Civil War Re-enactment Travel: So Authentic You Actually Get Shot
We've never really understood the appeal of Civil War re-enactment - or the re-enactment of any war for that matter, since wars are generally unpleasant things - but we can accept that there are many die-hard Civil War buffs out there who gain a unique perspective on history by immersing themselves in it. It is possible to be too authentic, however, as a recent accident in rural Virginia shows. A man portraying a Union soldier was shot in the shoulder by a Confederate soldier during a battle re-enactment for a documentary film, sending shock waves through a re-enactment community that's always been sensitive to its public image. Retired NYPD cop Thomas R. Lord Sr. was sent to the (present-day) hospital for his battle wounds with the 7th New York Cavalry, and investigators think they've identified the Johnny Reb who fired the shot. But why did he do it? It goes without saying that loaded weapons are a no-no in mock battles such as this one, so what made this man drop a musket ball into his black powder rifle? Maybe he's been carrying a grudge against the north since 1864, or perhaps he was just trying to keep things as real as possible. In either case, we're not stepping foot on one of those battlefields without head-to-toe Kevlar, authentic or not.