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Confederate Living History Units

art by A. Jay SkiiOn 6 March 1861 the Confederate Provisional Congress established the Army of the Confederate States of America. This army, poorly organized when the war began, was soon overshadowed by the volunteer forces known officially as the Provisional Army.

On the outbreak of the American Civil War, 313 officers left the United States Army to join the Confederate Army. President Jefferson Davis called for 82,000 volunteers but this was clearly not enough and in August, 1861, the Confederate Congress authorized the recruitment of 400,000 men. It was the responsibility of the individual states to recruit these men.

On 28 February and 6 March the Confederate Congress gave the president control over military operations and the power to muster state forces and volunteers. On 8 May it authorized enlistments for the war, and on 8 August, after four more states had joined the Confederacy, it called for 400,000 volunteers to serve for either one or three years. In April 1862, congressmen passed the first conscription act, which drafted men directly into the Provisional Army.


The decentralized political structure of the Confederacy forced lawmakers to clarify its military chain of command from the start. On 16 May 1861 the Confederate congress established the rank of general to give Confederate commanders control over state troops. Under an act passed on 28 February 1861, the military gained the power to appoint major generals in the Provisional Army. Finally, in September 1862, Confederate legislators created the rank of lieutenant general in the Provisional Army.


At the beginning of 1862 Davis announced that the South could not win the war without conscription. In April, the Confederate Congress passed the Conscription Act which drafted white men between eighteen and thirty-five for three years' service.

Rank and Awards

In the Confederate Army all officers below the rank of brigadier were elected by the troops. There were no medals awarded as it was claimed they were all heroes and it would be wrong to single anyone out. The highest honor was to be mentioned in dispatches.

Some Not-So-Willing

Some soldiers in the Confederate Army was willing to defend the South from the Union Army but objected to offensive operations. When Robert E. Lee decided to take the war to the north in the summer of 1863, an estimated 50,000 men deserted. This number increased after the defeats at Vicksburg and Gettysburg. By the end of the war there were an estimated 100,000 deserters at large in the South.

The Confederacy faced serious challenges outfitting its troops and planning a vast military campaign throughout the Civil War. The government had little access to modern weaponry and was forced to hire privateers to run the Union blockade and purchase arms abroad. The fledgling government also faced the task of procuring shoes, clothing, and blankets for soldiers at a time when wool and leather were scarce. Furthermore, the region's dearth of railroads and canals made it difficult for the government to ship goods and to feed its troops. The South's weak infrastructure also affected Confederate military strategy. By 1863, horses and mules were scarce, which limited the mobility of the army's cavalry, artillery, and baggage trains. These difficulties were exacerbated by a divided leadership structure that limited prompt coordination between military departments. All of these challenges dictated how Confederate generals would wage war against Union leaders, who could draw recruits from a larger population and enjoyed access to better transportation and resources.

A total of 1,406,180 men enlisted in the Confederate Army during the war. An estimated 52,954 men who were killed in action, 21,570 died of their wounds and 59,297 were the victims of disease. At the end of the war 174,223 men surrendered to the Union Army.

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The Orphan Boys Mess (Midwest Chicagoland)
A group of progressive / hardcore campaigning reenactors that love going to events and accurately portraying soldiers from the Army of Tennessee, especially those from Louisiana.  We also love recreating battles and have made it a quest in our area to switch from long drawn out casualty free battles, to short intense attacks that leave most of us lying on the field screaming in agony, our bodies having been cut down by nasty little pieces of lead.  After the battle many of us also take part in the field hospital, sometimes spitting up blood due to a pierced lung, or holding in stomach wounds that ooze with puss and guts.  We also have people film our battles and field hospital scenes, and professionally edit them into mini movies that are posted on our webpage.  

