Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Texas (and Japanese) Reenactors at Gettysburg

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on June 30, 2013

There’s a great series of press images of the 150th anniversary reenactment of Gettysburg, here. Here are two of my favorites:


Mike Wilkinson, of San Antonio, portraying a soldier with the 4th Texas Infantry, smokes a pipe during ongoing activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Thursday, June 27, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pa. Photo: Matt Rourke, Associated Press / AP
Satomi Okada, 52, pulls her hair back as she transfers chicken thighs from a cast iron skillet to a soup pot under the guidance of re-enactor Candy Girard, 62 of Omaha, Neb., at the Blue Gray Alliance’s re-enactment camp outside Gettysburg, Pa., on Friday, June 28, 2013. Okada, who is from Kobe, Japan, has a three-month tourist visa and is trying to learn what she can about the Civil War, which in Japan is called “the North-South War.” A Minnesota friend of hers is re-enacting, and brought her along for the ride. Okada will be a “powder monkey” — assisting with the cannons — with Terry’s Texas Rangers Company H during the re-enactments. Some women did go to war — incognito — with their brothers, fathers or husbands during the Civil War, and more than a few female re-enactors today are portraying that by abandoning the hoop skirts and petticoats in favor of men’s wear and artillery. Daily Record/Sunday News — Chris Dunn.


I wonder if that second caption is garbled, since Terry’s Rangers weren’t anywhere near Gettysburg, and had no artillery. Regardless, looks like great fun. When do we eat?



8 Responses

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  1. Pat Young said, on June 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    My favorite part of the reenactments is camp life. You can recreate a camp scene.

  2. Duane Whitlock said, on July 1, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Fat old men look nothing like the vets that fought that war. It’s sad that the younger generation doesn’t take the interest to participate in such events. Nothing against the old troopers, without them many of the living history programs would not exist.

    • Andy Hall said, on July 1, 2013 at 9:12 am

      My impression is that young people don’t much get involved in historical hobbies anyway, whether it’s reenacting or round tables or genealogy or whatever. Obviously there are plenty of exceptions, but things really do skew older than the general population.

      • Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on July 1, 2013 at 9:52 am

        Sadly, yes. Shiny gadgets are better at holding their attention.

      • Pat Young said, on July 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm

        When I used to be active in local CWRTs in the 1990s most folks were in their 40s and 50s. Now I look at pics of round table meetings and everyone has white hair. I thought that it might be because younger people got their fix online, but then I looked at my three facebook pages. My two non-history websites have median ages of 25 and 44, but my Civil War page has a median age of 54. Since all three have the same writer, it would seem to be the subject matter. I wonder if other bloggers find a similar skewing towards older readers.

      • Vince (Lancaster at War) said, on July 1, 2013 at 9:35 pm

        I think it’s very much related to a generational/cohort effect, not to mention the economy and disposable income. The current group of reenactors got started in the late 1980s/early 1990s and are now in their 50s and 60s today, which makes Civil War reenacting less attractive to a young person considering a hobby in 2013. Many young people have instead turned to WWI and WWII reenacting, which I think has a younger and more vibrant community (plus better movies about those wars over the past ten years). My guess is that participation in the hobby will crash after the Sesquicentennial but come back at least a little when the Civil War grabs the attention of another generation.

  3. kacinash said, on July 1, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Beautiful photographs. And also, those female reenactors are from my home town!

    As a young woman with historical interests, I would love to participate in such events, however, money is an issue. Not only do you have to pay for transportation and housing to such events, but the funds required to create historically accurate costuming makes it difficult for younger people to participate. I can barely make my student loan payments, let alone pay for the material to make the accoutrements necessary for a reenactor. If I ever win the lottery, you’ll see me there.

  4. Laqueesha said, on July 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Interesting. In South Korea, the ACW is also referred to as “The North-South War”.

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