The Full Story
Confederate or Union?
Why not both...
Our Reenacting Company portrays both the 37th Alabama (Confederate) and the 7th Illinois (Union). Some events we portray Confederate, some events we portray Union and some events we do both on different days. It depends on the scenario and how much of each side shows up for the weekend. Our members have both uniforms, and arms are similar on both sides. Our Reenacting Season generally works out about 2/3 Confederate and about 1/3 Union.
You can't simply walk on to a reenacting event and say I am portraying General Longstreet and I am in charge. Everyone who participates must be associated with a reenacting company, and they generally take their place within that company as a private, and work their way up to a command position, very similar to the real military. Our Company has bylaws everyone is expected to follow, we pay small dues to fund company events, and we hold elections to determine who we want to lead us. We try to find ways for all family members to participate.
Our members are mostly from Central Florida, but we do have a sister company in Georgia, and members from New York and Canada. Our Company is first and foremost, family friendly. Families with children and infants are welcome, and we strive to maintain a positive family atmosphere. Our members are professionals and blue collar workers, some just starting out in life, some retired. We are a good mix of individuals, each with a valued contribution. While we are primarily a military impression of Civil War Soldiers, many members over the years have represented a variety of impressions, including all manner of civilians, cooks, chaplain, drummers, color bearers, Captain's aids, and ladies of the town. All are welcome.
We are a progressive unit maintaining a historic presentation of our person and our camp from Saturday morning to Sunday close of camp. We have no special requirements for a certain look, but we strive to be as authentic as practical within our budgets regarding our uniforms, weapons, and accouterments and our camp. We will help guide you in your presentation. We do strive to not have modern conveniences or electronics visible during our events. A weekend of primitive camping out is good time to put away all the modern clutter of life.
We portray an infantry unit, with Officers, NCO's, and Privates. We drill 1860's military tactics and manual of arms. Our uniforms are reflective of the 37th Alabama, a typical Confederate Infantry Unit. so they vary somewhat by individual, or as the 7th Illinois Rifle Company in Federal Blue uniforms. However, they all reflect Infantry as our service arm. Our camps and organization reflect an Infantry Company.
Rifle carrying members use 3-band rifled muskets, usually, but not limited to Enfields and Springfields. Each rifle should have a bayonet and meet safety requirements. Officers and Sargents can carry pistols and swords. For some Central Florida events portraying militia or home guard actions, the Corporals and Privates are allowed to carry pistols as well. Part of the fun in portraying the 7th Illinois Union Infantry Unit is that members can carry their Henry or Spencer Repeating Rifles.
Each season we typically participate in about 8 or 9 Reenactments around Florida and try to to go to one national out-of-state event. Being in Central Florida, our "season" generally runs from October to March. We sometimes provide educational presentations at schools, community events and for organizations. We have even participated in Movie Shoots (Gettysburg), Internet Shows (Star Trek Continues) and TV Show Pilots (Sorry, its classified), Memorials. National Events we have participated in include Manassas, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Cedar Creek, Appomattox, Bentonville, Resaca, Atlanta, Chickamauga, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Perryville, and Andersonville.