All that said you would think we were a strict unit, but really we aren?t and after watching us for a few events this year many reenactors came to us from other units and asked to join.  We also have brought some of the hardcore, immersion event only reenactors back into the public events, which is great, because without them and all the other reenactors who take this hobby seriously, the events in our area would continue to decline into laughable cowboy shootouts.    
The Living History Alliance is a non profit organization that is made up of reenactors, skilled craftsmen and historians who express history through the lives of our forefathers. The groups provides lectures, school programs and events that are historically based representing the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Colonial Militia and both World Wars with period dressed interpreters, artifacts and hands on demonstrations to create realistic portrayals of life during those periods.
Skulker's Mess (Midwest USA)
We are the Skulker's Mess - a growing, hardcore-authentic unit based in the Midwest. Impressions include Federal and Confederate Infantries in all theaters of the war. We also have a first-rate company impression as an early-war militia unit. We regularly participate with units like the Mudsills, Bully Boys, High Privates, Smokey Row Mess

The Skulker's Mess is a group of Civil War re-enactors/living historians out of the Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kansas area. We portray Federal, Confederate and civilian, but most importantly we try to do it authentically. Our favorites are Missouri Confederate "Camp Jackson Boys" and Illinois Federal "Egyptian Tigers".
We portray the 33rd Alabama (C.S.A.) and the 6th Indiana (U.S.A.) infantry regiments. We do this because 2/3's of the Civil War reenactment community prefer to portray Confederate soldiers. Therefore, in order to stage reenactments with realistic battle ratios (generally 2:1 Northern majorities), reenactors have to be able to "galvanize" (a period term meaning joining, or in our case portraying the other side). This unfortunate necessity has actually helped the hobby because it gives the reenactors a broader perspective of the war and it lets the public know that we are primarily concerned with historical accuracy rather than becoming a part of any "radical fringe element."
12th Texas Volunteer Infantry (USA, Texas (Where else?))
Welcome to the homepage of the 12th Texas Volunteer Infantry.  Civil War Reenacting is an exciting hobby for the novice historian, students of all ages or serious Civil War enthusiast. We reenact the War Between The States to teach and inform spectators, to lose ourselves in the time, and to share the camaraderie of the members of our unit.  Take a moment to step into these pages and learn a little bit more about what we call fun!
Using authentic period equipment, we survey battlefields before the reenactments.  Using the information from the survey, we create a map of the battlefield, annotating significant landmarks (hills, ravines, large trees, etc) and topography that can be used by the Southern forces during the reenactment battles.  When the map is complete it is presented to the Southern overall battlefield commander for use in placing artillery, infantry, and lanes of Southern Cavalry attack.

Surveying is done on the morning of the first days battle (usually a Saturday).  Battlefield size determines the time needed to survey, but the initial survey usually does not take more than an hour.

