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Civil War reenactors teach, learn at the same time

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Updated: 9/01/2013 10:40 pm
IUKA, Miss. (WTVA) - There could be any number of reasons as to why people from all over the Southeast work together to do Civil War reenactments.

For some, it's an opportunity to honor those before them who were involved in the deadliest war in United States history.

"People need to know what their ancestors did, what they put up with," said Charles Morrison, reenactor. "I do it primarily to honor the ones that did it the first time."

What's very important to these reenactors is that younger people get a better understanding of what transpired on and off the battlefields between 1861 and 1865.

"If they don't know their American history, they are lacking a great portion of their own self identity, of who they are, what their people before them were, what they stood for [and] what their morals their beliefs and creeds were," said Dennis Bagwell, reenactor.

For the people that participate in Civil War reenactments, not only are they doing this to teach the next generation about history, but they say that they learn something new each time they put on a uniform and step out onto the battlefield.

"It's always a learning experience," adds Jimmy Steppe, historian/reenactor. "You're never going to learn it all and that's one of the reasons we are here, to learn and to teach as well."

"I learn something new every day, and especially in the areas [dealing with] what took place, the time period during that time [and] how people lived," added Sylvia Hall, vendor.

Another key aspect as to why people donate their time and talents is to make sure what really happened is portrayed as accurately as possible, because some stories do tend to become farfetched.

"There are a lot of untruths because naturally, to the victor goes the spoils and the right to tell the story," adds Morrison. "They're telling the story the way they want it."

Besides the reenactment on the battlefield, the Battle of Iuka also featured a concert, a memorial illumination and various education seminars along with roll calls and presentations.

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