November 2020.
The notion that men and women should coexist in separate spheres, can be traced back to antiquity. These spheres were delineated as domesticity for female, and the outside world being the male domain. While not defined by function, these separate spheres have always existed in the field of living history, and, sadly along the traditional lines of gender. I wanted to assemble several profiles as an examination of the participation and contributions made by women in the living history field in the global arena. The length of participation ranges from 2 ½ years to 40 years. All provided insight from their uniquely distinctive perspectives.
Amandine Cichosz is a living historian from France, who became involved 2 ½ years ago though the involvement of her boyfriend. She made the interesting observation that living history and reenactments are two distinctly different things. She stated that events of Living history are didactic, demanding a higher level of authenticity, whereas battle reenactments are created as a celebration of the original participants, and embraces a wider cross section of the hobby, with far less scrutiny over details. It is interesting, that while both types of events exist in the United States, with the same elements, the drive for authenticity has softened the distinction in the minds of most participants. Indeed more emphasis has been placed on IMPROVING authenticity at reenactments, than recognizing them as an intertwined double helix around the field of history, with divergent goals. For lack of a better term, or from a “street credibility” perspective, the cash value of Living Historians has traditionally been higher than reenactors, and while Living Historians can, and do appear at both types of events, reenactors appearing at Living History events has been a source of friction over the years.
Owing to the small initial numbers of participating women in the field, their role has been marginalized to some extent. The overall effect is that women have been grouped together, with little or no distinction made to their historical accuracy. It is my assertion, that the “separate spheres” of living history, should not be by gender, rather by fidelity to historical accuracy. Despite being from different parts of the world, and unknown to each other, we found that they share a common objective. We hope that this short piece is to recognize the contributions of a selection of these women, as well as give voice to the struggles that they have encountered. In effect, raising the curtain, and making them respected cast members on the stage of living history.
Faith Hintzen.
United States
Started in reenacting in 1991. She said that “In the beginning, I went to Battle Reenactments, stayed in a wall tent and portrayed a women o f the time period sewing and collecting things for support of the soldiers.” “Over the years, in reenacting, I have worked on honing some fancy embroidery skills, sewing skills, hearth and wood stove cooking.” She goes on to observe “I love doing living history and presenting programs to various organizations, but all of that involves some research. Roles for women in the hobby have increased over the years if a person is willing to look for them and stretch their abilities.” My favorite time period has been the mid nineteenth century, but I actually do some programs from 1835 to 1888. We volunteer at various sites, two iron furnace sites during 1830s, where we are working class, Harper's Ferry, where we portray middle class folks and interpret several of their buildings. This was a wonderful opportunity to show how families lived at the time, doing the household chores, cooking, listening to the speeches at the rally and seeing our boys off.
We have personally observed (and tasted) the results of Mrs. Hintzen’s studies of recipes of the 1860’s. The research, time, effort and skills that she has invested result not only in period correct foodstuffs, but an experience that is a unique excursion made through the vehicle of living history.
Jen Roger.
United States

When she was 9 or 10, Jen went to Williamsburg and it was her first experience with public history "I remember being entranced by an interpreter who portrayed Patrick Henry. It fascinated me that people could come to understand history in such a personal way."

