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Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get involved with re-enacting?
The hobby of re-enacting goes back to Greek and Roman times when civilians would portray ancient battles as a way of preserving the past and honoring their history.  Today, the same thing can be said about modern day re-enactors.  We are not real soldiers but rather people who come together to share a love for the past and preserving history.  

We portray various Civil War battles throughout the year across the country as well as host Civil War army encampments open to the general public through living history opportunities at museums, schools, libraries, and parks.  It is a way of telling the story of our past. 
The hobby of re-enacting as with other hobbies can be expensive.  It depends on how much you’d like to invest in a uniform and various other equipment such as a tent.  With that said, you really only need to start with getting yourself a basic uniform so that you can begin to participate.  Many sutler websites on the internet can provide you with an introductory uniform but also offer higher quality equipment as well depending upon your budget.  Nonetheless, many organizations are certainly willing to loan you these materials in an effort to get you started and avoid some of those costs.
Yes!  Absolutely.  We are always eager for new members to join and portray soldiers from the Civil War era.  Joining is easy and often times members can loan you equipment to get started.  As you practice drilling instruction, learn about the life of a soldier and get to be educated on historical facts you can move up the ranks from private to leutenant, etc.
What is Civil War re-enacting?
Is it an expensive hobby?
Can I start re-enacting right away?
There are a number of ways that you can get involved in the hobby of re-enacting.  You can search for local re-enacting groups in your area such as the 3rd NJ Volunteer Infantry or other similar organizations.  There are many around the country portraying both Union and Confederate armies.  You can get involved as a re-enactor either by joining a group to portray a common soldier,an artillery unit, or cavalry.  

Finally, if you are interested in getting involved not as a soldier, but more as a civilian from the 1860’s, you may also fall in with these groups and participate in the same events.  Often civilians are portrayed more in town or army camp settings.
Yes, of course.  There are a few ways that this is possible.  In Civil War times there were instances when woman would join the army either for the cause of the Union or Confederacy but also as a way to be closer to loved ones who may also be fighting.  Women can get involved in re-enacting just as easily as men.  However, it should be noted that women who fought in the army during the 1860’s would have concealed being a woman by hiding their hair under their hats to be more secretive.   Additionally, women can get involved by portraying an 1860’s civilian.
Can woman portray Civil War life as well?
Below are a basic series of questions that are often asked of our NJ Civil War re-enactment group and hopefully will help address any questions you may have if you too are considering becoming a member or our regiment.

1861 Springfield, Musket, NJ, Civil War, reenactors
3rd New Jersey Civil War Reenactors
The members in the 3rd NJ are more than open to new members joining and know that buying all the gear at once can be a great investment.  However, many items can be loaned to you so you can get started ASAP.  You will need your own hat, and boots (brogans) to get started at least.  These items are essential as they should be your size.  Other items such as a sack coat, trousers, and a musket can be loaned to an individual just getting started.  
What type of equipment do I need to get started?