Imagining War: The Material Experience of Civil War Reenactment

Archaeology and Material Culture

On the afternoon of July 7th, a column of reenactors will launch yet another futile assault on Cemetery Ridge, 150 years and four days after the slope was originally charged by 12,500 Confederates who left half of their number dead on the hillside.  The Pickett’s Charge performance will cap four days of reenactments at Gettysburg a century-and-a-half after the battle.  Visitors will be able to tour camps with roughly 10,000 reenactors and watch the key moments in the battle from grandstand seating or a live pay-per-view “battlecast.”  This summer similar sesquicentennial reenactments will be held at the Battle of Corydon (Indiana), Morgan’s Raid (Ohio), the Battle of Richmond (Kentucky), and the Battle of Chickamauga (Ohio), following 150-year anniversary reenactments at Manassas/Bull Run in 2011, the Battle of Shiloh and the Battle of Antietam in 2012, and the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 2013.

We are now in the…

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