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Electronic devices at historical events. - Idle Chit-Chat - The Lounge - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Mon Mar 17th, 2008 10:18 pm
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Gunner
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Photo of union officer on horse back at reenactment with obvious cell phone ear plug on the battlefield. I have not attended a livinghistory or reenactment. I will be going to my first one out here next month. Is this normal? Was it being used in cooperation with the event staff? Is this how it is going to be? That photo kinda wet my powder and I am just getting started.

Thank you,

Gunner.:(



 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 12:22 am
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Johan Steele
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It depends upon the context. Some organizers, event coordinators etc use modern comm to keep safety at the forefront. I've seen paramedics dressed in a cheap sack coat and forage cap in an effort to at least partially conceal their presence. Their uniforms were pretty farby but the effort was at least there and I think the half dozen gits who dropped from heat problems appreciated their presence. At a better powder burner or tactical the ear piece might indicate a judge or a safety monitor of sorts. IE: "There's a cannon just over the top of the hill, wait for it to fire before you charge your men over the top." Also in a tactical, the couple I've been to, the judges usually have modern comm; ie: "Tell the NCO w/ the beat up Hardee to take a hit a sharpshooter just drilled him." and at your end the judge says: "Sgt, take a hit a sharpshooter just nailed you." A tacticals can get very intense and realistic w/ the fog of war being very real so it is sometimes very important to have modern comm to keep people from getting hurt. Particularly important if the range is great... I've been tagged as wounded at about 300 yards that way and seen casualties taken from arty fire at most of a thousand yards in that way.

But that said I've seen some pretty nasty anachronistic stuff over the years. And even if I saw the photo I might not have anything more than a guess w/out having a better understanding of the context. A lot has to deal w/ the kind of events you attend. The stricter the standards, and their enforcement, the better the event in most cases IMO. I've been to an event where a fella w/ Cabela's special Hawken was asked to borrow a legit arm or take a hike... and those were about the words. I've also been to events where such was allowed due to a desperate need for bodies... no matter how bad they looked.

Hope that makes some sense.



 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 02:17 am
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Crazy Delawares
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Johan is dead on!
Don't let it "wet your powder," Gunner. For the most part, you're gonna have one heckuva GREAT time! Anytime you can smell burnt blackpowder at a re-enactment event, it's a VERY good day!



 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 06:29 pm
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younglobo
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gunner .. I would agree with Johan and crazy. Dont let one guy's mess up that could of been legitamate keep you from trying a cool hobby. I have had my runins with some of the same things johan describes. As a reenactor my last job required me to be on call 24/7 so I had my cell phone in my saddlebag on the field (on vibrate). It is a hobby afterall have to pay the bills and feed the kids.



 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 06:43 pm
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Kernow-Ox
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younglobo wrote: It is a hobby afterall
You know, although I'm not a re-enactor, I can appreciate this sentiment. I think I'd have more respect for someone who took the time to get his kit right, and perhaps quietly supported others get theirs right, than one who made it his life's calling to belittle others.








 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 10:18 pm
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younglobo
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Kernow.. most reenactors are good folks and make what I like to call pards. Some of my closest friends are reenactors. 2 of my pards outfitted me on my first event and being cav that is a BIG deal. I am friends with the common reenactor I hate to use the word Hardcore but if you are going to o something do it right. I cant get into thread counting,and peeing on buttons ect. I do the best to make my Impression the best it can be, I try to keep one foot in the civil war era and one in reality.



 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 10:49 pm
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Kernow-Ox
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Absolutely - it's all down to attitude.



 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 11:12 pm
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younglobo
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after having reread that i feel i should clarify I feel I am the common reenactor not a hardcore. I think Hardcores are good in some ways getting the impression right ect. but they tend to run off some that are well meaning folks interested in the hobby. Its an age old debate , probably as old as reenacting.



 Posted: Wed Mar 19th, 2008 10:35 pm
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Johan Steele
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I think Younglobo is spot on. I don't consider myself a hardcore by any means; probably a progressive would better describe me in that I am always trying to improve my impression and striving for as accurate a kit as possible. I strive for the "Touch rule" in that someone speaking w/ me could touch my gear and not be able to tell it apart from an original. Others ascribe to the "20' Rule" in which case someone looking from 20' away wouldn't know the difference those I don't respect go for the "Hollywood Rule" in which their gear might pass muster for a TV movie. Different standards to strive for and different attitudes about what is the focus of the hobby. I focus on trying to do things right others focus on just having a good time. Either way is ok; it's history and that fella who has a cooler & cot in his tent and a cell phone in his pocket is still closer to understanding what a CW soldier experianced than by just reading a book. He's suffered the heat of an event often feeling the same excitement and if everything is just right some of the fear, confusion and apprehension and such that comes w/ a real battle. He does it knowing the smoke doesn't push real lead death towards him but his mind can better undersytand things.

