Well you need to get into contact with me at email@example.com and I can set you up to join the 1st Louisiana Zouaves. If you want to join another unit (damn your eyes) you need to go to the WCWA web site and peruse the various Union (we need targets!) and Confederate Unit links. Once you pick your unit you will need to pay your unit and WCWA dues.
There are several ways to get equipped. If you, or someone you know, sew you can make your own uniforms. There are several sources for period patterns. To get started, some units have loaner gear and equipment. You can use these for the first couple of events. There are also several web sites that offer uniforms and equipment. At re-enactments there are usually several sutlers who offer a wide variety of uniforms, equipment and other goodies. Talk to the unit you want to join before you buy, that way you buy what you need for that particular unit.
You will eventually need a uniform, leathers (belt, cartridge box, cap box, etc.), boots, rifle, and tent. You will also need a variety of odds and ends – cooking and eating stuff. You will probably acquire a bunch of stuff that you will eventually add to your other stuff and then you will eventually set it aside. It gets tiresome to carry it all around. Avoid farb.
Individuals or families can join. We are a family oriented unit and encourage families to be part of our group. Young children can become members of a cadet unit, i.e. the VMI. In the VMI the youngsters learn the basics of drill and safe fire arm use-they use non-firing toy firearms. We have Vivandieres who act a battlefield medical personnel. Both women and men can go on the battlefield dressed as soldiers. Or the women can dress as civilians or vivandieres.
We fight for the Southern cause. We camp together as a unit. We sit around the campfire and talk history. Evenings around the campfire are the best of times. We fight our battles with the Confederate units. Once in a while we galvanize. We also talk to the public about our unit and the War. We try to stay in ‘character’ – our persona.
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Farb is anything that is not period to the Civil War. Coolers, air mattresses, … If you have farbie items you need to keep them covered up and out of sight.
Occasionally we are required to galvanize. During the Civil War Confederate troops who were captured were offered their ‘freedom’ if they would swear an oath to the Union. Those who did were sworn into the Union Army and usually sent West to guard the frontier and fight Indians when necessary. They were called galvanized Yankees. When we are galvanized we are required to act as a Union unit and fight with the damnyankees. Thankfully we don’t do that very often.
We re-enact on the WCWA calendar. We also frequently re-enact with the Oregon Civil War organization. Occasionally some in our unit will travel to California or even back East to the big eastern re-enactments, such as Gettysburg.
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