ACWS Battle Re-enactment
Members represent individual units from the two sides. If wearing grey or brown the unit will be Confederate (Southern Rebels), while the dark blue uniforms represent the Federal or Union (Northern Yankees). As a general rule, red rank badges and piping on a uniform denote artillery, yellow is for cavalry, and pale blue is for the infantry, on both sides. Some units, however, had their own, different way of doing things, too!
Members equip themselves with blank-firing black powder muskets and other authentic firearms and uniforms and equipment of the period. There are plenty of suppliers of authentic reproduction items at very reasonable prices. We also have batteries of real cannon on each side, each cannon emits a deafening roar and clouds of smoke when fired, whilst the opposing infantry and cavalry also blaze away at each other using the tactics and drills of the period.
Although our re-enactments involve real weapons (firing only blank ammunition) it must be stressed that at all rehearsals and public displays, the most stringent safety rules and codes of conduct are observed at all times. We rigidly follow the Codes of Conduct and requirements of the Police and the Health and Safety Executive. All weapons are 'proofed' by the government test houses. We take no chances with our own members or with our audiences.
Yet there is always a small risk in handling weapons and explosives and doing any physical activity. Safety training for what we do is emphasised. We also have our own highly trained and dedicated Medical Service.
At our events, the re-enactment arena is roped off and members of the public are warned to keep out of the arena and to keep children and pets under control and behind the ropes or barriers. Our battles are noisy and we use explosive ground charges to simulate artillery fire. It is unsafe for a member of the public to enter our battlefield arena until after we have cleared the field at the end of an event.
The public is very welcome to come and talk to any members and to walk around the authentic tented camps both before and after our battle.