Women and Civil War Reenactments

I wanted to jump off from the idea that Poole introduced in his essay from Enacting History, and that was that some roles required cross-dressing. I’ve seen a number of articles about civil war re-enactments about the participation of women as soldiers that are often viewed from his standpoint of the necessity to cast women in male roles as a practical necessity. However, as many of the below articles relate, sometimes women choose to take on roles that men ordinarily play, in these cases they are involved in Civil War reenactments.  During the Civil War, some women actually did participate in the fighting of the Civil War, though they disguised themselves as men. What I think is interesting is the exclusionary nature of many of these reenactments, that allowing women to participate is argued as inauthentic, and that they should remain in roles dedicated to women on the home front. But as history shows, they did not necessarily remain on the home front in the past so, as many of the essays in Enacting History ask, who is to say how women should interact with the past and how they experience this past in the present?

The Battles of a Civil War Re-Enactress

“I Would Have Followed Them Into Battle” (this one is particularly interesting, not only because it shows how women interact with people of the past, but also how they relate to people in their experience of the past)

Combat Frock: Women Re-Enact the Civil War

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