Preparations continue for the March 13-15, 2015 Battle of Helena reenactment/living history. Many people get confused the two aspects of historical interpretation. What is the difference between living history and reenactments? And are there different kinds of each aspect? There are many differences and the short answer to the latter is: YES!
Living history is where someone portrays a historic person. There is a lot of research involved in living history. March 13-15, the 33rd Missouri will have one of the largest living histories in the state as they accurately portray a unit in Helena garrisoning Fort Curtis. They have done their research from the clothes they will be wearing to the food they will be eating during the event. It will be like stepping back in time and watching what an entire company of men would have done in a fort during the Civil War.
Reenacting is much different. While standards are usually very high with living historians with their authenticity, reenactors are quite a different story. Reenactors study military movements and portray a historic event rather than a specific person. The reenactors are an integral part of interpreting the history of the Civil War and will give spectators in March 2015 a look at how a battle unfolds.
Speaking of authenticity, the iron soldier you see in the photo above represents the level of research that has gone in to the planning of this event, while never forgetting the reason we have this event: to remember that fateful day on July 4, 1863 and the men that fought it on both sides, and the best way we can pay tribute to them is to accurately portray the battle and what happened chronologically 152 years ago in Helena.
Battery C Park, maintained by the Delta Cultural Center, is open daily from 9am-5pm.