another post noted, there are many different levels of reenactors. The most serious of them do an incredible amount of research into the period. Many reenactors will not do battle reenactments because they know that it is basically unrealistic. I give Living History demonstrations at schools, parks, and libraries. My goals include the following:

A) Foster an interest in the past, among people of all ages, but especially young people. As the old adage says, "those who not remember the past..." Many people who think history in books is "boring" positively light up when they can handle a musket, and even actual period items.

B) Promote local history. Many people live years in an area and have no idea what has transpired on the very ground they see every day. This can give them a link to their community.

C) Share my interest in history.

Reenactors are frequently featured at museums and national parks to give an added dimension to the history presented there. Many docents are our nationally battlefield parks are also reenactors.
When it is don right, reenacting can give you valuable insights into history. When you march in a wool uniform on a hot summer day, what would otherwise be just words on a page take on a whole new meaning.
I am a WWII reeanctor as well. My unit studies actual squad and company tactics. We have "tacticals" with a group of German reenactors who practice German WWII tactics. We have referees who critique each action. (One of the guys in my WWII reenactor unit is the US Army Historian for the Transportation Corps.) After participating in these events, carrying an M1 Garand in the cold, rain, and mud, I have gotten a whole new perspective on what our WWII vets went through, and my appreciation and admiration for them has increased immensely. WWII vets love to see people wearing their "old" gear and uniforms, and who are interested in what they did for us. They spend many an hour talking to us about their experiences.
We do many benefits and fund raisers for military veterans. At an event I recently planned at my local library, we partnered with the local chapter of the American Legion.
Reenactors do much that may not be apparent to people unfamiliar with all the facets of reenacting.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-18-2011, 12:19 PM
 
14,780 posts, read 43,469,826 times
Reputation: 14621
I agree with what Strelnikov is saying about the place of reenactors on getting people engaged in history, especially local history. I grew up in a military family and my father was always a history buff, particularly the history of wars. Being a military brat of sorts I was exposed to a lot of the modern military and always thought it was cool, but dismissed the history aspect when I was younger.

What originally got me into history was going to see a large reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle that took place very close to my home when I was around 10. There is a small town in South Jersey called National Park. The town isn't much to speak of but it contains a park that was a battlefield during the Philadelphia Campaign, called Red Bank.

A group of 1,200 Hessian soldiers were dispatched from the garrison in Philadelphia to clear the river defences that the Continental Army had established along the Delaware to deny river access to the British Navy. Most people are familiar with Fort Mifflin and this was the western anchor of the defense line. The eastern anchor was Fort Mercer situated on what was then known as Red Bank, NJ and was defended by 400 Continental troops.

The Hessians attacked the fort, but were repulsed by the Americans. In total the Americans inflicted 370 casualties on the Hessians while suffering only 37 of their own. The fort was eventually abandoned when Fort Mifflin fell to the British and Cornwallis was dispatched with a force of 5,000 men to take Fort Mercer.

Battle of Red Bank - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is only a small portion of the fort and battlefield preserved, but it made for the perfect place to watch a reenactment. I remember the bright green of the Hessian uniforms and the tall hats of the grenadiers. The thunder of the cannons that started the assault and watching the American defenders fire volley after volley into the assaulting Hessians before they were forced to retreat, it made quite an impression.

Later we mingled with some of the reenactors one of whom had a map overlaying what the area looked like then to where the modern towns and county lines were. I was fascinated that the Hessians had landed at Cooper's Ferry in Gloucester City (my grandmom lived in Gloucester City and I lived only a couple blocks from the Cooper River). They marched down the main road at the time called Kings Highway, a road which we drove on often and I was surprised to learn the modern road followed virtually the same path. I learned that the Hessians billeted in Haddonfield (the next town over from us) after their retreat and their officers stayed at the Indian King Tavern (I had been there before for an event). This experience made history come to life for me in a way it never had before and sparked my lifelong desire to learn about it. My dad was quite happy as that meant that family vacations were often oriented around historical sites like Williamsburg and Yorktown and we occasionally even got to participate in some of the tours playing soldier, lol. I have also been active in helping my father trace the lineage and history of his retired military organization, The Camden Light Artillery, which can trace its units roots back to the Revolution.

Currently I live outside of Swedesboro, NJ which was an original colony of New Sweden. Our church is one of the oldest contiguous congregations in North America and I have spent a lot of time reading the diaries of the former preachers that served there throughout the entire colonial period. Each year the church and town sponsor a reenactment of colonial life in New Sweden which has made my son very interested in how people lived back then and the history that is all around us. These kinds of things are what brings history alive and makes the role that good reenactors play so important.

Here is a web link for our church:
Trinity Episcopal "Old Swedes" Church

Here is a link to a brief summary of the churches history during the Revolution:
Trinity Episcopal "Old Swedes" Church: History
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-19-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Willow Spring and Mocksville
275 posts, read 394,766 times
Reputation: 482
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I agree with what Strelnikov is saying about the place of reenactors on getting people engaged in history, especially local history. I grew up in a military family and my father was always a history buff, particularly the history of wars. Being a military brat of sorts I was exposed to a lot of the modern military and always thought it was cool, but dismissed the history aspect when I was younger.

What originally got me into history was going to see a large reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle that took place very close to my home when I was around 10. There is a small town in South Jersey called National Park. The town isn't much to speak of but it contains a park that was a battlefield during the Philadelphia Campaign, called Red Bank.....

