Walking memories: the origins and significance of civil war reenactment
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Civil War Reenactment has become a popular pastime for the past fifty years. Thousands of people done Civil War era clothing, march on national battlefields in military units, and fire muskets at one another in order to celebrate the men who fought and died at these battles. They see themselves as “living historians” embodying historical subjects in order to represent their lives to contemporary audiences. Why do they do this, and how do they differ from more traditional academic historians? This paper shall investigate the historical origins of Civil War reenactment, how they see themselves as conveyors of history, and the means by which they practice their craft. The distinctions between the ideals portrayed in Civil War soldiers and their reality of their historical subjects can be examined by their performance of history.
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