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Should Civil War re-enactments be abandoned?
The Patriot-News ^ | July 7, 2013 | Donald Gilliland

Posted on 07/10/2013 11:09:26 PM PDT 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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: civilwar; gettysburg; godsgravesglyphs; history; reenactors
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1 posted on 07/10/2013 11:09:26 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Cosplay is in vogue - at least its educational


2 posted on 07/10/2013 11:11:32 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Without the re-enactments there would only be a few tourists.

Those re-enactors spend a lot of money traveling to Gettysburg and bringing their families along. It isn’t like they are re-enacting 24/7 there are plenty of times when people can visit Gettysburg when the re-enactors aren’t there.
This professor is just another Richard Cranium.


3 posted on 07/10/2013 11:15:02 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The professor, like so many of his colleagues, is as foolish and benighted as he is intellectually snobbish. His snobbery is unearned, for he is ignorant of some of the fundamental contributions of reenacting. Reenactments not only educate the general public and the participants about the events of the past; they also permit a type of experimental anthropology research, in which the reenactors find out how our ancestors lived—how they experienced their environment. Research into the personal lives of individuals or of non-famous people is a valid, relatively new area of study, and it’s no less important than the study of which great man fought which battle. Reenactments permit this type of study.

The idiot is probably annoyed because for a few weekends a year he can’t find a parking place. He should shut up.


4 posted on 07/10/2013 11:22:10 PM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare--now a Marine Mom)
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To: ottbmare

This country would be better off in so many ways if we could get rid of professional academics.

Maybe we need term limits for college professors? After 5 years they need to go out and get a real job where they have to produce something of value for 5 years before they can return for another 5 year hitch. Rinse and repeat.


5 posted on 07/10/2013 11:25:36 PM PDT by CarmichaelPatriot
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I saw a reenactment at Gettysburg in the 1990’s. Where I live we have Revolutionary War Reenactments. It’s one of the things that keep or get kids interested in history, in my opinion. Many of the people do know more about the events they’re reenacting then the so-called Academics. I’ve seen many kids also get interested in the military by attending reenactments, which may be why a lefty college Professor may have a problem with them. To me, a reenactment is a play put on for free by people that devote their time to preserving history. But it also shows that the soldiers were real people, and we can’t have that./s


6 posted on 07/10/2013 11:26:40 PM PDT by MacMattico
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To: CarmichaelPatriot

that could be an interesting idea


7 posted on 07/10/2013 11:28:00 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: GeronL

Placemarker


8 posted on 07/10/2013 11:33:57 PM PDT by kalee
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To: kalee

I get that a lot!


9 posted on 07/10/2013 11:36:32 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Puritans, leftist extremists, and career academics are deathly afraid someone, somewhere may be having fun.


10 posted on 07/10/2013 11:37:48 PM PDT by Standing Wolf
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well for one thing, it humanizes BOTH sides, and America doesn’t stand for that anymore.


11 posted on 07/10/2013 11:38:31 PM PDT by PghBaldy (12/14 - 930am -rampage begins... 12/15 - 1030am - Obama's advance team scouts photo-op locations.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No. It’s a dry run before the country really splits into 2 in the near future.


12 posted on 07/10/2013 11:38:49 PM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company after the election, & laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“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.”

Maybe Peter would have a better deeper understanding of
the Civil war if he marched 15 miles on a hand full of
partched corn then spent the night in a thin wool blanket
knowing that when the sun came up other guys just like
him would be trying to blow his head off.

It’s ok Peter we know you meant it’s a destraction from
the racism and slavery and how everything today
revolves around that point. Well, doesn’t it for you?


13 posted on 07/10/2013 11:39:08 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Venturer

There’s a South Park episode where the Confederate actors just got fed up of losing to the North that they really took over state after state while drinking. Maybe this perfessor’ should wish for this happen.


14 posted on 07/10/2013 11:46:33 PM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company after the election, & laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Using his logic, there should be no Christmas or Easter pageants or reenactments.
15 posted on 07/10/2013 11:49:22 PM PDT by Nemoque
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To: Venturer

When the re-enactors aren’t there, neither is much of anybody else.

I’m near there so I see it.

During Gettysburg Bike Week, you can have the place nearly to yourself, even on the weekends.

A few brave souls tromping around but nothing like the weekends when the ‘battles’ are going.

Then, you can barely move on the sidewalks.

I’m wondering what this years GBW will be like, since things are sort of running simultaneously.

Should be...weird.

:)


16 posted on 07/10/2013 11:55:31 PM PDT by Salamander (.......Uber Alice!.......)
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To: tet68

tet68 delivers a rousing smack upside the head.

The crowd goes wild.

;]


17 posted on 07/10/2013 11:56:52 PM PDT by Salamander (.......Uber Alice!.......)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The readers comments to the effect that professor Carmichael, a critic of reenactments and reenactors is a Marxist, are revealing.

Assuming the description to be true, we have the application of The Frankfurt School brought to the sacred battlegrounds of Gettysburg. The Marxists seek to control history, the way we study history, the conclusions we draw from history, and, ultimately, the way we think about the world. The Critical Theory is an attempt to so disparage what we think we know and how we know it so that we are eventually prepared psychologically for a a new worldview conveniently supplied to us courtesy of Marxism.

