Civil War re-enactors: The battles are only part of the experience

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For Oregonians, the words Civil War more often conjure up colors of yellow and green or orange and black than blue and gray.

But as the U.S. observes the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War (1861-1865), hundreds of hardy Northwest souls pull on wool uniforms and fill paper cartridges with gunpowder to re-enact the battles and daily life of the War Between the States.

In May, the Mount Pisgah Battle Reenactment and Living History event at Howard Buford Park in Eugene drew hundreds of re-enactors and nearly as many spectators. One-thousand re-enactors are expected July 2-4 at the 21st annual Civil War re-enactment at Willamette Mission State Park north of Keizer.

"Some members of the public might stay away because they just see these re-enactors as fanatics," said Robert Harrison, who teaches Civil War history at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany and accompanied students to the Mount Pisgah event. "It's not really about living out a fantasy that maybe the South could have won. It's about teaching the public the material details of Civil War life."...

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