"Somehow that experience spoke to me, couple with a curator lead tour on colonial silver that we went on. I remember trying to wrap my head around the juxtaposition of those two experiences and not knowing how to articulate on them or how they complimented each other, in such disparate way. I wanted there to be a bridge between the two. I found that in taking a more academic approach to living history, I could build that bridge. I finally got involved in living history, though Civil War events when I was in high school and from there realized that I could find my place in the progressive end of our hobby. Civil War events just opened the door to other period of American History and to my specific interest in early American history and 19th century material culture in general.  
As to what roadblocks she has encountered, she stated, ” I think often roadblocks are put in place by people who don’t want to have the tenacity to persevere. It’s an excuse not to forge ahead. As a woman who has exclusively male personas it’s frustrating that my impression can go to any even it wants to, but the physical me, can’t. While that may be a roadblock by definition and an element of frustration on my part, I don’t take umbrage with it. I don’t need those events to move ahead with my personal research, my personal experiment. I can work on my house in my 19th cent clothes and learn about the form and functionality of the garments I’m wearing and their relationship to my labor. I can do likewise with tools from the period. I can set up my own experiments and that’s what I need at the end of the day to continue with my own education.
I haven’t really spoken to many other women about this. We have a very small contingent of women who I would consider progressive and none of them do a male impression and none of them tend to look at living history in the same fashion I do. Their research and experience tend to start and stop with their impression and how it relates to the event they are attending. My impressions never really take a backseat. My experiment, so to speak, doesn’t ever end. Its led me to owning and restoring a historic home and living with it furnished that way. I want to understand the 19th cent in as many ways as I can. It's led me to a professional career in museums and historic sites. This is no longer a hobby for me, it’s truly my life. “
Since my primary impressions of late are Gold Rush, Overland Trail, Early CA, I tend to mostly reenact with men. We have a very small contingent of progressive women who do those events alongside us to round out the overall impressions and event guidelines, but I am predominantly reenacting with men.
It doesn’t matter who I am doing living history with; men or women. What matters to me is that we all maintain the same quality of impression. I consider myself extremely lucky to have consistent progressive experiences with both men and women and their strengths compliment each other and their impressions beautifully.
Rea Evans.
United Kingdom

I was actually born into it. My father started reenacting in the mid 70s. So I went along as a child, but I chose to continue reenacting as an adult.
What is your favourite part of reenacting? Research or Living History?Both. The latter needs the former if you want to do living history right.
I love researching into the small details, the bits many overlook, and adding to any field of research if and where possible. It all adds to my historical impressions, and that’s something that is constantly ongoing, there is always something else to work on. I’m also extremely passionate about battlefield preservation – I was a director for the UK’s Battlefield Trust and worked on the social media for No Casino Gettysburg campaign.
When asked if she had encountered roadblocks, she stated "Honestly, I haven’t. I work hard to do what I do, and I’ve come far in the reenactment scene through extreme dedication and an abundance of research."

Her favourite events are the non-commercial “EBUFU” – Events by us for us! "I’m all about the full immersion military events: private events that are for the campaigner side of living history. I do like the anniversary events from the point that it’s on the actual date, being on the actual site of a battle, at the same time many years later, holds an emotional connection to the common soldier… thought provoking."

She wishes that accuracy and improved authenticity were more emphasized in the hobby."I understand that people reenact at different levels, I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t want it to be as historically accurate as possible? I find it highly frustrating to hear reenactors lacking accurate impressions saying they reenact to “educate the public!”

She does mostly military campaigner living histories – so it’s all male colleagues."There are of course women present in the main camps, but I sleep out with my brothers in the woods. I portray a male British Observer, working for The Times Newspaper – so I guess, the Bohemian Brigade. I’m lucky to have been accepted into the hardcore campaigner scene, which I am totally aware is a great honour and privilege. I think a number of women who dress as men, tend to expect that men will accept them, and try to force their way in… it doesn’t work. Many are attempting to portray women of the period who dressed as men to enlist – but they don’t pass as men and their impressions are often lacking. Just because there is equality today, doesn’t mean that you should expect to be able to dress as a guy at reenactments and be accepted. It’s a respect thing… and a lot of it is down to attitude and mindset."

Her other timeperiods of interest are Napoleonic – and ACW but she's also fought as a Gladiatorix, Russian WWI – Women’s Battalion of Death, French Resistance/SOE WWII, and Viking. "My other half does the Vendel Period – think great grandfathers of Vikings… maybe I’ll give that a go – if I get the time!"
Lara García Fernández.

Lara got involved in reeenacting because her boyfriend at the time was a member of FdN. She started accompanying him to some events, in which they both were part of the audience or in which he took part. Initially, she enjoyed these events because of the educative content, Since she never took a particular interest in history , these events, specially the ones about Spanish Civil War, got her to learn more about a part of the past that, in her opinion, school failed to teach. Getting acquainted with other reenactors and the sense of comradeship, together with my will to help organizing Candamo (the main event of FdN) finally made her become a member of this group.

when asked whether she preferred living history or reenacting, she stated "Living History. Whenever I attend an event organized by other groups, I devour whatever information they may give us, and also the results of the research made by members of my own group. I’m not proud of what I’m about to say, but it is the truth: Researching isn’t my strength, so I’m a little bit of a “parasite” of other people’s knowledge and research, although I know I should research more actively. To find my peace of mind I tell myself that there is some reciprocity, as I do my best in terms of organization and hard work for our main event."
"I don’t think there are any contemporary roadblocks, apart from the one we inherited as a society: chauvinism. It has two main branches: one of them is the very obvious fact that History is/was a field of knowledge written by, for, and about men. Also, women mostly belonged to the civil part of society, while Historicists preferred writing and documenting the events on the battlefield. I think this is no news for any of us. Female reenactors are generally very aware of this."

