MCWRA Officers and
Frequently Asked Questions
Things you might want to know about MCWRA
A list of upcoming events
Links to other units homepages
Any new information that you might benefit from
Click here for the membership renewal form
All the info you need to join, host or participate in MCWRA events.
YOU WANT TO HOLD A CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT
The Missouri Civil War Reenactors Association is a
well-established sanctioning body for events in the Missouri,
Arkansas, and Kansas area. We are a non-profit
organization of living historians who enjoy participating in well-planned
events throughout Missouri
and surrounding states. We can help you plan your event so all involved gain
from it. We have certain policies and procedures that sponsors have to follow
to reap the benefits of the cause. The MCWRA has been a sanctioning body
since 1978. The following is a compilation of what we believe to be the best
way to prepare for and understand the logistics and necessities needed for a
1. Sponsors must work closely with members of a reenactment unit in your
area. The unit will agree to sponsor the event with you, provide you advice
and guidance, work with reenactors
to get estimates of attendance, obtain commanders, and work with you on
scenarios. They are NOT expected to do the physical work involved with
setting up the event.
2. Estimate your costs to determine what size event you can afford to hold
and the amenities you will need to provide. You can expect to spend $10-$15
per reenactor for a full-amenity event. Please
refer to the list of mandatory and optional amenities elsewhere in this
3. Media contacts will need to be established. We will need to know what
media you plan to use and that you are prepared to publicize the event to
make it worthwhile for us to attend.
4. Establish a site for the event, preferably with easy access for
spectators, reenactors and emergency equipment,
plenty of parking, etc. If you are fighting on an original battlefield,
everyone involved from reenactors to the public is
a little more lenient about convenience of the site.
5. The sponsoring unit will help you to complete an event application form
and send it in by the deadline of July 1st of the year before the event is
planned. This will give the Secretary time to collect the applications and
give the President time to contact the local and unit sponsors of the event
so they can be present at the August planning meeting.
6. You are responsible for attending the scheduling meeting and presenting
your event's specifics. (This is the time to sell it to our members and unit
Regardless of event size, purpose, etc., you must furnish the following
amenities or your event will not be listed on our calendar.
1. Sanitary Facilities: Either permanent indoors facilities or portable
toilets or some combination thereof must be provided. You must include at
least one handicapped facility for each 100 reenactors
to be compliant with the "Americans with Disabilities Act"
requirements. The absolute minimum requirement is one portable toilet for
each 25 reenactors and they must be pumped at least
twice each day during the event. If you are expecting large numbers, increase
the number of toilets.
2. Hay for Horses: One bale of hay per day is required for each horse
expected. The hay must be dry, not moldy, and should be stored near the
cavalry camps (or at least in a place where it cannot be confused with
3. Straw for Bedding: The amount varies by time of year. In summer, one bale
for each three reenactors is plenty. In colder
weather, one bale for each two reenactors is a
minimum. Straw must be stored in a dry place.
4. Drinking Water: Amount varies by time of year and cooking needs. Five
gallons per reenactor is a good average. In the
summer, figure on more as people use it to cool-off.
5. Ice: In warm weather, you will need to provide about 20 lb. per person to
issue us enough to help us stay cool and to have a reserve in case of a
6. Water for Livestock: You MUST provide good water for horses, either
through your water truck or other safe, on-site sources.
7. Firewood: Amount needed varies by time of year. In hot weather, we
normally need only enough for cooking; in cold weather, we need enough also
to stay warm. A number of small units will use more wood than a single large
unit since there is normally one fire per camp. Wood must be well cured or a
mixture of green and cured; construction scraps for kindling are a help. Wood
should be kept dry if possible and cut to reasonable lengths and not too big
around. Estimated need ranges from one cord for each 50 to 100 reenactors, depending on the season. Wood that is green
rotted or saw mill slab wood is not of acceptable usable quality.
8. Garbage and Trash Facilities: Facilities are needed to keep the camps from
having too much non-period trash, especially the containers used to
distribute raw foods. You may wish to add separate recycling ability, such as
a wooden barrel for empty aluminum cans.
9. Emergency Medical Response: An emergency medical team (ambulance) on-site
is required whenever we are firing. They must remain on-site until the field
is cleared. It is highly recommended that the team remain on-site; if
possible from the time the area opens for registration until camp breakdown,
especially during hot weather.
These amenities are not required to gain event approval, but attendance is
generally proportional to amenities offered.
