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Welcome to 1861: Your inquiring mind has led you to us, and we would like to start you off with a helping hand or two. Each of us began with an interest in the American Civil War and a willingness to learn.
Organization: We are an association of people who have joined together to share a common interest. We meet on the first Thursday of every month at the Sher's Restaurant on Seminole Boulevard, just north of 102nd Avenue North, Seminole, Fl from 7:00PM to 8:00PM. We discuss upcoming reenactments, drills, living histories, parades, weapons, books, dances and other topics. Our purpose is to learn about the soldiers and civilians of the 1860’s by reenacting their lifestyles in a fun and sociable way. On the battlefield we follow the military chain of command.
Time: Most events are weekends, beginning Friday night and ending Sunday afternoon. Reenactments are usually held both Saturday and Sunday, generally at 2:00 PM. There is usually at least one major event each month, October through May, with many smaller events in between. The majority of these events are in Florida. You need not attend everything, but most of us get to about ten a year.
- Military Life -
The primary purpose of the 3rd US Artillery is to educate the public through reenactments and living histories about the life of the common soldier in the 3rd US Artillery during the American Civil War. Members of this organization will attempt to do this by authentically portraying what the common soldier of the 1860's wore in regards to uniform, clothing, and equipment.
The 3rd US Artillery also attempts to authentically portray and represent authentic camp life of the soldier during the Civil War. This organization also attempts to demonstrate to the public the many day to day duties and responsibilities of the common soldier in the 3rd US Artillery (i.e. KP Duty, Officer's Call). The cannoncockers in the 3rd US Artillery work to become proficient in the drill manuals of the time period. Every attempt will be made by all military personnel to try and recreate the military atmosphere in camp, with an emphasis on 1860's military customs, traditions, and protocol. Members are also highly encouraged to do first person impressions (to speak as if it is truly 1863) at events, especially when in close proximity of the viewing public.
- Civilian Life -
The 3rd US Artillery is a family unit. This emphasis does not disqualify those who are not married or have children, but it does set the tone that is expected of all members at all unit activities. The civilian members represent the various civilian occupations and lifestyles found during the 1860s. It is important that civilian family and social activities provide an enjoyable reenacting experience to the civilian members of the unit. Further, the civilian camp provides a “second home” for all members of the unit during the course of an event.
- Social Expectations and Customs -
The 3rd US Artillery seeks to emulate the social customs of the 19th Century in camp and in the field. We desire to reenact the best of the culture of the 1860s not the lowest elements. Men are expected to be gentlemen. Officers are always gentlemen. Women are expected to be ladies. Children are to be obedient and to respect their elders and shall be protected by adult members of the unit. Prejudice has no place in the 3rd US Artillery, neither that of race, sex, creed, or heritage. Equal respect is to be extended to persons from all parts of the United States and to reenactors regardless of the color of their uniforms.
We have adopted these 19th Century social practices because they make the event more authentic. Reenactments are not authentic unless all participants adopt the social habits of the time period, as well as the clothing. To wear the clothing without the social customs is to play “dress up.” The social customs create harmony in the camp. The rules of etiquette our ancestors practiced were created so that each person would be respected and comfortable in the presence of others. The social customs that protected families and individuals in the 19th Century will also protect reenactor families and individuals in the 21st Century. These common social customs will also promote cooperation for the common good. Overall it is more fun to look, act, and even think the part. The more immersed a person is, the more fun they can have.
In short, the 3rd US Artillery military camp is a place in which ladies and children will feel comfortable and safe and to which mothers can send their young sons with complete confidence in the example of manhood there.
Facilities: During reenactments you may camp modern (nylon tents and Coleman stove), you may stay in a motel (commonly known as the 'Motel Militia'), you may use your RV or trailer, or you may camp in the AUTHENTIC CAMP (no modern equipment visible). The 3rd US Artillery contains all of the above types of folks. The host unit of each event provides water, firewood, straw and port-o-lets. Bathing is rare, as you bathed before you enlisted.
Equipment: Your will need to be outfitted properly. At the beginning you should try to obtain your equipment a little at a time, to avoid sudden catastrophic expenses. You may be able to borrow some spare equipment from other members, if it is available. This may mean you may not be completely outfitted at first, but the advantage is that if you discover you don’t really like reenacting, you can simply give back the borrowed equipment. If you know you’re going to like reenacting and become hooked on the hobby, you can start collecting your own gear, and give back borrowed gear as you acquire your own. Keep in mind authenticity is of the utmost importance when purchasing your uniform and equipment. All members of the 3rd US Artillery will be more than happy to steer you in the right direction in your purchases.
Money: We are a non profit association with yearly dues of $15.00 or $25.00 for a family. We earn our money from dues, shows and appearances. All money collected is used to buy unit equipment and to print and send a newsletter, and to pay for any events we sponsor. Every full member of the company has a vote on how that money is spent. Individually, each member equips himself, buys his own powder and caps, and pays for his own transportation and food for each event.
Share our interest and enjoyment of this fascinating period of history. Experience Civil War combat, breathe the acrid reek of swirling powder and smoke as your ears fill with the crash of rifle and cannon fire.... Stand shoulder to shoulder with your comrades in faithful reenactments of actual battles. Find a rewarding hobby combining fun with learning about our nation’s history.
Contact 1Sgt Jim Mordue for more information. See the 'contacts' page for his phone number & e-mail address.
Interesting in joing up ? Print off the Enlistment form on the 'enlist' page. Fill it out and mail it to 1Sgt. Jim Mordue.
This page last updated: May 12, 2003