"At events you can also find women playing some roles but they aren’t reenactors: they are the wives and girlfriends of other participants and they usually do it because they were asked to, or because they love seeing themselves in the pictures (there’s nothing wrong in that. My very own first steps in this world were like this!), but sometimes you may find out that they are not truly committed with accuracy or with learning or spreading the knowledge about the historical event that is being represented."

"Spanish Civil War is still a hot topic for my society, so there are many biased misconception about what we (try to) do. Our aim is both to learn and to spread some knowledge about our recent past. Or at least to start a conversation about it. It is very recent and people are still very sensitive about the Spanish Civil War, but understanding what happened is key to understand the present. In addition, this isn’t about good or bad people, it is about representing the past as it was.
I would also like events to be not so battle-centered. Some people (both audience and reenactors) have the wrong idea that this is all about “playing soldiers” and loving tanks and fireguns. That is only one more part of it."

When asked if she had special skills that she had acquired, or brought into living history, she stated "No, but on the contrary: I started learning stenography to apply it to my performance. I also learn more and more about pattern-making and sewing. This is important not only for making outfits, but also for recognizing uniforms, because collectors sometimes tag pieces as belonging to SCW when actually they are from later ages."

"I started around 6 years ago. The number of female reenactors has increased since, and the role of women is becoming more important step by step, as more and more groups realize this isn’t only about men on the battlefield, but the real lives of people living then, both male and female. Everyone has their importance."
Amandine Cichosz.

About 2 1/2 years ago, her boyfriend got her interested in reenacting, and she was drawn to it by a lifelong passion for history

As stated in the introduction, she made the astute observation that the two activities of Living History and reenacting are distinct, with completely divergent sets of objectives. She does, however prefer research and living history, but does participate in the scripted battles.

The biggest roadblock that she has encountered is a lack of historical sources. She finds it difficult to interact with other women, very few people are interested in the subject she is studying

She wishes that there was more sharing, less spirit of competition between re-enactors, more spirits of camaraderie and mutual aid

Although her passion is for the middle ages and renaissance, she doesn't reenact it. In the hobby, she mainly focuses on early 19th century and second empire of France

She only reenacts with with groups of men. which is primarily in the military context. "Civilian reenacting doesn't particularly interest me."

During the global lockdown, she made use of the downtime by catching up on her sewing and knitting,which is are the sets of skills that she brings to the hobby.

She stated, that in the living history hobby, "there is also that it is a very rich human experience in which one can bind friendships with people of all ages, of all social classes. that we meet people we would never have met otherwise and that there is a real strong link to the breasts of groups."
Julia Korff.

"I had a passion for World War II since I was 13. The library next to my school provided me with quite a few books dedicated to the glory of the Red Army, so I attended meetings with veterans of the Second World War. The documentaries, the articles, the books - it all got me in the middle of the pageant (2006). A friend from the Grossdeutschland association offered to be their photographer during their outing and my story began - I became the historical association photographer Grossdeutschland."

"I love research and living history because they are inseparable. Without looking for them behind my display I could not provide this quality, I am demonstrating my research through my displays"

I have found a lack of cooperation between men and women in the hobby, Misunderstanding between men and women, Yes, I was talking to other passionate women and for this reason I decided to found a 100% female group.

Right now, her group Die Walküren the focus is on living history, but in the future we will be very happy to collaborate with museums, participate in exhibitions and tactical events.

"I like events dedicated to specific battles, especially when the event occurs on the same date, same time and in a specific location during that battle. There is a real immersion in that time and I particularly feel the emotions that overflow at that time."

