Menu

US

Playing dead: At Civil War re-enactments, deciding who 'dies' can be a heavy responsibility

Civil War re-enactors love pulling on wool uniforms, drawing their period muskets and acting out authentic battle scenes. But eventually, someone's going to have play dead.

Enthusiasts say determining who dies, and when, is one of the toughest decisions. Some re-enactors who travel long ways would prefer not having to get shot early on in a re-enactment.

There are different ways to figure out who's going to die. Some units will draw slips of paper with different scenarios.

Some will insert black cartridges into soldiers' ammunition boxes. A black cartridge means that soldier goes down.

Other times, re-enacting units will write out scripts. Or, simply, tired re-enactors will just choose to get wounded and fall to the ground.