I go a few steps further. My gear is the same weight & construction as an original, nothing is in my kit except what a soldier of 1863 would have carried, I sleep in a dog tent w/ just a ground cloth & blanket as they did. I've done route marches and participated in a couple campaign weekends where I totally immerse myself in my persona and leave the 21st century fully behind. But I do all of the above knowing full well I don't need to worry about dysentery or other nastiness and that I will be returning toa hot shower and work at the end of the event. It will never be real; and than God for that. What it has given me is a DEEP respect for the soldier of the CW and a grasp of what he accomplished. So I know what I'm talking about when I talk about route marching 12 miles in a day, living on Hardtack, salt pork and coffee (Tea in my case as I'm not supposed to drink Coffee) and I can hit a man sized target at 400 yards w/ my M1841 or an M1861 because I have done those things.

There is more to it than that by far: period attitudes, language & knowledge. I primarily do Living Histories and classroom presentations w/ a targeted audience in the grade school to preteen range. But I also have presented to almost any kind of audience you can imagine. For me it is important to show how the men of the CW acted and lived. It is a picture... I don't play war very often as that just isn't my cup of tea.

As to the animosity between "hardcore and farbs" there are elitists in any group; people who think themselves better than everyone else and who go out of their way to prove it to themselves and rundown someone else. In other words there are some nutters in any group. Some of the finest men I have met in the hobby are what can only be called true hardcores in that they strive for perfection in every aspect of their kit, both physically and materially. That said I've also met some who are just plain jerks. I've met streamers who are just as interested in the history but are unwilling, for a variety of legitimate reasons, to go that next step. They're content w/ where they are in the hobby and I have no problem w/ that, in fact I applaud it. I've also seen those who put no effort forward, they're there to drink and play cowboy and wouldn't know a Johhny Reb from a Billy Yank if they got clobbered by one. Then there are those like me who just plain obsess... we're just nuts.



 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 12:09 am
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Kernow-Ox
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Cheers Johan. That saves me having to ask the 'what do you get out of re-enacting' question I was working on.

The more I think about it, the more I agree with you that re-enacting offers valuable contributions to understanding the soldier's life. For instance when I go hiking I know how heavy my standard hiking pack is and how much it impedes my progress, but that is no way comparable to carrying a period bag filled with period equipment wearing brogans. And that's without considering the additional strains of gun, ammo, fear, and starvation rations.



 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 02:10 am
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Crazy Delawares
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I couldn't say it any better! The stuff I enjoy the most other than the folks I meet, are the things I learn! I approach every event as if I have something to learn. I open up my ears, ask questions and try to get "it" right. I love it when, after taking a "hit," some Reb approaches my "lifeless" body, lifts up my brogans or boots and says, "Naw! Too small." (Or big.) I enjoy being part of a scenario where a "sawbones" is administering first aid to me. That's cool! We are helping each other with our impressions and it is one of the few times when folks are actually trying to help each other with what they're doing.
I've seen some GREAT things happen on the "field of battle" that inspire me to do better. I'm actually trying to learn some German. I fill in the ranks wherever there's a need. I've been a captain, Lieutenant (1st & 2nd), 1st sgt. and a private. I like being a private the most because I get to shoot my old "smokepole" and make more noise and smoke than I would by waving my sabre and yelling, "Give it to 'em, boys!" It's just an excellent hobby where you can meet guys like Johann, Pvt. Clewell, Youngblood and the ladies who work very hard on getting it right as well. It is definitely worth the sweat!



 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 04:55 am
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susansweet
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I love to watch the battles and see the troops march  to and from the battles.  I am usually manning a booth for the Drum Barracks or Daughters of Union Vets but almost always in period dress.  I am still putting that together .  But love to be in hoops and  dress .  I wish I had the long hair to wear period hair at events but I don't . 

I have made some great friends at events.  Last month was the first event of the season .  I was so surpised at how many people I knew and how glad we were to see each other . 

Nice thing about working the booth for the Drum is everyone stops by to say hello.  I get to see almost everyone . 

Two weeks til Prado , the first big event of the year.  Really looking forward to it .

Susan



 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 05:03 am
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ole
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I envy you guys who are young and spry and enthusiastic about reenacting. I missed that part. But I do get a kick out of watching and make a practice of attending every reenactment that comes within a reasonable drive.Go for it. I can enjoy it as well.

ole



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