Sixth Maine, Fall In!
Everyone has their hobbies - some collect things, some build things... and some reenact.
I'm a reenactor.
The Sixth Maine is a Civil War reenacting group made up of various people. My family and I were introduced to this through a co-worker of my mother's who is the captain of the battery. It started with just me, but my family went to every event with me, and soon we all became members.
We usually stay local (around New England), but every 5 years on July 4th weekend spend a week down in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Usually I dress as a soldier because I ride the horses. But there are times when we don't bring horses down so I play with the cannon or I dress as a civilian.
Each event is generally the same. We arrive and set up our tents, which are called A-frames, and are very similar to what the soldiers in the Civil War actually slept in. We try to keep everything very period - no jeans, cell phones, coolers, or earrings! We do sleep in cots and sleeping bags, but we try to keep the tent doors closed so people visiting won't see, or at least cover things up with wool blankets.
Usually there is a battle or two a day. We generally pull the cannons to the battlefield, but on the hot days when the battlefield is quite a distance away, we often hook the canons up to the trucks and drive them down.
The battles may all seem the same, but I find each one is so different and exciting. The booming of cannons is all around you, along with the snapping of musket fire. Horses prance and neigh, and everyone is shouting orders to everyone else. It's usually pretty chaotic, which makes things that much more interesting. Everyone really gets into it. We've been charged upon and have charged others. We have saber fights on horseback with men pretending to die. And at the end of the day, we all sit around the campfire and joke around.
I look forward to each event and the fun times we always have. I'm not a big history buff, but you do learn a lot. And seriously, how many people can actually say they've shot a cannon or had a saber fight on horseback? Reenacting is something people (my age especially) don't ever think about getting into or don't have the opportunity to do. It really is a great experience, even if you just want to come and watch the battles and see what it's all about.
I've been doing this for over 5 years and it's been the most amazing experience in my life!
We were on New Hampshire Chronical this past summer! Check out the video here!
Most all of the shots of men firing the cannon are of my group. The girl and guy waving to the camera near the end (they appear to be at a river) is me and my boyfriend. Enjoy :)