This past month, I travelled to Nashville, Tennessee to participate in a one-time living history event at the Hermitage. This event was with the US 7th Infantry, the same group that put on the 200th anniversary event for the Battle of New Orleans two years ago. This was said to have been the biggest War of 1812 event in Tennessee since the War of 1812. We had over 200 participants or historical interpreters. My friend who portrays the General was so glad that I had come to portray Pushmataha once again! A wonderful evening ball was spectacular as well!
[Final closing ceremony.]
[Our camp cooking area.]
These are quality historical interpreters, and in my opinion, the best that you will see at any event. They come from all over the US and represent different impressions; US soldier, militia, civilian, Native American Indians, wives and children, politicians musicians and an assortment of other sundry individuals. All are well informed of the history and the people that they represent. Impressions are kept to first-person, even when the public is gone for the day.
[Friday night ball.]
[St. Patrick's Day!]
If anyone went, you would find the interpreters like myself more than willing to talk for hours on the history of the War of 1812 or the Creek War. Or daily political debates in the tavern between Andrew Jackson and someone of a different political persuasion. And not even ending in bloodshed, but in civil discord.
[The General talking with the various historical interpreters. You can see the different people represented, and how well job they did.]
On the final day, the drill competition was amazing, and even the militia did an outstanding performance. No one can say that the militia / volunteers do not drill!
This was a juried event. No walk-on’s were allowed, and you had to be registered though the unit. If only there were such events in Florida with this many quality interpreters. There are only a few that come close to this, and one is the Collier County Museum Old Florida Festival. (Which covers more than one time period.)
I have been doing living history since 1986, but have been researching the history longer than that. To be brutally honest, I am at the point where I only do quality living history events. My time and budget is limited, and too valuable to waste on bad events.
That is why I went to a juried event two states away. It was a pretty flawless event. There was no woman showing up at the battle reenactment dressed up like YMCA Indian guides. Or fashion models standing in as soldiers, who look like the Keystone cops. Seriously, I saw those at Florida events the past six months. Not at the Hermitage.