Westmoreland County Refugees
KC Robinson is the 2011 advocate for the important civilian impressions in our refugee camp, which at events is located near the military camp. The refugee camp is also established for family groups and is made up of all ages and stations of life. Some people assume that it is mainly a women's auxiliary organization but we have many civilian men who are not military members and enjoy reenacting as civilians.
To find what you need you can look at the military pages for camp gear. If you are recently joined you must get yourself a mentor to advise you of the pitfalls of getting together your impression.
Remember, refugees are not representing the "gone with the wind" film industry idea of the South - we do that at the military balls and social soirees, but not at events. The items you would use and have with you in camp will be the most important possessions an average person would have carried with them after they have run from enemy invaders. A huge majority of the population in Westmoreland County were farmers or fishermen not gentry so work with this uppermost in your thoughts. Work dresses without hoops would be prevalent in the civilian camp on the women and farmers clothes on the men.
You will be representing the "backbone of the Confederacy", the common man or woman who really NEEDS to be portrayed and has generally been left out of any historic literature. These people were the ones who kept the dreams of the Confederacy alive, not the rare southern belles, and their story needs to be told with accuracy, pride and dignity.
Below are links to excellent articles to help you start your impression correctly as a civilian, either man or woman.
Hair & Headwear Underpinnings Dresses Footwear Bodices Sleeves Skirts
Notes on Men's Clothing for the 1860's
Assembling a "best bet" wardrobe for women reenactors.
Good manners were critical to success and
acceptance in everyday life in the nineteenth century.
"Mind Your Manners! A Checklist of 19th Century Etiquette"
From our links page for your interest in improving as a civilian please read the following:
Civil War Women Homespun Living New Civilians School of the Civilian
Southern Homefront The Gentleman's Page Widow Rumble's Homepage