Founded in 2012 Lincoln's Generals are historians who are collectively engaged in investigating, interpreting and recreating the past as faithfully and accurately as possible. We are dedicated to the accurate portrayal of soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865). All of us have spent hundreds, even thousands of dollars on uniforms, canvas, ammo boxes, lamp and lanterns, medical instruments, firearms and swords, to create a warp in the space-time continuum.
Many of us have spent hundreds of hours behind the wheel and God only knows how much money on gas and cheap hotels and fast food during our "careers" as reenactors and Civil War first person impressionists.
We've set up in the rain and torn down. We keep "fixin" our favorite chairs and tables for another years use. We've put tents away wet only to drag them out a few days later to dry them.
We live to smell spent black power, the smoke from a campfire and the perfume of wet wool.
In short, we take the profession seriously. It is a passion most don't understand.
When we "put on the wool", the clock is turned back to the era of the American Civil War, 1861 - 1865. Gone on modern anachronisms. We slip out of who we are and into the persona of our impression. An "act" that we have dedicated years to researching and rehearsing. For the next hours or days, we are someone else.
We have another "message". A message from the past. We try to deliver the lessons as the person we are portraying might have done. We try to entertain, but the history is our centerpiece. We are totally immersed in what we are doing and more importantly "how" we are doing it.
When the doors to an event are opened and the public is present we have no "now", no "today", we only have the impression of our character. We focus our performances exclusively on the war and the history of our characters in the struggle. We talk about every day life of the men and in the 1860s! We must avoid slipping out of character. If asked about your 21st life, answer the question, but do not volunteer a discussion about your "real" life. If you feel that you must, walk away from the group and into as private a setting as you can arrange.
It takes only an instant to destroy the illusion that we have worked so hard and spent so much money to create. That "Somewhere in Time" moment when you reach into your pocket and find a dated penny and you are instantly whisked forward in time. You walk out of the tent with a cell phone plugged into your ear - "Somewhere in Time". You walk back from the suttlers with a Coke can in your hand (this is why God invented tin cups) - "Somewhere in Time". You check the time, but don't use your pocket watch - "Somewhere in Time". And the one that is the most difficult for me, modern expressions. How I struggle to not say "Git 'er done" - "Somewhere in Time".
When the crowds are gone and the daily events are concluded and the white or red comes out, or the "Honey", you can step out of character and enjoy the fellowship that always happens at the end of a great living history day. You can remove your frock, hang up your hat and let down from your attention to the details of the Civil War.
If we go to dinner on the local economy and we are dressed in character, the message doesn't change, only the back drop is different. We do not relax our standards of personal or military appearance. When in uniform we are our impressions. When people see us in public, where we were not expected, their first questions is "what are you doing, is there an event?" Not, "what do you do when your not doing this?" It is all about the message, the history. Again, if asked about your life, answer the question, but do not raise the subject yourself - "Somewhere in Time". Same message, different venue.
We are not "on stage" 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days (I hate this expression). No one expects you to be. But when we are in front of the public we expect you to conform to the highest standards of speech and bearing. We expect you to turn out dressed appropriately, wear your hat outside, take it off inside, unless you are under arms, then you will be covered (your hat on) regardless of where you are, in or out, even in church.
Contrary to popular opinion, I do not sleep at attention! But I am demanding. Of myself first and then of those around me. If we are to give the public an "immersive", 3 dimensional experience, we must first immerse ourselves - totally!
This is not an easy "hobby". It takes a lot of hard work and time. It demands dedication to get it right. There are no "half-fast" solutions. There are "half-assed" impressions and we all know a few. Please, work at making your character something your character would be proud of! Something that we can all be proud of. Most importantly, something that you are personally proud of.
What we're all about