When the map is complete, copies are made by tracing and the map(s) are given to the overall Confederate battlefield commander and other Confederate unit commanders, as required/directed by the Senior Confederate Commander.
We are a family base Civil War reenactment group out of Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. Our home base is Rose Creek, MN. We strive for authenticity and are always studying the Civil War in order to improve our impression. We have chose to portray the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Co H for Eastern theater and the 10th South Carolina in the Western theater.
The "Confederate Light Guards" (Co. G, 3rd Reg. GA. Vol. Inf.) is reactivated within but not restricted to the Fort Tejon Historical Association in Southern California. Civil War Reenacting is an exciting hobby for the armchair historian, student or serious Civil War enthusiast. We recreate the war between the states to teach and inform spectators, to lose ourselves in the time, and to share the comradery of the members of our unit. We are accepting new members who wish to reenact, not fight, the Civil War. No one will be turned down on the basis of sex, religion, race or political views.
The 8th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Inc. is a non-profit Civil War living history organization dedicated to the preservation of our Nation's Civil War heritage through battle reenactments, living history encampments, educational seminars and preservation efforts. Our family oriented unit strives for authenticity, proficiency in the manual of arms and drill of the period, firearms safety, and most importantly, presenting a historically accurate portrayal of a Virginia volunteer in the Army of Northern Virginia.
The new 19th Alabama Infantry Regiment, C.S.A, Inc., is a non-profit, tax-exempt, living history and Civil War reenactment organization with Head Quarters in Huntsville, Alabama. Organized in 1982, the unit has grown to be one of the largest and most active reenactment groups in Alabama. Company I, "Cherokee Rangers", is the Head Quarters company, and primarily draws its members from the N. Alabama and S. Tennessee areas. We also have members in the Dallas, TX area and in Tallahassee, FL. The unit also does a Federal infantry impression as the 42nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
Edenton Bell Battery, 3rd Battalion Light Artillery. We are a battery that actually was formed in Edenton NC in 1862. Bells from the town's churches provided the castings for the cannon. We are deep in history and strive to keep it alive. Our cannon is a Vicksburg cannon which of course we named "Miss Vickie". She is an exact replica of the "St. Paul" which was named after the church that donated the bells and was the only cannon to survive the war until it was surrendered to Sherman for him to destroy. The original barrel of the "St. Paul was found in 2002 and returned to Edenton, NC where it proudly stands guard on the battery in front of St. Paul's Parrish. We have obtained the names on the original muster rolls and keep with us at all times so others especially descendants can see their ancestors names and know what happened to them. We travel up and down the Southeast to living histories, reenactments. We are an active, family oriented group and recruiting is open. We do certified training on the cannon for everyone's safety. Please come see us or better yet come join us. We would love to have you.
The Second Regiment Kentucky Infantry, Orphan Brigade, Inc., is a fully tax-exempt and non-profit organization consisting of persons portraying military and civilian personages of the Civil War era who are dedicated to the cause of preserving battlefield and other sites significant to the Civil War; to a historically correct interpretation of said era through participation in public reenactments and living history events; and to the commemoration of all the heroic sacrifices endured by the combatants, as well as by non-combatants,respectively sympathetic to either the interest of the individual States, the Confederate States of America, or the United States of America.  The members of the Second Kentucky commit themselves to the goal of accurately educating the public, through authentic reenacting demonstrations, and through presentations in schools and other public forums, with regard to all aspects of life during the American Civil War, antebellum and reconstruction eras.
Concertizing in 11 states from the Potomac to the Mississippi, the 37th GVI's distinctive military brass band, fife-and-drum corps, and songsters have appeared in two award-winning movies (Glory and The Rose and the Jackal), and have made soundtracks for 7 video documentaries (The Battle of Atlanta; Bitter April: Lee's Retreat; The Battle of Ft. Pillow; History & Literature of the South; Black Confederates: The Forgotten Men in Gray; The Battle of Shiloh; and The Battle of Chickamauga).

We have also performed for conventions, parades, cotillions, reenactments, serenades, and patriotic/civic ceremonies. Popular wartime tunes of Yank and Reb alike are presented within a varied concert repertoire?all performed in genuine mid-19th-century style on antique brass-wind and percussion instruments. During the War for Southern Independence, this famous musical ensemble was renowned as "The Best Band in the Western Army."
The 1st North Carolina Cavalry Regiment/6th and 2nd United States Cavalry Regiment is a Civil War Reenactment Organization of men, women and children who are dedicated to reenacting, in a historically accurate manner, the "American Civil War".   These Regiments were two of the most renowned fighting units of the American Civil War. Our historical organization was formed for the purpose of honoringthese brave men and women who gave their lives in this terrible struggle. To give memory to them is to honor them.

Our members portray dismounted and mounted horse-soldiers, civilians, hospital personnel, non-combatants, merchants, musicians, etc.  The list is as endless as one's imagination.  Southern California presently has one full company of dismounted horse-soldiers (Company A) and one company of mounted (Company F).   Company A portrays the 6th U.S. Cavalry as galvanized troops.  We are headquartered and perform at Follows Camp, in Azusa, California.

