I dislike the tone and language of the article. Because the author is tired of the civil war, he is detracting reenactors? I don't really understand his overall point here. Reenactors are doing the leg work of teaching the average American about the civil war. I am fresh out of school (kind of) and I can tell you that students learn nothing from class. Going to reenactments and talking to the guys is how people learn. Some of what the author said is just plain incorrect. I've been reenacting for about 13 years in 2 states with probably 5 different units, confederate and union, and there have never been lotteries or any pre-planning of "who dies first" or when or how. I've also never heard a reenacter try to correct someone by saying they are a "living historian". I've heard people use that term before, but no reenactor I have ever met would be against being called a "reenactor". Also I dont know what spectators have "paid a hefty fee" to gain entry, but every reenactment I've been to has been on public land.
I also dislike how the author brings up slavery. Maybe he forgets that free blacks serving in the confederate army were paid the same as whites, and that blacks in the union army were paid 1/3 the salary of whites and that the famous "buffalo soldiers" weren't paid at all. Or that the north had slavery until the 13th amendment AFTER the war was over.
Like most authors about most things, this guy needs to get his facts straight. Also he should appreciate the efforts of those who share his passion for history and who put their time and effort into this hobby, which includes educating people. This guy gets paid to talk to scholars about things they probably already know on some level. Reenactors are volunteers who take time and money away from their lives to talk to average joe blow from the street about the Civil War.
This article is an opinionated joke.
"When yer wounded an' left on Afghanistan's plains,
An' the women come out to cut up yer remains,
Just roll to yer rifle, an' blow out yer brains,
An' go to yer Gawd like a soldier."
- Rudyard Kipling, in the Korengal Valley
Last edited by Spike 7.62; 06-27-2011 at 22:19..