Monday, May 6, 2013

Civil War Weekend

Ever been surrounded by a few hundred rifles and a dozen cannons all going off at once? Have you wanted to go back in time and relive an era of history?

This weekend I took part in the annual Gibson Ranch Civil War reenactment in the Sacramento area. Needless to say, wearing wool in ninety degree heat and lugging around a hot musket are a great way to get some exercise on a warm spring day. It was also great getting a chance to take some shots at some Rebs (I fight for the North), and to see old friends I hadn’t seen in a while. This is but one of the many ways I not only relive history, but do research for my historical writing. This weekend alone I learned how to disassemble/reassemble an 1860s rifle and some other things I could never have learned in a book. I had to do it for myself.

So what are some ways you research for your writing? What are some places you like to go or things you like to do that enhances the authenticity of your work? 


  1. Cool! I would love to do something like that. And we're kind of on the same page today for our posts. :)

  2. That's incredible. But your research is taking it to a whole new level!

  3. Great experience. I knew a friend who traveled all over the US participating in reenactments (even helped write a children's book and has been an extra in movies). Fascinating.

  4. I've seen reenactments but never participated in one.
    Being a military brat meant I had access to those who fly real jets, something that helped when crafting my space battle scenes.

  5. How fun! How long have they been doing this? We lived in south Sac for many years and I don't remember this. I may come to you with some questions.

  6. What an amazing weekend!

    I think museums are fun. And tourist traps. You just never know what you're going to find.

  7. Love it! What a great way to get do research! :)

  8. That sounds like exciting research! :)

  9. This is a brilliant way to do research, Mark. Not sure I would like doing in that kind of heat, though.

  10. What a great way to do research. I have not done any such thing.

  11. Oh! How truly awesome!!! I've never been to an reenactment, unless you count a joust in England, but I didn't actually take part. I was simply an audience member.

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  13. There are several re-enactments in our area over the year. I like to go with our gr-kids, so they can meet Mr. Lincoln, and see a sliver of what had been.

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  15. I think it would be cool to do this. I'm fascinated by this era. I can watch the Ken Burns documentary over and over again.

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  29. I think that's a great way to do research. Like you said, you can't read everything in a book

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