Civil War Buffs Help Impart U.S. History

By Wilson, Christie | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, January 27, 2013 | Go to article overview

Civil War Buffs Help Impart U.S. History


Wilson, Christie, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


Don't expect to see the Battle of Bull Run playing out at an open field near you any time soon.

With a small muster of about 20, the Civil War re-enactors with the Hawaii Civil War Round Table are more interested in visiting schools, Scout packs and community groups and participating in parades and living-history programs than restaging major campaigns from the "War Between the States."

The re-enactors will make appearances at events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, including a two-week traveling exhibit at Kapolei Public Library sponsored by the Library of America, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Hawai'i Council for the Humanities.

The "Civil War 150" exhibit runs through Feb. 9, with an opening celebration at 10:30 a.m. Monday, when the local re-enactors will share information about the era's military uniforms, weaponry and camp life.

Recent interest in the Civil War has been stoked by numerous TV shows and events tied to the anniversary, Steven Spielberg's acclaimed movie "Lincoln" and the PBS?documentary "The Abolitionists," which aired this month.

The transformational period in U.S. history has long been of interest to Eric Mueller of Kailua, a history buff, model builderand former Navy submariner who first became interested in Civil War re-enactments while stationed in Charleston, S.C., where the first shots of the conflict were fired.

After a subsequent posting at Pearl Harbor, Mueller, 40, got "deeply into the hobby" when he returned to the mainland in the early 2000s. He role-plays for the Union side as an infantry private and has acquired several sets of period uniforms and gear - "everything and then some. …

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