....Currently I live outside of Swedesboro, NJ which was an original colony of New Sweden. Our church is one of the oldest contiguous congregations in North America and I have spent a lot of time reading the diaries of the former preachers that served there throughout the entire colonial period. Each year the church and town sponsor a reenactment of colonial life in New Sweden which has made my son very interested in how people lived back then and the history that is all around us. These kinds of things are what brings history alive and makes the role that good reenactors play so important....
I snipped a bit to avoid overloading this, but that's an excellent point about kids and reenacting. I grew up in the Yadkin river area of NC, and in my youth I lamented that "nothing every happened here". As an adult, I discovered that during the Revolution, Cornwallis's army marched literally within sight of where I lived with my grandparents. In the Civil War, Stoneman's raiders camped on a road I used to walk all the time. Even during the French and Indian war, there were Cherokee raids in the area. Daniel Boone's first cabin was only a couple of miles away from my grandparents' land. But I never heard any of this when I was growing up. (When I mentioned this on a national Civil War reenactors forum, several "hardcores" sarcastically snipped "oh, so you couldn't read the historical markers???" Well, dudes, there WERE NO markers. )

Our local historian was a teacher, but never gave any presentations on local history. I was an avid library-goer, but my local library did not feature any displays or programs on local history. Even as an adult, I had to dig for years for some of the details. This is truly sad. One of my goals when I do library and school presentations is to give people something I never had.

I have often speculated that my world-views might have been drastically different had I known any of the above. I think I would have developed my main historical interests much earlier. I can only imagine what effect seeing a battle reenactment would have had. Cheesy or not; "farby" or "harcore"; they do have quite an impact on young people.

Your story about the Church (great website, by the way) also brings up a great point: there is much more to Living History than "bang-bang-you're-dead". Some people have civilian "refugee" camps; medical impressions; chaplains; even a Civil War post office. Last year a friend and I did a WWII display in our program room in my local library. His dad was in the signals corps, and he has original camera equipment, actual period photos, and functioning radios. I had all my assorted WWII militaria and made a poster of NC's contribution to WWII. There were five middle school girls who were in the library for another program, who just happened to come in. They were thrilled and spent about two hours handling the memorabilia, trying on helmets, and asking questions. One of their parents was astonished and said "I would never have believed she would be so interested in this!" Maybe she will end up being an historian, who knows. To me, this sort of thing far outweighs any negative aspects of Living history.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-19-2011, 11:25 AM
 
14,780 posts, read 43,469,826 times
Reputation: 14621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strelnikov View Post
I snipped a bit to avoid overloading this, but that's an excellent point about kids and reenacting. I grew up in the Yadkin river area of NC, and in my youth I lamented that "nothing every happened here". As an adult, I discovered that during the Revolution, Cornwallis's army marched literally within sight of where I lived with my grandparents. In the Civil War, Stoneman's raiders camped on a road I used to walk all the time. Even during the French and Indian war, there were Cherokee raids in the area. Daniel Boone's first cabin was only a couple of miles away from my grandparents' land. But I never heard any of this when I was growing up. (When I mentioned this on a national Civil War reenactors forum, several "hardcores" sarcastically snipped "oh, so you couldn't read the historical markers???" Well, dudes, there WERE NO markers. )

....

Your story about the Church (great website, by the way) also brings up a great point: there is much more to Living History than "bang-bang-you're-dead". Some people have civilian "refugee" camps; medical impressions; chaplains; even a Civil War post office. Last year a friend and I did a WWII display in our program room in my local library. His dad was in the signals corps, and he has original camera equipment, actual period photos, and functioning radios. I had all my assorted WWII militaria and made a poster of NC's contribution to WWII. There were five middle school girls who were in the library for another program, who just happened to come in. They were thrilled and spent about two hours handling the memorabilia, trying on helmets, and asking questions. One of their parents was astonished and said "I would never have believed she would be so interested in this!" Maybe she will end up being an historian, who knows. To me, this sort of thing far outweighs any negative aspects of Living history.
Living history is an incredible way to connect the past with the future. We are working on updating the church website as the one that is up was done in the early 2000's and is in need of some updates, lol. since you found that interesting, I thought you might like my dad's retired military units site as well:

Camden Light Artillery 1st BN 112th FA ©2009 All Rights Reserved.

This site is updated pretty regularly and the guys put a lot of effort in it. The bulk of their unit is WW2, Korea and Vietnam era guys, but they are still spry and very active. Their biggest mission these days is supporting troops and their families who have been deployed and also providing a forum and a lot of understanding for the troops after they come back. It is pretty amazing to watch several generations of American troops sit down together and help each other work through their experiences. The 90 year old WW2 vet, next to the 80 year old Korea vet, next to the 65 year old Vietnam vet, next to the 25 year old Iraq vet.

My wife and I attend their annual dinner and it is always a great display with generations of vets who all trace their lineage in the service back through this single unit. Last years guests of honor were a couple gentleman from a rest home in the Vineland area who were part of the "Band of Brothers". They had a couple reenactors there as well showing off WW2 era equipment and it was quite entertaining to watch the actual vets give them pointers and explanations about what they "actually used all that crap for".

Check out the history link at the top of their page and there is a pdf link on the right that explains the history of the unit from its formation to present day. For kicks check out the names of the original officers from the Revolution and Civil War and then go back to the page from my church and you will see on those history pages and on the cemetery registery many of the same names.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-19-2011, 12:46 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,484 posts, read 6,482,602 times
Reputation: 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
So, within the framework, they are normal. It just isn't a very normal framework.
I assume you're speaking statistically rather than clinically...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2012, 10:52 PM
 
8 posts, read 9,315 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Themanwithnoname View Post
Why else would all those poor southerners who DIDN'T OWN SLAVES be willing to DIE in the fight...
Because poor anti-Americans in the rebellious states feared free black reprisals and being the lowest class. Slavery enabled poor whites someone to kick around. This is more than evidenced after the good'ol days: 1865-1877.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:20 AM.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top