We conservatives have largely lost these battles in the kindergartens, grammar schools, middle schools, high schools and universities of America so it is not surprising that the struggle to indoctrinate has moved to a real battleground.


18 posted on 07/10/2013 11:59:01 PM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Salamander

Liberal academics make me sick.

I’m saving my money to get everything I need for
the Vietnam reenactment.

WW I. starts next year.

Howz that lil pup?


19 posted on 07/11/2013 12:01:18 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Standing Wolf
Puritans, leftist extremists, and career academics are deathly afraid someone, somewhere may be having fun.

Well, they sure Bowdlerized the Fur Trapper's Rendezvous.

20 posted on 07/11/2013 12:02:50 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: max americana

Here’s the link:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s03e14-the-red-badge-of-gayness


21 posted on 07/11/2013 12:03:18 AM PDT by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters of Freedom, Committee of Correspondence)
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To: nathanbedford

Bingo!


22 posted on 07/11/2013 12:03:23 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: MacMattico
My wife and her sister were at the one on the 4th at Gettysburg.
We pretty regularly tour the Battle field (a couple of times year).
We saw one other reenactment several years ago that was relatively good.

My wife and her sister said the one a few days ago was very poorly done. They said the crowds where terrible and the sound system was very inefficiently sited around the displays and tents. Parking and visitor/crowd management were terrible they said.

They were glad they went, but agreed with me they should have gone there on a non holiday day. They did say the battlefield is benefiting from the restore they have been working on. The trees, grass, and woodland debris has been restored to more like it was back in the days of the battle.

My wife said it gave whole new views from some of the sites than we had when we first viewed them over the previous we were there. PCN did a great job over the 5 or so days they covered it on TV. They both said they got almost more from that, then being there in the heat with the crowds and traffic.

I have to tell you I still get a tear or two very time when there.
23 posted on 07/11/2013 12:21:47 AM PDT by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: tet68

Just because I liked the subject, I took the same Civil War class 3 times in HS.

It was straight forward, factual stuff with no touchy-feely PC garbage mixed in.

I can’t figure out what crapaganda they’re teaching now.

It must be a nightmare.

Which pup?

Halla?

She died May 22 from complications of congenital hydrocephalus.

Out new pup, Seven [Desdinova’s Magna Of Illusion] is a little Euro Dobe pistol...:)

Hang for a pic.


24 posted on 07/11/2013 12:28:58 AM PDT by Salamander (.......Uber Alice!.......)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
calls re-enactments an 'unfortunate distraction'

I'd bet the Gettysburg Chamber of Commerce wouldn't agree with that. A pretty nice percentage of that areas tax base comes from reenactors.

25 posted on 07/11/2013 12:29:47 AM PDT by catfish1957 (Face it!!!! The government in DC is full of treasonous bastards)
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To: tet68

Seven’s page

http://dobermann-pinschers.com/seven.php

There’s a tribute video on Halla’s page.


26 posted on 07/11/2013 12:31:50 AM PDT by Salamander (.......Uber Alice!.......)
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To: 3Fingas

More Schnapps! XD


27 posted on 07/11/2013 12:31:52 AM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company after the election, & laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: Smokin' Joe

The Ivory Tower Eggheads think they own the Civil War. Prove them wrong. Don’t buy their books.


28 posted on 07/11/2013 12:34:11 AM PDT by tdscpa
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I've read over 30 books about the civil war but I got more REAL knowledge about the period by attending one very good reenactment in Northern Ohio.

I got to carry a typical union soldiers kit (Sans Uniform) and march and maneuver while sporting it. Some brilliant reenactor organized classes that let tourists participate in basic maneuvers and a simulated attack (no ammo no bayonets) so people could understand the logistics involved in getting a typical civil war soldier from point a to point b.

All of the equipment used was cheap replicas but fairly accurate in weight and size. The class was popular and sold out quickly.

After being involved in the class I had a greatly increased respect for soldiers who were in attacks like the Union Soldiers at Fredericksburg and the Southern Troops in Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. No book could have conveyed the info I learned in that class better.

Further seeing a full scale reenactment with artillery and all the noise and smoke is startling AND shows how hard it was for commanders to see the battle and adjust strategies once the engagement was underway.

The author of this piece knows two things about reenactments. "Jack" and "Shit"...

29 posted on 07/11/2013 12:58:58 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Comments?

Not just no, but HELL no.

30 posted on 07/11/2013 12:59:23 AM PDT by Jeff Winston
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The fundamental assumption of Carmichael (the academic) is that "professional" historians know the "real story" and re-enactors don't. In fact, after reading the output of academic historians for the last 30 years, I find that they are usually the least likely to fully understand motives and events, especially as most current members of the academy have a variety of leftist axes to grind.

Although I think a lot of re-enactors have unrealistic views of history, I do not think they are any more ill-informed than your typical academic. Carmichael is an elitist snob.

