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an answer for Betsy

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  • Sean
    On the simplest, most base level I reenact because it s fun. I like guns... I like to shoot guns... I like to shoot guns at other people... oops... I mean I
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 29, 1999
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      On the simplest, most base level I reenact because it's fun. I like guns...
      I like to shoot guns... I like to shoot guns at other people... oops... I
      mean I like to shoot guns with blanks at other people... hehe...he...he...
      well you know.

      But more seriously I do the hobby because it's a good education for myself
      and for my wife and someday, I hope, for my son. I enjoy military history
      but there is only so much that you can get out of a history book. I'm
      taking what I've learned and am applying it in a practical sense to
      understand more about the common soldier as an individual and what life was
      like back then for them.

      The hobby has expanded my knowledge in so many other areas as well. I sew
      all my own (period) clothes, do all my own leather work, make the shakos
      for our unit etc, etc. In short I'm doing a lot of stuff I wouldn't have
      done if, say, my hobby had been Sunday afternoon football.

      I, like Terry Lubka used to be concerned about educating the public, and
      maybe on a subconcious level I still do, but I have found out after a great
      many years of frustrating conversation that they really don't care if your
      have 6.25 hand stitches per inches in your coat or that your black desert
      boots aren't quite period. The public want a good battle... period! I take
      reenacting seriously for myself... to learn things for me. It really is a
      joy when a spectator asks a serious and somewhat educated question. That's
      when I feel I can pass on some of what I've learned.


      Sean Hirst
      Corporal - Royal Newfoundland Reg't, Lt. Coy
      Private - Glengarry Light Infantry
      *********************************
      945-0591
    • mmathews@xxxx.xxxxxx.xxxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
      ... (snip) ... Exactly! I ve read countless versions of column assaults, but until I marched in the 7th rank of an 8 rank deep column and felt *genuine
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 29, 1999
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        >From: Sean <shirst@...>
        >
        (snip)
        >But more seriously I do the hobby because it's a good education for myself
        >and for my wife and someday, I hope, for my son. I enjoy military history
        >but there is only so much that you can get out of a history book.

        Exactly! I've read countless versions of column assaults, but until I
        marched in the 7th rank of an 8 rank deep column and felt *genuine anxiety*
        because I couldn't see anything, I didn't really have a clue what it was
        about. Granted no one was trying to kill me (the ramrod launching Walloons
        were on *our* side), but it gave me a small taste. Not to mention the mud
        sucking at your shoes...

        Michael

        (big snip)

        Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
        Voice: (507) 285-7585 Fax: (507) 280-5568
        ------------------------------
        "Wit is educated insolence." -- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
      • Bateman, Andrew
        Michael Matthews wrote: Exactly! I ve read countless versions of column assaults, but until I marched in the 7th rank of an 8 rank deep column and felt
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 29, 1999
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          Michael Matthews wrote:

          Exactly! I've read countless versions of column assaults, but until I
          marched in the 7th rank of an 8 rank deep column and felt *genuine anxiety*
          because I couldn't see anything, I didn't really have a clue what it was
          about. <Snip>

          Andrew writes:

          I think you've touched on something profound that is an important part of
          many people's reenacting experiences: the "period rush"! This may be
          defined as a moment, usually only fleeting, where you actually feel that you
          are *in* the period you are portraying. For those who have experienced it,
          no explanation is necessary. For those who have not, perhaps no explanation
          is possible.

          Usually, when I reenact it is a chance to relax and forget about the modern
          world, camp out, wear a nifty uniform, "bond" with my buddies, experience
          wearing and using the equipment, etc. and it is an enjoyable experience.
          Once in a great while, however, I get touched by history in a more profound
          way. It hasn't happened in 1812 yet - though one can only hope - but it has
          in ACW.

          Once was on the second day of a campaign style tactical where you took to
          the field for the weekend with only the blanket roll on your back and a
          haversack full of food. We were all bone tired and had just completed
          another pointless flank march, arriving too late for the fight. As soon as
          we halted we began taking advantage of the few moments' respite, just like
          veteran soldiers. Some men flopped to the ground and went straight to
          sleep, while others gathered sticks for a fire and started boiling coffee
          right there! When we were suddenly ordered to move again the coffee boilers
          kicked out their fire and we all fell back in, cursing the $#@!*!! officers.
          For the moment I actually felt like I was on campaign!

          Another was at a dusk battle at Gettysburg in '92 where the sunset was red
          and the field was so filled with powder smoke that you couldn't see more
          then 30 feet and the only sound was thousands of muskets and dozens of
          cannon and I was shouting at the top of my lungs to keep our disintegrating
          line dressed and then there was the orange flash of a volley through the
          smoke in front of us and then there was the dark shape of a Rebel line
          looming up in front of us and OHMIGOOOOOD!!!!!! WHOOOOAAA!!!! I'M IN 1863!