When asked what she would like to see in the hobby, "I would like everyone to take more responsibility to represent their role as much as possible, without neglecting details and without distorting historical facts."

When asked what her favourite time in history was and what time period she likes to reenact, she said, "World War II, World War I, the Middle Ages, Antiquity.
I am passionate about several periods of history, but the closest for the month is World War II. I am Russian and my nation has suffered a lot during these years, so I chose my way of paying homage to the soldiers on both sides through the pageant., This is her main period, but she said that she would like to do other periods, once she perfects this one.

I am part of a 100% female group (my German group) and I am also part of a Soviet mixed group ww2.

She has done extensive work on her impression, "I researched flakhelferinnen and luftwaffehelferinnen non-stop everyday, translating articles, books and looking for rare photos. I interacted a lot with the experts in this field. I have scoured the auctions a lot to buy the material for my display and now I have the Flakfernrohr 10x80 and the em34 rangefinder in excellent condition."

When asked what external skills applied to living history she said "In my current job I prioritize, I organize, I communicate, I supervise and I plan tasks. These qualities are necessary in group management, prospecting for events and in digital communication."
Sophia Shashunova.

"In 2000, when I began to do reenacting I was attracted by its magical, almost fairy-tale aspect. Perhaps it wasn't 100% authentic but with all dames and knights around, it was interesting nonetheless . One could come to an event and see vikings, alans and slavs.
Even when I did World War II later, I still remembered my initial impressions from my first event. Before me stood all of the heroes of movies that I had seen; the films I grew up with. These were the faces of soldiers with the same uniform. I became a photographer at WW2 reenactment events and began to take pictures of these glimpses into the past myself.

In view of the fact that I was engaged in fundamentally different eras, the Middle Ages and the Second World War, they have just different aspects. In Medieval Reenactment, I research costume, tailoring specifics, study archaeological textiles and already publish scientific articles. And in the reconstruction of the Second World War, the main part was occupied by living sources, but I do not abandon the study of sources in this period either.

"There were no obstacles. Moreover, I was lucky with the people around me and with their help all my projects were successful. We are constantly in touch with other women, they also do not see any problems in the hobby."

She has participated in scripted battle reenactments, living histories and tactical event, and loves the Scripted battle reenactments, Living Histories.

When asked what she would like to see, she said "I would like a deeper immersion in the process of living history from other participants, a higher level of accuracy of the clothing. I would love to do a midieval reenactmetn in a castle, but there aren't any in Russia...

My favorite period in reenactment is World War II. In the earlier periods, I like the 17th century. I have reproduction clothing for almost all the Middle Ages, from the Viking era to the 17th century. I do not specialize in one particular.

As World War II soviet is one of her primary impressions, she has reeancted with units of men and women together, with everyone cooperating and supporting each other.

We are starting a run of gaiters to catch up with orders and add some to stock. We plan to have a good supply on hand by the end of the month. If these were on your Christmas list, there is no better time to jump on them!
The current Plantation site, photo by Toni Klemm.
Barrington Plantation
Washington TX
Barrington Plantation, formerly Barrington Living History Farm, has been a working living history site since March of 2000. As the home of Dr. Anson Jones, the last president of Texas, it represents life on a small cotton plantation in 1850.Dr. Jones livedhere for thirteen years with his wife, Mary, his sister also named Mary, and eight children.Several enslaved people would have shared cabins on the property as well.
Located in Washington, TX, about two hours northwest of Houston and thirty minutes south of College Station,Barrington is part of the larger Washington-on-the-Brazos complex where Texians first declared independence from Mexico in March 1836.Independence Hall, a reproduction building on the original site where Texians signed the Declaration of Independence from Mexico, and the Star of the Republic Museum are also located in the park.
Dr. Jones was originally born in Massachusettsin 1798 and traveled widely before making his home in Texas. Being a Mason allowed him to know influential people in Brazoria County, leading him to settle in the Mexican territory. After hearing Stephen F. Austin give a speech on Texas independence, he left medicine and got involved in politics. He was elected president of Texas in 1844, the first year his family would live in the home at Barrington, and ushered Texas into statehood from there in 1846.
Moved several times within the park in its first sixty years,the Jones home was brought to its present location in 1997, where it underwent a radical restoration. Setting out to retain its original form and function,the dogtrot was opened to the elements, power and HVAC systems were removed, and the home was orientated as it had been on the original location.
The Anson Jones home circa 1997, after being moved to itscurrent location, note the lack of chimneys.Barrington Plantation
Allowing the building to function the way it had been designed by John Campbell, Dr. Jones’ architect, transformed the structure into ahome suited for its natural surroundings. Original family pieces were removed, and the house was filled with exact reproductions or period appropriate furnishings. As a visitor, you can investigate the rooms of an upper middle-class home in 1850.
Interpreters onsite strive to accurately represent activities the Jones family and the
Our oxen Marco (R) and Polo (L) help haul timbers for a new hog fence.Barrington Plantation
enslaved people (Charity, Lucy, Mary, Jerry, Willis, Noble, & Jake) would have been doing in their daily lives. Cooking, sewing, cleaning, and gardening is done in historical ways. Historical agriculture allows visitors to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of stepping back in time.