31 posted on 07/11/2013 1:06:00 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Even if the professor’s criticisms were true, a division of re-enactors couldn’t do the damage to the memory of the sacred ground of Gettysburg that was done by one of his colleagues; namely, that Goodwin woman.


32 posted on 07/11/2013 1:58:47 AM PDT by tanuki (Left-wing Revolution: show biz for boring people.)
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To: Nemoque
Using his logic, there should be no Christmas or Easter pageants or reenactments.

That would probably be fine with the vast majority of professors.

33 posted on 07/11/2013 2:07:55 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

motivations?

so they’ll discuss the north’s inability to compete against the south’s slave labor? (the labor standard across the world at the time)


34 posted on 07/11/2013 2:11:33 AM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Downes, 63, has been re-enacting for 33 years.”

Civil War re-enactments will be abandoned due to demographics anyway. I like the fact that they give people a feel for the sounds and smells of real battles, but in the future it will be hard to pitch an assorted group of turbaned, blue-bellied Arabs as troops of the North fighting against pint-sized, beardless Mexicans dressed in gray as troops of the South.

Our history has become meaningless to the increasing number of people who’ve been in this country less than 20 years, and it will mean nothing to their children.


35 posted on 07/11/2013 2:21:05 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Just call it Civil War Performance Art. Elitists give a whole lot of leeway to those two magic words. Art philosophy trumps fact in the ivory towers.


36 posted on 07/11/2013 2:34:07 AM PDT by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: ottbmare

Beautiful post, Ott! In 2002, I produced a film for one of the National Historic Battlefields about an event pertaining to the War of 1812. I hired an ‘academic’ to write the script, but was wise enough to run it by the commanders of the reenactors, to check for errors - of which they found many.


37 posted on 07/11/2013 2:58:15 AM PDT by LittleBillyInfidel (This tagline has been formatted to fit the screen. Some content has been edited.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is part of a broader campaign to eliminate all things military from society and history. Reenactments remind people that there are things called wars, and things called battles. Think of Howard Zinn, who covers the Civil War without discussing a single battle.


38 posted on 07/11/2013 3:17:46 AM PDT by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: nathanbedford
Assuming the description to be true, we have the application of The Frankfurt School brought to the sacred battlegrounds of Gettysburg. The Marxists seek to control history, the way we study history, the conclusions we draw from history, and, ultimately, the way we think about the world

Nailed it.

When that thing about Doris Kearns Goodwin hit, I got into a BIG argument with a Liberal friend (yes, I have one or two) who's involved in national Dem politics over it. The points he made consisted of drawing an analogy between reenactors/battlefied study playing with green army men, saying that you can't divorce political history from military history and that it's necessary to connect history to events today (IOW Gettysburg is all about gay rights) in order to make them relevant. Pretty pathetic. He didn't like it very much when I told him he needed to get a real job that didn't involve using 1984 as a how-to manual ...
39 posted on 07/11/2013 3:32:57 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: max americana
No. It’s a dry run before the country really splits into 2 in the near future.

Only two?

40 posted on 07/11/2013 3:37:39 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“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.”

Oh, p-— off egghead.
Talking ain’t the same as experiencing.


41 posted on 07/11/2013 3:57:43 AM PDT by servo1969
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ll bet Peter Carmichael never fried up some side meat in a canteen half on a rainy day.


42 posted on 07/11/2013 4:04:59 AM PDT by PeteB570 ( Islam is the sea in which the Terrorist Shark swims. The deeper the sea the larger the shark.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I like going to any reenactment stuff. Sometimes learn things, see equipment and other gear, and more time to play with the cameras.

One CW artillery crowd I talked to a year or so back said it was getting to expensive to fire the cannon.


43 posted on 07/11/2013 4:05:57 AM PDT by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Academia feels the heat of amateur competition.


44 posted on 07/11/2013 4:09:03 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Who will shoot Liberty Valence?)
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To: Mad Dawgg

I’ve been to a few re-enactments and they’re pretty amazing. Even though the guys are typically older and fatter than a typical soldier of the time, watching them walk across an open field with cannons and guns firing really gives you a feeling about the battle, rather than simply reading “Lee did this and then Meade did that...”


45 posted on 07/11/2013 4:09:36 AM PDT by perez24 (Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

These days there’s always one party pooper.

And it’s usually some egghead with a “cause.”


46 posted on 07/11/2013 4:31:25 AM PDT by Jack Hammer (American)
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To: nathanbedford

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

- George Santayana


47 posted on 07/11/2013 4:39:38 AM PDT by Dr.Deth
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Of course they should continue.....the South needs the practice.


48 posted on 07/11/2013 4:42:37 AM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (Any law repugnant to the Constitutuon is null and void.....ENFORCE THE BILL OF RIGHTS! It's the Law.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Try banning it and see. They do not know passion until they meet these Civil War buffs.

LLS


49 posted on 07/11/2013 4:42:47 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Professor Carmichael’s profession has been completely hijacked by those who view history as a tool to advance their political agenda. True historians are very rare indeed these days. He sounds like someone who does not want anyone to present a view that might be contrary to the current meme of the academy. They are a very intolerant bunch.


50 posted on 07/11/2013 5:06:03 AM PDT by centurion316
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