Civil War living history has evolved from shooting Civil War arms (the N-SSA was founded in 1950 and thrives today still), to reenacting during the Centennial (and these continued at a large scale on major anniversaries) to "living history" and historical impressions.
Are there any groups that do events just for themselves - not for tourists or historic sites? While I am totally for historic preservation and also for educating the public about what the Civil War soldier was really like - I think it would be great to be off away from the 21st century for a weekend (or more) and eat, sleep, march, and fight (short of the bullets and blood needless to say) just like the soldiers of 1861-1865?
Yes, there are things we reenactors do just for ourselves....no public....They're called "Tacticals". We have one scheduled for May 2006.
I've not yet been to one, so this will be my first. As I understand, the 2 armies will fight it out....no script. At this one, the distance between the two lines will start at a mile.....My pards tell me this is the most realistic thing we do, and it's possible to "go through a window" and for an instant, actually feel like you're in the 1860's and some enemy soldier is trying to kill you.....
George, the event we run in Key West does take place at an historic structure and the public is invited. However, we run a patrol skirmish that is totally not scripted. As the coordinator of the event, I explain the scenario to the opposing commanders the day before it happens--the CSA has landed some troops by boat, a federal patrol is dispatched out of the fort to investigate. The "winner" of the skirmish depends on the commander and his tactics. Neither side knows what the other is up to (unless there's some espionage underway!). Come visit us in February and have some fun!