Free with Museum Admission
Recommended for all ages
Did you know that as many as 1,000 women fought in the American Civil War? You might not be able to tell if you took a look at a historical reenactment today.In celebration of Women’s History Month, meet living historians who recreate and share the underrepresented and contested contributions to war efforts in the North and South by women who openly served in combat roles and women who disguised themselves as men to enlist, as well as individuals who may not have identified as one gender.
Families can enlist in the company of living historians to learn a military drill or the steps to firing a cannon. After all, Sarah Rosetta Wakeman—a New Yorker who disguised her gender to fight—wrote, “I can drill just as well as any man!” Or, learn how women disguised their appearance and how reenactors accomplish the same masquerade today, discover how easy it was to pass the medical exams that permitted so many disguised women to join the ranks, and read letters from women describing their experiences.
Our diverse group of living historians who cross identities in order to reenact the American Civil War—a hobby whose military casts are traditionally and predominantly composed of men—is organized by Reenactress, the forthcoming documentary about female Civil War reenactors who cross-dress to portray soldiers on the battlefield. Whether women or transgender reenactors breathe life into women or unidentified soldiers of the Civil War or simply wish to have the same chance to reenact as men, they soldier on against discrimination and strive for an equal opportunity to teach you about the past!
About the Living Historian
The program’s living historians will be led by J.R. Hardman, a reenactor and filmmaker for whom Reenactress is her feature-length directorial debut. J.R. is the Senior Tour Manager for Campus MovieFest (CMF), the world's largest student film festival. She has helped to coordinate and represent the festival for students all around the world! She has produced several short documentaries and fiction films including "Muslim in Love," which premiered at the 2009 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, "The Coach," which screened as part of the 2011 Arnold Sports Film Festival, and “Touching,” which was featured in several festivals including the 25th Anniversary Outfest: Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival in 2007. She graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, with a B.A. in Cinema/Television Production and Spanish.
All Images Courtesy of Reenactress