In addition, we are raising one company of cavalry (Company C) in Arizona.  We have two active Companies (Company H [dismounted] and Company I [mounted]) in our native state of North Carolina.  Moreover, Company H portrays the 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regiment as galvanized troops.

Equally important, we are very proud to annouce that the Regiment is now an international organization with the creation of a new company of dismounted troops (Company G) in Europe.

The activities of our organization include recreating Civil War battles, establishing period military encampments, and providing living history demonstrations (e.g. field maneuvers, in-place drill, schooling of the soldier). Our Civil War reenactors portray with sharp authenticity, the uniforming, personality and manners of the War's soldiers, and the life of civilians in camp such as nurses, camp followers and wives and children of soldiers.
Milton Light Artillery (USA, Florida)
The Milton Light Artillery, Company A, is a Civil War re-enacting group based on an actual artillery unit that participated in many of Florida's major engagements, including the battles of Ocean Pond (Olustee) and Natural Bridge. The battery was named after Florida's 5th governor, John Milton, who served from Oct. 7, 1861 to April 1, 1865. Milton Light re-enacts over 15 battles every year, and includes civilian and nursing impressions. The unit is owned by Brig. Gen. Robert Goodrich (Hardee's Corps Chief of Staff)
We are an independent Confederate artillery reenactment and live-fire battery based
in Fauquier County, Virginia and portray the Danville, Virginia field artillery of 1861-1865.
Civil War Alliance (Southern CA USA)

The Civil War Alliance is an informal association of independent reenactor units that work together to participate in sponsored reenactments.  Military reenactors, primarily from the Union Army of the West and the Confederate Army of the West, and associated civilian reenactors, join forces and participate in quality events throughout Southern California.  These events are, quite simply, the largest and best Civil War reenactments in the region.  

The Civil War Alliance strives to make certain that, when both reenactors and spectators attend these events, they will find them to be an informative, authentic, and satisfying experience.  
The 4th Virginia, Company A ?Wythe Grays? is a progressive Confederate reenactment unit.  We are a laid back group that strives for high authentic standards but is not ?in your face? about it.  The 4th Virginia is a proud founding member of The Stonewall Brigade.

Contact Brad Ireland at cprljohnivey AT
The ACWHRS, or American Civil War Historical Re-enacting Society, is a non-profit living history organization based in South Western Ontario, and is dedicated to preserving and exploring the memory of Canada's contribution to the War Between the States. Between 1861-1865, approximately 50,000 subjects of Her Majesty Queen Victoria left the Dominion of Canada to enlist in America's bloody civil conflict. The majority of these men served in the Union armed forces, enlisting in regiments organized in the northern border states. Four Canadians attained the rank of general in Union service, and twenty-nine were awarded the Medal of Honor. Some also enlisted to fight for the Confederacy, and so Canadians too fought brother against brother. Today very few Canadians know about this chapter in our history, or about the men whose bones rest in quiet cemeteries in Ontario, New York, Virginia, or in thousands of graves known only to God.

As living historians, or reenactors, we stage mock battles but, much more importantly, are dedicated to exploring and recreating the daily lives of soldiers and civilians from this era. We strive for a high degree of authenticity in our portrayals (we call them, impressions), and our members have amassed a high degree of knowledge and research. We frequently participate in events in the United States, and actively contribute to the cause of preserving America's battlefield heritage.
The 46th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment is a group of men, women and children who are dedicated to the preservation of "true" history and the memory of our ancestors, North and South, who fought and died for what they believed in. It is our mission to make sure that southern history and the heritage of the Confederate soldier is preserved and carried on for this and future generations. There are too many groups today that want to wipe out every symbol, memory and "true" history of Southern people. It is our responsibility, as living historians, to accurately portray the average soldier of 1861-65 in our living history camps and battle re-enactments of the War for Southern Independence, sometimes referred to as the War Between the States. We hope that our impression will help educate people in the ways of our ancestors, not just in how they fought, but why they fought.