When you visit, depending on the time of year, you can pick cotton, shell corn, see the oxen working, and explore the houses and gardens.
The chicken yard is in proximity to the slave Quarter garden representing a common feature in an enslaved community.Barrington Plantation

Information for this work is sourced from Dr. Jones’ diaries, period farm manuals, and newspapers available at the time in Texas.His record books, memoranda, and letters were all collected and saved, giving staff the ability to research dates and activities from year-to-year and see how crops and workflow compares.
Fruits and vegetables grown in the gardens offer a taste of the past, since nearly all are pre-1850 varieties grown with historic methods. Harvested corn is stoneground and used onsite during the year. The most productive fruits and vegetables are for sale at the complex Farmer’s Markets. As well as eating fresh produce,staff butcher the farm-raised chickens, ducks, and hogsand utilize the meat during cooking programs.
Throughout the year,Barrington hosts a variety of events with seasonal themes.In November,“Labour of Thine Hands” focuses on skilled crafts that the farmer relied upon, bringing in demonstrators of pottery, woodworking, blacksmithing, and other trades. “Candlelight Christmas”, which will be virtual this year, opens the planation with vignettes showing how Christmas could have been celebrated by the Jones family, the enslaved, a traveling minister, and others.
Lighting the Christmas Tree is an anticipated moment during the Candlelight Christmas program.Barrington Plantation
On the weekend closest to March 2nd, Texas’ birthday, Washington-on-the-Brazos hosts Texas Independence Day Celebration, themost popular event in the park.In June we honor the formerly enslaved freed by the Emancipation Proclamation on the weekend nearest Juneteenth, June 19th.
For a calendar of events and programs ongoing throughout the year please check Facebook at visit Through social media, you can keep up with our Factual Friday series, where we dispel history myths and educate visitors about material culture; Throwback Thursdays, where we discuss historic fruits and vegetables; and videos about life on the Plantation.
Barrington Plantation is open 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Wed.-Sun. and located at:

23100 Barrington Ln.
Washington, TX 77880
(936) 878-2214 x.246.

Tickets for entry can be purchased at the Washington-on-the-Brazos Visitor Center.
Camp Floyd Project.
Our wonderful customers at the Camp Floyd historic site, shared these pictures of the flag that they are currently hand painting on site for their interpretation program. Steven Hill of Dupaige Flag has been of incalculable assistance in guiding them in what is sure to be an oustanding end result. We are excited to see the progress and look forward to seeing the finished flag!
In an effort to streamline the order process, and completely elimnate any wait or issue, we have launched an ebay store, which is stocked with a variety of goods. Everything that is posted there is guaranteed to ship in two days after purchase. Book mark the page and check back often as we are constantly adding new items.
Discounted magazine subscription offered to our cusotmers!
Harry Zhang.
My name is Harry Zhang and I have been reenacting for four years. I first got into reenacting because I have always liked history. So living history sounded quite appealing to me. My primary impressions are Federal soldier of the Civil War and 1860s, and sometimes Revolutionary War. I greatly enjoy Victorian era fashion, that's why I love reenacting civilian as well. My favorite part of the hobby is period music.
 I first got involved in Civil War reenacting in Washington state when one of my friend handed me posted about the 20th Maine Company F and I have stuck with them ever since. Back in Washington state we did instate event every year and surprisingly there are decent amount of reenacting that far out west. One of my friends in the 20th
Maine plays a minstrel banjo and got me into actually playing the songs I love. The banjo I use is a reproduction from Bell Banjo. I taught myself on it, with the tips and aids of others at events. More recently however, I moved to Virginia to attend the College of William and Mary. In Virginia I am with the 99th New York and attended Cedar Creek and Fort Branch last year. The colonial-era college is old and has a unique tradition: it has a revolutionary war reenacting company attached to it, and they interested me and fitted me with the gear necessary to explore the 18th century.
Federal Issue Blanket update!
We are making some serious headway with the Federal Issue blankets. Picture is the sample yarn back from the spinner,which was forwarded to the mill for a sample run. We are as excited as anyone else, because this is the first time that we had total control from the raw wool on upward. We will continue to post updates as the mill sends them along.
We have more new items coming, so follow us on facebook , twer
We have the unbelievable opportunity to save critical parcels of historic land on two Tennessee battlefields, for a combined total of 303 acres! The first tract includes 301 acres that played an important role in the “Battle Above the Clouds” at Lookout Mountain. The second tract is a small but crucial parcel at the Franklin Battlefield, which adds a key piece of ground to the land you’ve already worked so hard to reclaim and restore.

The Background
“Battle Above the Clouds” at Lookout Mountain

It was November of 1863, just a few months after the Confederate victory at Chickamauga, Georgia. General Braxton Bragg positioned his Army of Tennessee on the heights above the strategic rail center of Chattanooga, Tennessee — which was occupied by the Federal Army of the Cumberland.  
Above Chattanooga, Bragg’s entrenched Confederates controlled the steep palisades of the gigantic, 1,400-foot-tall Lookout Mountain, a seemingly impregnable position.  
Yet Union General Joseph Hooker saw a weakness in Bragg’s position. A noted local expert on the battle explains that Hooker, “having studied carefully where Confederates were and were not on the western and northwestern slopes of the mountain, planned to apply feint, deception, and maneuver to achieve, as he saw it, his just authorized objective conduct a demonstration against the Confederates on the northern tip of Lookout Mountain and, if practical, take the northern tip of the mountain.”  
Now, if you look at the map, you can see Lookout Creek bounding the target property on the west. An informal picket line began to form over this portion of the tract, which had served as the front line between the two forces since late October, and soon witnessed a great deal of fraternization — soldiers from both sides interacted, trading items such as newspapers and Southern tobacco for delicacies like Northern coffee.  
But this wasn’t all the soldiers traded — exchanges along the line kept Hooker apprised of his opponents’ locations on the heights. Hooker received word that Confederate forces had dramatically shortened the south end of their line, providing just the opening he needed. 
Early on the morning of November 24, Hooker boldly ordered his troops to attack the Confederate units entrenched on the mountain slopes, commanding Brigadier General John W. Geary’s division to cross Lookout Creek at a point known as Light’s Mill, also on the property we are working to preserve today.  
The lofty heights of Lookout Mountain seemed to present a formidable obstacle. However, Hooker’s knowledge of the Confederate positions ultimately turned his maneuver into a Union victory. Hooker’s unexpected advance and tactical success at Lookout Mountain opened the door for his troops to join the Battle of Missionary Ridge the next day, where Bragg’s army was routed by Union forces. Quartermaster General Montgomery Miegs, seeing the combat unfold amid the morning fog at Lookout Mountain, dubbed it the “Battle Above the Clouds.”

Franklin Battlefield – 2 Acre Tract 
The 2-acre parcel located along the Lewisburg Pike witnessed heavy combat on November 30, 1864. Confederate General Thomas Scott’s brigade of Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee troops charged across these acres making a final push towards the Federal defensive works on the left flank of the Union line as the battle raged around them. Scott’s troops faced withering fire from Federal artillery and muskets and suffered heavy casualties.  
If you look to the battle map, you can see in yellow the tract’s position on the right flank of Gen. William W. Loring’s Division. At the time of the battle, this tract made up the northwest corner of a property called Carnton, owned by John McGavock. Many of the soldiers killed in this battle were later buried in the McGavock Confederate Cemetery.