Frequently Asked Questions

1) I've always wanted to try this, how do I join?
  Check our schedule and go to one of our events.  Talk to members of our unit. Fill out our membership form.

How do I learn?

  The 3rd U.S. is committed to safely training new recruits.  Drilling is part of the living history experience.  All members must drill regularly and new members usually can learn the basics rather quickly.   Veteran's are paired with "fresh fish" to make sure that recruits meet minimum standards.  
3) Where do I get my gear?
  We have loan-out gear for new recruits to participate in living history events as soon as they are able.  This gear includes uniforms, rifles, and tents.  If you are interested in buying your own kit, we encourage you to talk to a veteran first.  Be very careful before you buy to ensure items are period correct, unit correct and in good working order. Talk to the unit leadership to make sure what you get meets authenticity standards.  Also, check out our "sutler" page for recommend vendors.
4) How much can I expect to spend?
  To get a basic infantry private’s kit, including uniform and leather gear (all new) figure $800 to $1000. This does not include a musket which will cost another $800 to $1,000.   You can also find used gear for considerably less.  
  A minimal private’s kit is compact enough that it can be carried in the back seat of a small car, so you won’t need an expensive trailer or truck to haul it.
  The cost for reenactment events vary. Registration can be between $20 - $40.  Our unit supports its own commisary and the cost for three days is about $15.
5) Is the rifle real?
  Yes. The reproduction rifles are every bit as functional as the originals. That’s the reason for drilling, training, safety rules, and close supervision….. Even when just shooting loose black powder as blanks the report of the rifle can be dangerous.
6) I don’t want to be a soldier and/or I have health problems. Can I do something else as a Civil War reenactor?
  By all means yes! We have a contingent of civilians of all ages that portray farm wives, school children,  preachers, newspapermen, surgeons, photographers, and craftspeople……..Any facet of 1860’s society might be found at an event.
7) I don’t want to, or can’t  sleep in a little tent on the ground but still want to reenact. Can I sleep somewhere else?
  Our unit allows “day trippers”.  So if you need to you can sleep in a "brick" tent. 
8) How far do you travel to the events?
  Most of the events we attend are on the east coast, especially in Maryland, Pennsylvania,  and Virginia.
9) During a battle, how do you know when you are “hit” or “killed”?
  Most battles are choreographed to a certain extent. You’ll usually have somewhat of an idea ahead of time how the battle is supposed to unfold. After that it’s up to the individual soldier to decide exactly when to fall within the context of the battle.
10) Exactly how authentic is reenacting?
  Again, it depends on the unit, and they can vary widely in authenticity standards. Some have rather loose standards, others are exceptionally strict. Most are somewhere in the middle. The clothing and equipment available are just about identical to what the people had back then. The methods of living, cooking and fighting at the events are as authentic as we can make them while taking consideration that we’re living in the 21st Century. The fighting tactics can be fairly authentic if done properly, but are usually restricted by the size and layout of the facility we are using.



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