1. Raw Foodstuffs: This is the most common amenity. Reenactors
prepare food in generally period ways. If you provide this, remember that reenactors normally are hearty eaters. Food quantities
and suggested menus are furnished separately (see attachment). Meals normally
include breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, lunch on Sunday, and lunch and
supper (or a single mid-afternoon meal) on Saturday.
2. Prepared Meals: The most typical meal furnished is Saturday supper. We
highly recommend no more than one be provided since they detract from the
authentic atmosphere of the camps.
3. Powder for Artillery: If you want Artillery at your event, you need to
consider a minimum powder ration of 8-10 lbs. for each gun you wish to have.
Artillery pieces will use from ¼ to 1 lb. per shot, so even with an issue you
will probably not cover their costs. The cannon crews always appreciate more
than the normal allowance and the cannon are always a crowd pleaser. Lately,
a more practical option has been to pay a "cash bounty" in lieu of
powder. This bounty is usually $100 or more per cannon and the Artillery
units can buy more powder per dollar than an event sponsor can. This method
also relieves the event sponsor from the burdens of complying with various
state and federal laws regarding purchases and storage of large quantities of
4. Caps for Infantry and Cavalry: While reenactors
do not require these issues, it helps motivate them to attend your event. One
tin of caps per man is considered ideal, but lesser issues will not be
refused. The Infantry units usually roll 100 rifle cartridges per pound.
5. Speaker Systems: A good on-site speaker system can help you keep the
spectators informed as to what is going on during the event and assist with
6. Extras: One item that proves popular in the summer is swimming pool passes
or access to showers. Free access to local museums is appreciated.
The MCWRA liability insurance provides $2 Million per occurrence coverage in
the event a reenactor injures a spectator. All
Maximum Effort Events and Sanctioned Events are required to be covered by
this insurance. Event organizers are required to reimburse the MCWRA $400 for
the event coverage. Additional riders naming an "also insured" cost
the MCWRA $50 and this cost is also required to be recovered.. It is required that a check for the appropriate amount
be delivered at the August Board Meeting at the time the event is voted on to
the schedule. Failure to have the check at that time can result in delayed
approval of your event.
A week or two prior to the event, the event sponsor should arrange to get a
copy of the MCWRA membership roster so that it can be used at registration to
verify membership and collect a $10 fee from each non-member to be remitted
to the MCWRA treasurer after the event along with a list of the names of the
non-members. This will ensure that those non-members are covered by the
insurance. Failure to do this will result in a refusal to list your event in the
TYPE OF EVENT:
MCWRA Free Access Policy: No entry fees may be charged to the public for
attending an MCWRA event, nor for access to the site of the event or the military
camps. (This does not preclude providing preferential services to major event
supporters.) All advertising and signs must make it very clear that free
access is available. This does not preclude the ability to
charge for parking.
1. Maximum Effort Event: You must be able to involve Infantry, Cavalry,
Artillery and Medical scenarios in the event. You should have sufficient
space and a sufficient budget for 500 or more reenactors,
approximately 25%-35% of whom will be Civilian non-combatant family members.
The site must be large enough to handle the group. You should be well
organized and have sufficient funds to provide substantial amenities.
2. Sanctioned Event: You desire a smaller event of 200-400 persons, and/or
you cannot use one or more of the major military branches.
3. Local Event: You only desire to draw reenactors
in your local area, perhaps 200 or fewer. You may restrict one or more
branches because of location, etc.
4. Benefit Event: You may charge admission as a fundraiser for a specific
worthy cause related to historic preservation. However, you must put all
entry fees into the worthy cause; you MAY NOT use any to defray the cost of
the event. A financial report to the MCWRA will be required, following the
5. Listed Event: You wish to be listed on our calendar but do not want MCWRA
insurance coverage or cannot comply with the MCWRA Free Access Policy because
of constraints at the site. You probably should not expect a substantial
MCWRA turnout. We will not list an event that conflicts with a maximum effort
or sanctioned event.
NOTE: The above numbers of reenactors are for the organizers to determine if they
can handle those numbers. The MCWRA
cannot and does not make any promises that that number of reenactors
will attend your event. Every unit
makes their own decision based on a variety of factors, including proximity
to other events, national events, amenities being offered, time of year etc.
