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"AWI and ACW reenactors, how many are there?" Topic

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chasseur13 Apr 2011 3:10 p.m. PST


Does anyone have any sources that they can point me to that documents the number of ACW and AWI reenactors that there currently are in the United States?

I am doing some research for a professor who is writing an article on the topic.

Thanks very much!

Personal logo dandiggler Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2011 4:27 p.m. PST

AWI – you may want to start here:

I think there's at least one other parent organization, plus a large number of independent groups that attend events put on by both. Then you have to consider people involved in multiple groups. Some people join a group for either side, I'm personally involved in two myself, not including other time periods. I know quite a few guys who do both AWI and ACW as well.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Apr 2011 9:40 a.m. PST

The short answer is: nobody knows :)

There's no national organization that everyone joins and gets a membership card. Nothing even remotely like that. Reenactors are all organized at a local level and only cooperate at higher levels. No one is in charge :) At the height of the 135th anniversary ACW reenactments I'd guess there were maybe 50,000 or so, including soldiers, women and other non-combatants. Those numbers dropped steeply and I'd guess maybe half that number now. Numbers are starting to go back up again with the 150th anniversary, but it's doubtful we'll get back to the peak we reached during the 135th. But who knows?

chasseur14 Apr 2011 5:27 p.m. PST

Thank you to you both! I really appreciate your input.

Personal logo dandiggler Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2011 12:05 p.m. PST

You're welcome, best of luck! I have a feeling AWI and ACW have had quite a few members siphoned off by the economy on one hand and what seems to be a recent growth spurt for WWII.

EJNashIII22 Apr 2011 3:41 p.m. PST

It doesn't necessarily cause a siphoning. I Primarily do Yankee ACW. However, I do WWII occasionally. Might do some 1812 for the 200th anniversary. None of this means I plan to quit CW. I would say the real siphon is 3D video games. Younger people who 20 years ago would have done reenactments might not now leave the house.

Old Slow Trot26 May 2011 6:35 a.m. PST

Here's one right here(ACW). Just getting back with it lately.

number423 Feb 2012 7:51 a.m. PST

Not many folks realize that the bigger ACW reenactments are often many times larger than actual AWI battles were!

Old Slow Trot25 Feb 2012 10:01 a.m. PST

My reenactment unit has some young blood in her,plus us old hands. We're planning on being at the 150th of Shiloh near the end of March. Event sponsored by the Blue/Gray Alliance.

Old Slow Trot10 Apr 2012 6:39 a.m. PST

Went rather well,in spite of rain that Friday into Saturday. Next one is going to be a living history event first weekend of May.

Old Slow Trot10 Apr 2012 6:39 a.m. PST

Went rather well,in spite of rain that Friday into Saturday. Next one is going to be a living history event first weekend of May.

Old Slow Trot11 Apr 2012 6:27 a.m. PST

Sorry for the double bit there.

chrisswim18 Jun 2012 2:51 p.m. PST

For the 135 Gettysburg, there were over 25,000 reenactors there, prbably 26-28k. Full scale 'Picketts Charge'. Half of our unit went, 1/2 did not. Across the country, probably over half did not make it.

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