Civil War reenactments, more than just a hobby


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Submitted: Sun, 02/09/2014 - 10:22am
Updated: Mon, 02/10/2014 - 2:17pm
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — You might have thought you’ve stepped back in time walking around Cameron Museum Saturday if it weren’t for the occasional iPhone picture, of course. Reenactors and Civil War enthusiasts from all over gathered to commemorate the battle of Forks Road.

Confederate soldiers around the campfire could be heard yelling out things like, “Ancestry!” “It’s in our heritage.” “In the blood.”

Blaine Massey has been reenacting battles for about 16 years working his way through the ranks to first lieutenant. He says it’s more than just a hobby.

“It’s just awe-inspiring, and it’s just spiritual. It really is,” Massey said. “It’s a completely different experience from anything I’ve ever done in my life.”

Massey says stepping on to the field feels like actually being there, and they make sure to keep even the smallest details authentic.

“You can’t have equipment that’s not period. You can’t have a can of Pepsi out or a can of Mountain Dew out,” he said. “It’s gotta be all period; even the trash cans. You can’t have anything that’s not period. Your stools, all your garments, your accoutrements, the belts, the buckles, everything’s gotta be right up to date.”

It doesn’t stop there. They sleep in tents and even eat food made from Civil War-era recipes.

Woodburns Bakery is a traveling field bakery. These bakers travel all over to battlegrounds baking and selling authentic period food items.

“We don’t cheat on like fake stuff like Crisco,” baker Pete Melching said. “We use lard and stuff like that. The real stuff.”

It seems all the details really help them get into character.

“Yeah, we whipped them Johnnies today,” one of the Union soldiers sitting by the campfire said. “Sent them all the way back up to Raleigh.”

In the end they say it’s about the carrying on the history and friendships made in the process.

“These are guys I would go to war with and die with,” Massey said.

Events like these are meant to educate in a way books cannot by allowing everyone to walk through and experience living history.

15 Comments

  • 1492 says:

    Maybe they should use E-Tobacco Pipes or perhaps install massive air filters around the entire venue.

    So, if I’m reading you right, you want to see an “authentic” environment, providing that you decide exactly what that entails.

    Newsflash … The entire universe doesn’t revolve just around you. Don’t go and you won’t have anything to whine about.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …those real, wood-burning fires they cook with might infect you with second-hand smoke too! Careful!

  • scottbennett says:

    They need to douse those tobacco pipes and adhere to a smoke-free environment for participants and spectators!!

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    And you need to stop being such a liberal little cupcake. If you don’t like the damn smoke…..DON’T ATTEND!!!!

  • SayWha? says:

    Maybe you should purchase a plastic protective air bubble that you can roll around in at re-enactments. Watch out for sharp objects though, such as sabers and bayonets. Who knows, you might become the official bubble boy of the re-enactment crowd!

    If you think that sounds ridiculous, try re-reading your own post!

  • guest000000 says:

    Do you not understand sarcasm when you see it? I guess trolls don’t understand other trolls.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    BIG TIME!!!

  • burgerboy says:

    Absolutley, they should give them e-cigs so as to keep it as historically accurate as possible!

  • Scott Bennett says:

    What message does this send to our young people, who are most affected by these reenactment scenarios? Don’t you think this will encourage them to smoke and drink the brandy that the reenactors have in their canteens?

  • 8844 says:

    The message it sends is that most people used to smoke back then and now most people don’t because since then it’s been discovered that smoking is harmful. Duh!

    Of course, one has to be smart enough to realize that in order to convey the message.

  • otherguest says:

    So, let me understand…

    We need a representative sample of today’s population to do things that were done in the past to illustrate that they should no longer be done?

    Thanks for your comment. The most intelligent part of it was “Duh!”.

  • SGT FRED JOHNSON SR says:

    After reading a article in the Star News about the Cameron Art Museum & the former battle site of the civil war, I went there finding a man with the Carmine, he took me on a tour showing me the area that the Battle had took place.Even the trenches are still in place from that war.So [I]started talking to pepole about this over time after a year or two we held our frst Reenactment.I carried the reef in ou marching uptp MR DAN CAMERON [OWNER OF THE PROPERITY] I PLACE THE REEF IN HIS HANDS

    Happy to say we happy to say it was the 5th USCT INFANTRY FROM OHIO was the unit that was the winner in ending the war at Forks Road.we have been holding Reenactments each year in Feburary ever since.I stand to be correced if nessary>>>>>>>>>>>
    Thanks, Sgt Fred Johnson sr

  • Sgt Fred Johnson sr says:

    Seeing this story looks like someone did not know it was the US COLORED TROOPS THAT ended this Battle of Forks Roads I feel alittle let down that WE WERE NOT INTERVIEWED I am the senior member of Battery B 2nd Regiment Light Artillery inc.I would be very happy to hear from film crew why they didnot come to my location?? Thanks,
    Sincerly Sgt Fred

  • Scott Bennett says:

    So, it is ok to smoke tobacco and expose others to tobacco as a nod to history.

    Why is it not ok for a people to gather in a bar and smoke because they enjoy it?

    You are right, your response does sound ridiculous (bubble boy?).

  • dwilliams says:

    I am so sad that I missed this event last weekend. Somehow I missed the advertisement.
    Stay true to the history, regardless of the complaints of others. It is what/how things were and I appreciate that. Thank you!

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