          These "period rushes" are what keep me coming back to reenacting. People
          can snicker at the "hardcore" types who "aren't having fun" and say what
          they like about bringing modern comforts along but the truth is that unless
          you have experienced *some* discomfort you are not getting close to the life
          of the soldier and the period rush remains as elusive as the Unicorn. Would
          stealing a few moments on a march to boil coffee have felt so sweet if
          coffee was as close as the nearest vendor and my only concern was whether to
          wander to sutler row or sit in the shade? I think not.

          My 2 cents worth,

          Pte. Andrew Bateman, 41st Reg't
        • zorniak
          Why do I do this? WHY? WHY? WHY? I cut my teeth in 1968 at Lower Fort Garry NH Site as a gunner on vintage 1830 s 3 pounder. We were badly trained, equipped
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 29, 1999
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            Why do I do this? WHY? WHY? WHY?

            I cut my teeth in 1968 at Lower Fort Garry NH Site as a "gunner" on vintage 1830's 3 pounder. We were badly trained, equipped and attired (6th of Foot Royal
            Warwickshire) by today's standards. Somehow stuffing 12 oz of F grade powder (in a salt peter impregnated bag) down a bronze tube and watching the gun roll back 12
            inches gave me a sense of what it may have been about to serve in the British army of the time.

            We (as a family) have made numerous trips to the Niagara Region (since 1980). The forts were always a feature of the trips. Marie (my better half) and I were always
            dragging the kids through historic sites and "educating" them on our history.

            Being from Manitoba (a virtual hot bed of 1812 re-enacting) and under the guidance of Barry MacPherson and Frederick Carsted I took the leap in '94. I bought a musket
            and kit. '95 saw Fort Erie. As the lonely de Watteville I took the blame. (Drummond still lives).

            Mississinewa '95 saw a US border guard reach for her 9 mm when a buddy said we were going to the US to shoot Americans.

            Fort George '96 saw my 13 year old carry and fire a musket in battle. What a thrill that was! Especially when I know he was there in another time zone. HG Wells, you
            don't have patent on time travel.

            '97, '98, '99...Ft George, Mississinewa, Mackinac, Penetang, Fort York, Fort George...

            Being from Manitoba (as well as a good number of other fellow re-enactors) we think nothing of driving for 24+ hours (or flying for 3 hours) to do an event.

            WHY?

            One simple reason. We have always been welcomed by fellow re-enactors to play in their back yard.

            WHY?

            One simple reason. The War of 1812 is not recognized as monumentous historical event. Yet the camaraderie of US and Canadian units on the field and off tell us it was
            important. We have grown as two nations because of it and will continue to do so.

            WHY?

            One simple reason. Does insanity count? To stand, march (and of course take a hit when the damn musket craps out) in wool, 90 deg+ weather, sleeping under canvas. No
            showers for 3 days. If insanity does not play a part...then what does?

            Betsy, in a "nut" shell you have reasons why we do this.

            We love it!

            Don Zorniak
          • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
            ... Huzzah! At last! A man after my own heart!!!!! Cheers! B (now transplanted way off in So. CA, which is a heck of a lot farther than TX was...and no, I am
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 30, 1999
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              In a message dated 29/7/1999 3:58:08 PM, zorniak@... writes:

              >Being from Manitoba (as well as a good number of other fellow re-enactors)
              >we think nothing of driving for 24+ hours (or flying for 3 hours) to do
              >an event.


              Huzzah! At last! A man after my own heart!!!!!

              Cheers!
              B
              (now transplanted way off in So. CA, which is a heck of a lot farther than TX
              was...and no, I am NOT rich...)
              http://hometown.aol.com/ninety3rd
              THE Thin Red Line
            • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
              In a message dated 7/30/99 8:43:30 AM Central Daylight Time, NINETY3RD@aol.com writes:
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 3 8:54 AM
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                In a message dated 7/30/99 8:43:30 AM Central Daylight Time,
                NINETY3RD@... writes:

                << Being from Manitoba (as well as a good number of other fellow re-enactors)
                we think nothing of driving for 24+ hours (or flying for 3 hours) to do
                an event.


                Huzzah! At last! A man after my own heart!!!!!
                >>


                And just for the record I just returned from the event at Mackinaw, 4 hours
                flying (including a 50 min layover in Atlanta) and a 4 1/2 hour drive. And
                that's each way.

                And worth every second.

                Cheers

                Tim
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