BECOMING A SOLDIER
accepted as a full member of our unit, you must do a number of things. First, you must pay your dues to the unit and to the
Missouri Civil War Reenactors Association. Second, you must demonstrate a bona fide effort to acquire necessary gear by making,
ordering, or buying a portion of it. Third, you must demonstrate a desire to learn about reenacting by attending meetings,
drills, events and demonstrations. Finally, you must be recommended by an experienced member of the unit who has volunteered
to be your sponsor. Normally, he will be someone who lives or works near you, so you can easily contact him to answer your
Your sponsor will also work with you before your first event so you have some idea of the rudiments of drill and
the manual of arms. When the sponsor feels you have made a sufficient commitment, and you have fulfilled the requirements
set out in the corporate by-laws, he will recommend to the membership that you be accepted as a Veteran Soldier. You can participate
in the ranks as a recruit before becoming a Veteran, but only Veterans can vote for field officers or hold rank.
Safety is absolutely
paramount. We can ill afford to injure a spectator or another reenactor, and we sure don't want to hurt ourselves. However,
black power firearms -- like all guns -- are dangerous if handled carelessly, so we insist that you read and understand our
unit safety guidelines before being allowed to participate in any field actions.
We try to be as historically
accurate as possible, so we do not mislead those watching us. Some spectators are very knowledgeable about the period we portray,
and even minor errors on our part could discredit our entire impression.
feel the need to do some research on your impression, the history of your unit, and history of the battles you reenact. As
you start out, other reenactors are good sources. Local libraries often have decent civil war collections. When you enlist,
we'll provide you with a suggested reading list along with your guides to drill and manual of arms.
We portray military men, and
should remember that discipline was harshly enforced in the 1860's. While our officers and non-commissioned officers are elected,
we should act as though they had real authority to enforce discipline. We also should understand that they are not professionals,
and don't drill any more often than the privates, so we need to be understanding of their mistakes and do nothing to make
their job harder. Bitching -- on the other hand -- is authentic and there's nothing wrong with some good, period complaining
if done in the right spirit.
is a term of unclear origins, which generally means displaying gear or behavior inappropriate for the time period we portray.
For example, modern eyeglasses are "farb." Synthetic fabrics are "farb." Sleeping bags and ice coolers are "farb", but acceptable
in certain situations if kept concealed from the view of spectators and other reenactors. Cigarette smoking is "farb", but
pipe and cigar smoking are allowed if appropriate pipes/cigars are used. A good reenactor strives to eliminate all visible
was frowned upon by the armies of the 1860's and is even more inappropriate today. Never drink alcoholic beverages when the
camps are open to the public. Moderate consumption after spectator hours will not normally be chastised -- as long as it does
not lead to loud or disruptive behavior and is carried on circumspectly using your tin cup.
language and racist comments are not to be tolerated. While these were common among the soldiers of both armies in the 1860's,
they are inappropriate in today's context. Nineteenth Century attitudes can be depicted in an in-offensive manner with a judicious
selection of terms. Twentieth Century language and terms can be used when explaining things to visitors around camp, but discussion
of 20th-Century subjects should be avoided until after visitors have departed.