Should Civil War re-enactments be abandoned?
The Patriot-News ^ | July 7, 2013 | Donald Gilliland
Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013 2:09:26 AM by 2ndDivisionVet
Civil War commemorations and re-enactors are practically synonymous, but as the Gettysburg hoopla began last week, the Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College said very publicly the commemoration would be better without all the men in blue and gray pretending to be soldiers.
On June 29, the Wall Street Journal ran a story that said, “Peter Carmichael, a professor of history at Gettysburg College, calls re-enactments an ‘unfortunate distraction’ from a deeper understanding of the Civil War, including the motivations of those who fought and its legacy.”
Later that same night, Carmichael quoted himself to me at the media reception in Gettysburg sponsored by the college: “unfortunate distraction.”
Across town, in a field of canvas dog tents next to the Pennsylvania Monument, Tom Downes told me, “A lot of guys in this camp have probably done more research than a lot of academics – they just haven’t written a book: they wanted to know what kind of cartridge box was used in 1862 in Virginia.”
Downes, 63, has been re-enacting for 33 years. He’s the founder of the 8th Ohio re-enactment group and leader of the National Regiment, one of the two re-enactment organizations the National Park Service asked to do Living History demonstrations on the battlefield during the July 1-3 commemoration…..
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.pennlive.com …