Civilians will be encamped in a separate civilian area.
It should be noted that during the mid 19th century the civilians we are portraying would be living in houses and not in a tent unless they were refugees. Even as a refugee, civilians would have lived apart from the military. We recognize that while living in tents is not an accurate depiction of civilian living quarters, it must be looked upon as a concession necessary to be able to participate at the event.
No modern items will be seen at any time during the event. This includes modern bedding, coolers, speckleware cookware, non period chairs, etc. If it is necessary to bring any of the above to the event, they must be secreted within a tent and not taken outside of the tent during the event. Anything visible outside the tent must be period appropriate.
This pertains to non period food items as well. All food should be period and seasonally accurate and should be repackaged in period packaging prior to arriving at the camp.
Correct period appropriate attire for your station in life will be worn at all times once the event begins.
This includes appropriate headwear, a bonnet or slat/corded bonnet and under no circumstances includes the wearing of the "dreaded snood", which should not be confused with a period correct hairnet. Please take into consideration the appropriateness of wearing a straw hat. This should be limited only to young women.
The "essentials" of period correct clothing are:
- Cage crinoline or a corded petticoat (Please note that by our time period the corded petticoat is not a common garment except in instances of extreme poverty or an extremely rural environment. Cage crinolines were very affordable and easily obtainable.)
- Under petticoat and an over petticoat
- Kerchief, narrow collars, cuffs, and undersleeves were essential for the protection of the dress fabric and therefore fall into the "undergarment" category.
Hair should be worn in a period fashion. It should be parted in the middle and pulled to the back of the head in a roll or bun, with no bangs. No nail polish, modern make- up, body piercings or tattoos are to be seen.
Pierced ears are period appropriate when there is one hole on each earlobe.
No modern day eyeglasses are to be worn.
Children are to be dressed in appropriate period children's clothing and are to play with period toys only.
There will be no electronic toys permitted in camp.
No cell phones are to be seen or heard once the event commences.
No modern day cigarettes are to be seen at all. If a gentleman wishes to smoke it should be in the form of a pipe. Ladies should be very selective about the use of tobacco and if used should be as a pipe.
Men who wish to portray a civilian gentleman of the time period should always be wearing a vest and a tie unless involved in physical labor such as plowing a field. Men should wear proper braces that button to the trousers. When out of doors a gentleman should always be wearing a hat. Under no circumstances should a wristwatch be worn. There should be no visible tattoos or piercings. No earrings under any circumstances.
The essentials for gentleman's attire are:
- Coat or frock (optional)
There are many books and publications available which contain collections of "cartes de visite" depicting civilians in their formal and everyday dress. These should be consulted, for a good overall visual look.
There will be no military personnel within the civilian encampment unless there is a scenario that would establish a valid reason for the military personnel to be within that civilian encampment area.
Civilians are not to be within the military encampment without a pass and a military escort. They should not be considering staying and visiting but rather plan to be within the military encampment area only when there is a valid reason or scenario.
I am very excited to be the civilian coordinator for the upcoming Maryland My Maryland event in September. The event will cover the 150 anniversary of two significant battles of the 1862 Maryland Campaign; South Mountain and Antietam. Since these battles were fought in and around local towns and villages of Washington County, civilians were always near the action. For this event, we thought it appropriate to represent the civilians of a representative town that was situated between the two historic battle sites – Keedysville,MD.
The civilians will have the unique chance to react to the nearby Battle of South Mountain but will still maintain the routine of everyday life. However, their situation will change as the Battle of Antietam begins to rage. This change will be marked by an increase in civilian involvement during and after the battle.
What civilian did during the battle, how they felt and what was left to them after the battle is depicted in Too Afraid To Cry -Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign by Kathleen A. Ernest. It is highly recommended that this book be read in order to help plan out appropriate impressions.
Portraying the citizens of a town in Western Maryland gives the living historian the chance to portray a citizen with either northern or southern loyalties. Such divided loyalties led to some rather unusual situations between families and neighbors. We are hoping to bring this reality to the atmosphere of the event.
We will be looking for people who would like to set up shops, businesses, churches, and homes. For those who are limited in gear, portraying a teacher, sabbath school teacher, lyceum speaker, society meeting organizer, orator, musician, singer, itinerant worker, reporter, artist deportment, or other vocation would be easy to do. We will have a hall tent set up to help facilitate those impressions. I will work with anyone who is interested in being part of the town. However, you do not have to be in civilian camp to participate, but it is highly encouraged as this brings a great since of community. Please include your impression on the registration form.
Visit our Yahoo group for Maryland, My Maryland civilians
View The Civilian Schedule