Where do I go to get the stuff I need to be a reenactor?

You can attend civil war reenactments and visit the sutlers. A sutler is like the reenactors Wal-Mart. A good one will have everything you need to get started. Or you can visit some places online. You can also find a lot of new and used stuff on eBay, if you know where to look. Searching under Civil War uniforms or Civil War reproduction or Civil War reenactment or Confederate coat etc. will bring up hundreds of interesting items.

How will I know what to do? What will I need to know about how to create an authentic impression on the field?

Thats our job. We are a Civil War teaching group and feed off each others knowledge. Dont be worried about getting started into the hobby. Luckily you have found the 7th and we love to tell you absolutely everything you need to know from how to roll powder rounds to how to dance at the balls, to how to fall realistically in battle!

Why reenact in the first place?

We are asked that question a lot. And everyone has a different reason. We find that in general, Civil War reenacting not only reinforces our sense of pride in our heritage, but it's something in which the entire family can participate. It's educational and, finally, it's a great way to escape the worries of today and "pretend" in the great outdoors.

Whats the age requirement for reenactors?

There is no age requirement for being a reenactor, but, of course, minors will need to have their parents' approval and support. On the field, you must be at least 16 years old to carry a firearm. Of course, we will only bend the rules if a soldier looks the age and has proven he can handle a firearm with his parents permission.

How do I get started?

Start reading, researching, and communicating. This is a hobby about information. The more you have the better. Were talking about research, heavy research. Start reading about the era, start reading letters, diaries, memoirs, research books. Read up on everything, uniforms, clothing, habits, culture, army movements. Once you start, don't stop. This is so that you will be a well informed reenactor. The Authentic Campaigner provides a wealth of information about reenacting.

Beginners should also start by attending reenactments and observing what goes on. Get a feel for the atmosphere and conditions of a living history event before you rush to buy uniforms & equipment. Once you're sure that the discomfort (sleeping on bedrolls, wearing uncomfortable clothes, and generally avoiding anything "farby") is worth it, then youve found the 7th! "Farby" is a Civil War Reenactment term for anything not typical of the period. A plastic mug would be farby as would a polyester uniform since they didn't have polyester in 1861.

Do I have to have a Confederate ancestor to join?

No. Although many of our members had ancestors in one of the armies of the Confederacy, we also have others who did not. A genuine desire to honor the deeds of the brave sons of North Carolina is the only requirement of that nature.

How much money will I need to invest to get started?

As with nearly any hobby, some initial investment of equipment is necessary. While our regiment and some individual members do have “loaner” equipment, you will be expected to equip yourself within the first 12-18 months of your membership. Once you have made the initial purchases, totaling around $1200 (which includes the cost of an excellent reproduction musket), your costs for attending events is quite low. Participation costs for a weekend event usually add up to a tank of gas and some food. A really inexpensive mini vacation of sorts!

Are any of these expenses tax deductible?

We are recognized by the state as a Historical Site Volunteer Organization and are classified as anon-profit educational organization. We have tax-exempt status from the IRS. Dues, required equipment, and mileage have been tax deductible in the past. Constantly changing tax laws may affect these deductions and you should contact your accountant or tax attorney to be certain.

What is the minimum age to be a member?

You must be 16 to carry a musket. Interested individuals younger that 16 may join as uniformed “junior reserve” members and serve as musicians, new recruits, cook’s assistants, etc., provided that their father or guardian is a member of the unit and accompanies them to events when they participate with this unit.

Are there other expenses besides equipment?

Yes. Dues for uniformed members are $30.00 and are payable in January of each year.

Is this a political organization?

No! We are living historians who work diligently to portray an accurate version of the Southern soldier. We are not part of, nor involved with, any racist organizations or other hate groups who misuse our battle flag for their own selfish means.

What type of activities will I be taking part in?

We participate in living history programs, battle reenactments (both tactical and spectator), Confederate Memorial Day celebrations, parades, commemorative events, as well as informative presentations for schools, and other interested groups. We participate in living history programs at various state historic sites in both North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

What type of weapons do we carry?

Enlisted men and NCOs carry a 3 band musket, either an Enfield or Springfield or earlier 3 band model. Swords and pistols are carried by officers and senior NCOs.

“Aren’t you hot in that uniform?”

Our uniforms are authentic reproductions, made of either wool or jeanscloth (a wool/cotton blend). While the uniforms can get warm during the summer months, they are appreciated during the cooler weather. The clothing represents a standard weight worn by men of the American Victorian period. The Confederate soldier served his Cause regardless of the weather. This is the reason our events continue regardless of weather conditions. We are able to change clothes and head toward a cozy home at the end of an uncomfortable event, our forebearers did not have this option.

Are women allowed to join?

Yes, our Regiment sponsors a women’s organization that supports the regiment at many of the events. They participate along with us in living history programs, informing the public about the diversions and concerns of the war years and civilian life during the 19th century. Wives and sweethearts are encouraged to join as well as any other family members who can project an authentic civilian impression for the period.

How do I learn to drill, use the musket, etc?

The skills used by the soldiers of the Civil War are very foreign to anything that is used today. You will gain needed skills with assistance from experienced members at events and through individual practice (it’s not as difficult as it may first appear). Additional skills are developed at events during company and battalion drill.

Where do I get my equipment, uniform, weapon?

Dealers of reenactment equipment are known in the hobby as “sutlers”.  See information links page for a recommended list. There are probably over a hundred in the United States today. Some sutlers manufacture their own goods while others serve as distributors. At medium to large events, there are usually a wide variety of sutlers located on “Sulter’s Row”. Please shun the temptation to rush out and buy your equipment prematurely. To avoid purchasing something you can’t use, you are encouraged not to buy any equipment before joining the regiment and to take a veteran member or officer with you for guidance.

What do I need to do to join?

Read this information carefully, but do not act in haste. Your decision to join will require an initial investment of money and time. If, after reading all this information, you have any additional questions, need more information, please contact any of the recruitment members listed on the cover page If you are now ready to join our Regiment, please contact any of the regimental officers or members of the recruitment committee to be our invited guest at a future event. The member you contact will work with you to select the most beneficial event for your needs and provide more specific information regarding the event’s location and date. We look forward to seeing you at an event in the near future.