Although the 46th Tennessee, Company K is dedicated to the authentic portrayal of the brave and honorable Southern Soldier, we do galvanize to portray the gallant boys in blue of the 2nd Tenn. Vol. Inf., USA when necessary for historical accuracy in a re-enactment. Because of our commitment to historical accuracy, "true" history and honoring our ancestors, the same attentions to detail drives our Federal impression of the soldiers who fought to preserve the Union.
1st Maryland Infantry is the largest Confederate Reenacting group (military & civilian)in New England. We participate in battle reenactments, living history events, school & community programs, and parades.

Since its inception, the new 1st Maryland Infantry has grown to be the largest Confederate reenacting group in New England, with membership reaching over 75 military and civilian members. The 1st Maryland is comprised of men, women and children ... a truly family-oriented unit.

Although based in the state of Connecticut, the 1st Maryland travels throughout New England and beyond to participate in living history events, patriotic celebrations, parades and battle reenactments. With trips to Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and other states with Civil War historical significance, the unit also travels to these locations for social gatherings - to both study with and enjoy the company of our members and others in the hobby. Several members of the unit have participated in the filming of Civil War epics such as Gettysburg, Glory and Gods & Generals.
Join one of the oldest and most authentic reenactment units in the field, based upon the book One of Jackson's Foot Cavalry by John H. Worsham. We strive for historical accuracy in our Drill, Uniforms and Impression.

Come join our ranks and help us preserve the contributions made by the common soldier of the South during the War Between the States. When you are a member of F Company, you will experience the comradeship of a fine group of men, you will share the history of the period with others, and you will travel to some of the most interesting historical locations on the East Coast. When you are in this Company, you will find yourself on the firing line of a veteran combat unit. Plus you WILL BE in the middle of some truly unforgettable battlefield scenarios.
The 24th Georgia's goal is to properly portray a northern Georgia soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia (ANV). We have and maintain unit guidelines and authenticity standards (These guidelines and standards are available on our webpage) in order to achieve our goal of being a highly regarded reenacting regiment. The unit is dedicated to living history. We are serious about what we do and how we do it. Through the use of period correct clothing, equipment, and encampments we demonstrate to our viewing public the life and times of the southern soldier.

The 24th Georgia Regiment, Company H is based in Central Maryland. Our current headquarters for the unit is centrally located between Gettysburg, Pa and Washington, D.C. in New Windsor, Maryland. The 24th Georgia Regiment, Company H Volunteers draws its members from Pennsylvania to South Carolina including Texas and Illinois.

We are an active unit participating in one or more events each month throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Battle reenactments and living history encampments are all part of our yearly schedule of events. We travel to events in several states including Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, and sometimes points further south and west.
26th North Carolina Regiment (USA, North Carolina)
The 26th NC Troops, Reactivated is the largest single reenactment unit in North Carolina numbering around 400 members. Founded in 1981, we are primarily an infantry unit however we also have various other components including horse drawn artillery, cavalry, a full fife and drum field music, and civilian impressions. We participate in a variety of events from Georgia to Pennsylvania including battle reenactments, living histories, and ceremonies. Among the more fulfilling events on our resume, are the living histories we take part in on the Gettysburg battlefield, Sharpsburg battlefield, Fort Moultrie site, and Appomattox National Historic Park. We have the honor of being the first unit to be allowed to fire at Appomattox NPS site since the end of the war.

Our unit also has alternate Federal impression as the 24th Michigan in tribute to the epic duel of these two units on the first day of Gettysburg. We offer many aspects of reenacting all within one unit while maintaining a strong camaraderie and ties to those that went before us. The 26th NC also takes a very active role in historic preservation including the spearheading the restoration of the NC monument at Gettysburg, the placement of two monuments to the 26th NC at Gettysburg, the conservation of the battle flag of the 26th NCT, and currently the placement of a monument to the 26th NC on the newly preserved New Bern Battlefield in North Carolina. Come visit us and see what we can offer you.

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