So You Want to Be a Soldier

So You Want To Be A Soldier:

How to Get Started in Civil War Re-enacting

By Shaun C. Grenan
Introduction(as seen below) and Edited by Patrick A. Schroeder

When I started re-enacting it would have been such a benefit to have a book like Mr. Grenan has written in my hands. The numerous questions that flood the mind when getting started in the hobby are all answered right here.

I had questions, many questions. What exactly do I need? How do I get my gear? Where do I get it? Who do I get it from? How much does it cost? That was just the start. It took some time to get these questions answered. Even after attending a few events, the questions continued to arise. How do I know when I’m shot? What do I need to bring for food rations at an event? How do I make hardtack? What about drill and loading a musket? The questions seemed endless. It was several years before I got all those questions answered. But thanks to this volume, the new re-enactor recruit will not have to go through all that—the answers are all here.

Mr. Grenan explores and addresses all those questions that bedeviled me in those days as a re-enactor “fresh fish”—how to learn where Civil War events are held, determining an appropriate organization to join, the different types of Civil War units, getting equipped, weaponry, the various types of events, the methods of going into battle, and the activities back in camp. He even gives some basic information on drill and the steps for loading and firing a musket. The material is presented in an easily read and understood manner.

Re-enacting today has something for everyone, though this book focuses for the most part on becoming a soldier. There are civilian, sutler, surgeon, chaplain, signal corps, and a host of other impressions. For some, re-enacting is a chance to get away from the job or home and lose themselves in the past. For others, it is something they can do with family or friends.

For the younger generation, re-enacting instills a sense of history and offers a chance to learn history something more than what is taught in the classroom. The belief that “history is boring” quickly fades on a re-enactment battlefield or amidst a living history demonstration. Re-enacting offers excellent opportunities for young people. In fact, re-enacting offers many opportunities. Travel—participants will get to visit many areas of the country to take part in different events as well as touring battlefields and historic sites. Movie making—as the public fascination with the American Civil War continues, many re-enactors have had the chance to work on movies and television. Books—many books include photographs of re-enactors in a book or on the cover. Job opportunities—the performing of living history demonstrations at a historical site or park could lead to future employment at such a place. And no matter Confederate or Federal, a certain bond develops among re-enactors.

This book is essential for the Civil War re-enacting community. 80 pages; Soft Cover; Retail Price $9.95.
ISBN: 1-889246-19-0

  • To Order via phone, 1-717-338-0915
  • To Order via email,
  • Published by: Schroeder Publications, 131 Tanglewood Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24502 (434) 525-4431

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    Front and Back cover photos courtesy Patrick Schroeder collection. Book copyright 2003, Schroeder Publications and Shaun C. Grenan. All Rights Reserved.
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