1. Battles/Skirmishes: This is the high
point of the event for spectators and many reenactors. One good action per day is preferred, unless
you are doing a historic battle that is utterly boring, one-sided or does not
involve all arms. In some cases, other interesting activities may substitute
for one of the battles. The time should be set to avoid the heat of the day
but to allow maximum spectator access. The Sunday battle must be early enough
to tear down and get home at a reasonable time. Medical demonstrations are
normally done in conjunction with the Saturday Battle/Skirmish.
2. Night Firing Demonstrations or Candlelight Tours: These demonstrations are
impressive, but take a lot of reenactor effort. If
you want one of these, be sure to request it in your application so we do not
have too many of each.
3. Dance, Period Ball, or Fashion Show: If you want a large turnout, you
should have one of these activities to provide a time for the women to dress
in their finery. Any dance should include at least some period music/dances
even if the local people will participate in a more modern dance later.
Saturday afternoon is a good time for a fashion show.
4. Parades: Plan how to get us to and from the parade site. You will also
need to consider weather, conflicting activities, etc.
5. Living History Demonstrations (Only): If you only want a select group to
participate in your demonstration and you do not plan on having a skirmish,
this is appropriate. Normally, your donation to MCWRA insurance costs is
requested at $400 instead of the $600 that other events involve.
6. Non-Reenactment Activities: Picnics, flea markets, etc., may not be
compatible with reenactments since they may draw people away from the event.
You and your sponsor unit must take a close look at any concurrent
activities. If there are coinciding events, you should try incorporating them
in some way. Examples would be: basket/pie suppers or sanitary fairs. Contact
your unit liaison for more information on these types of activities.
PLANNING AN EVENT
(Tips that will help to make things run smoothly)
Two Months Before The Event:
»Pass out fliers or posters at one or more civil war events
»Talk to commanders
»Send an article to the "Western Campaigner" with schedule, event
activities and maps
»Contact all local television, radio stations, newspapers, clubs, and
organizations using Public Service Announcements (PSA's) to alert the public
of the event
»Police, fire and emergency people should be notified and educated
»Make, rent or purchase signs to direct public and reenactors
to the event location
One Month Before The Event:
»Reconnect with media for live coverage by radio and television stations. Do
not forget the newspapers in the area. Sometimes they like to have lead-in
stories, reprint articles from the time period, or historic documentaries
Two Weeks Before The Event:
»All plans for the purchase and delivery of amenities should be finalized -
Water for human and horse consumption, raw food, hay, straw, grain, firewood,
public barriers, porta-potties - standard and
»Put the last of the updated information in local newspapers, i.e., schedule
»Double check police, fire and medical personnel
One Week Before The Event:
»Make sign for specific camps: Union and Confederate - Infantry, Civilian,
»Remind all people involved of their responsibilities
»Take firewood to location, if possible
Friday of The Event/Day Before Start Date of Event:
»Have water and porta-potties delivered
»Signs should be in place before the noon hour
»Pick-up all amenities and/or help unload them
»Stake out camp sites, if necessary
»3:00 p.m. - Registration desk should be set-up and staffed
»11:00 p.m. - Plan food hand outs from the registration list
»Check firewood, straw, hay and water supplies
Saturday of The Event/First Day of Event:
»5:00 a.m. - Assigned personnel should be up and getting food divided
»6:00 a.m. - Wake-up call
»6:30 a.m. - Hand-out all food at pre-determined place known at least to both
overall commanders. If dinner and supper will take time to prepare, grant
that food also at this time.
»8:00 a.m. to Officer's Call: Go over schedule for both days, check numbers,
ask about 10:00 a.m. - problems, etc. Tour battle site. Answer and field
»11:00 a.m. - Distribute dinner and supper food unless already done so
earlier »12:00 p.m. - Place public barricades for safety on battle site
»Before commencing battle: Walk in front of barricades and explain need to
stay behind safety barricades
»During battle: Keep public behind safety barricades
»Meet with the principal officers immediately to see about adjustment for
»Pass out Saturday evening dinner food unless already distributed
»Check with local officials on how they thought thing are going
»10:00 p.m. - Check camps for unnecessary activities, noise, and fire safety
»11:00 p.m. - Bedtime
Sunday of the Event/Last Day of the Event
»7:00 a.m. - Pass out breakfast and lunch foods
»After Battle: Walk through camps and thank all for attending and supervise
clean-up. Return borrowed items.
