Red Badge Revivalists
Of course, such a force was not just put together on a whim. It represented the culmination of over twenty-five years of research into what Civil War soldiers looked like and how they fought. The whole business began before the Second World War when the US Army carried out a number of Civil War 're-enactments' for their own purposes wearing their ordinary uniforms and using bolt action rifles. There was an unexpected degree of public interest in these manoeuvres, but it was not until the Civil War centennial celebrations in the 1960s that the stage was really set for large scale re-enactments. Then, heightened public awareness, coupled with increased wealth and car ownership, paved the way for a massive expansion of the hobby. At first, many re-enactments were performed on the original battle sites under the supervision of the National Park Service, but a general feeling that it was tasteless to tread in the actual footsteps of men who had died in the war led to the abandonment of this practice, and private sites became the norm.
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