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Welcome to the 10th Pennsylvania (WPCWRS) Civilian Corps page.

When one visits our camp and sees non-military participants, they may wonder why would there be so many civilians in a military camp? The logical reason is that they either travel with (and in support of) the army, or they are visiting friends and relatives in camp, or they live nearby and are just curious (maybe they are even spies). They might be sutlers trying to profit from the dire needs of the soldiers.

Our reenactment society encourages family participation, so to justify our civilian presense we should at least have 'reasons' for our existance... thus we encourage 'acting' as part of our 'reenacting'.

As civilians, we demonstrate the many ways women and non-military men helped in the war effort. When we have spectators visit our camps they are transcended into a time-warp... the 1860's. Civilian impressions are a very valuable source of information for the public. This page is to provide civilian reenactors with tips and research resourses that will help them give a more accurate impression. As our military branch portrays the volunteer soldier, even they should have a knowledge of their prior occupation before joining up.

What impression should you do? It's a wide-open field. Here are some possible impressions and activities... something for everyone:

Field Surgeon - You'll need some knowledge of 19th century medicine and surgical tools.

Music of the Civil War - There was an abundance of period music. Glee clubs were plentiful and banjo music was the most common instrument around the campfire. Brass and woodwinds were commonly heard in the camps playing the 'hits of the sixties'. You are encouraged to share your musical and singing ability. What would a reenactment be without drum and fife music?

Ladies Aid Society - Women from all corners of the Union came together to organize ways to alleviate the soldiers' suffering. There is a lot of reference on the subject and it is a good educational tool for a first-person impression. (The soldiers love all the attention).

Period Prose & Poetry - The Union army was highly literate. Any poet willing to recite aloud will find an audience.

Camp Cooking (food preparation) - The most respected person in the company. We're lucky... we got the best!

Sewing & Knitting Demonstration - Socks were always in demand for the army on it's feet.

In the sunny hours of the bright spring day,
And still in the night-time far away,
Maiden, Mother, and Grandame sit
Earnest and thoughtfully while they knit. From "Knitting Socks"

Camp Laundress - Usually women who would travel with the army. Officers often brought their own domestic help. Not a romantic impression (and a lot of work) but it's been seen at many reenactments.