AMENITY SUGGESTION LIST
The following list of amenities is provided to help plan logistical support
for a living history weekend. The items outlined below should be considered
to be advisory in nature and used as a general guideline for the provision of
minimal necessities. Raw foodstuffs should be issued to Union
and Confederate quartermasters in bulk. They, in turn, will issue the rations
to the individual companies, based on muster rolls. Sponsors should not issue
rations directly to individuals as all reenactors
will be supplied by authorized quartermasters.
Rations for 100 Reenactors Other Support
3 lb. Onions
20 lb. Bacon
20 Dozen Eggs
15 lb. Potatoes
15 Loaves Bread
»Wood: Dry, for cooking
»Straw: An amount per person sufficient for sleeping and ground cover
»Hay: 1 Bale per horse per day
3 lb. Onions
20 lb. Ham
15 lb. Dry White Beans
12 Dozen Apples
»Water - a MUST: 5 Gallons per participant; troughs for horses; as close to
camps as possible
3 lb. Onions
25 lb. Stew Meat
10 lb. Carrots
25 lb. Potatoes
15 Loaves Bread
»Sanitation: 1 portable facility per 50 persons expected including public.
Remember to have at least two handicapped facilities. These must be kept
clean and siphoned twice each day during the event
3 lb. Onions
20 lb. Bacon
20 Dozen Eggs
15 lb. Potatoes
15 Loaves Bread
20 lb. Sliced Ham
15 Loaves Bread
12 Dozen Peaches
Miscellaneous for All Meals
2 lb. Salt
2 lb. Coffee
Tin of Pepper
MISSOURI CIVIL WAR REENACTORS ASSOCIATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR
List the weekend you want the event, plus alternatives in case you conflict
with a higher priority event. We will not schedule an event on the weekend
before or after a maximum effort event, nor will we schedule two events the
same weekend unless they are local events in widely separated areas.
We give priority to events being held on actual battle sites. The higher the
historic value, the more likely it will receive the sanction level requested.
Select the activities you would like to offer, keeping in mind that reenactors also like to see your historic sites. For
descriptions of each type of activity, see the Event Information Sheet.
Number of Reenactors Desired:
Base this on what your site will handle and what you can afford. If you need
to limit attendance, you need to plan this well in advance.
Type/Size of Event Desired:
See the Event Information Sheet for descriptions of each type. If you want a
Maximum Effort Event, be prepared to strongly promote your event to reenactors.
Site Information and Map of Site:
This will help us decide if the site is capable of handling an event of the
size requested, and if its layout is conducive to a good event.
We want our events to be the Main Show. You may have other compatible
activities in conjunction with the event (i.e., craft show, historic
celebration), but we do not want to compete with activities that will draw
people away from our site.
This shows that you understand the conditions that the MCWRA insists upon
before approving an event. Also, that the MCWRA has no control over the
decisions of its members, either individuals or units, as to whether they
attend an event.
MCWRA EVENT APPLICATION
(Print, fillout and return to MCWRA)
Name of Event:
MCWRA Host Unit:
Brief description, including actual dates of the historical event being
Sanction Level Requested:
Maximum Effort Event "
Sanctioned Event "
Local Event "
Benefit Event "
Listed Event "
Date Requested for Event:
Alternate Dates (Select Two):
Will all basic amenities be provided as recommended in the MCWRA Event
Yes " No " If No, Provide Details:
Will all service branches be included in scenarios?
Yes " No " If No, Provide Details:
Signing of this application by authorized representatives of the Local
Sponsor and the Host Unit signifies they have read and do understand the
MCWRA event requirements and guidelines as set forth in the MCWRA Event
Local Sponsor Representative:
MCWRA Host Unit
BELOW THIS LINE FOR MCWRA USE ONLY
Sanction Level Granted:
Event Date Granted:
MCWRA Insurance Policy
The MCWRA carries a $2 million dollar liability insurance policy which
protects the MCWRA as an association, and its members, if a reenactor injures a spectator. All events which request
and are granted sanctioning as a "Maximum Effort",
"Sanctioned" or "Benefit" are required to be covered by
The event sponsors are required to remit to the MCWRA at the August board and
scheduling meeting, a check for $400, payable to the "MCWRA". This
is a condition of being granted the sanctioning. While this does not even
begin to cover the actual expense of providing the insurance, it helps. If an
event decides that it also needs supplemental coverage, such for a Chamber of
Commerce, Fair Board etc., an "also
insured" rider is available for an additional $50.