17 April 2011 by Published in: General musings 21 comments

This photo, taken last Sunday on the steps of the Ohio State House at the Ohio Civil War 150 kick-off event, which featured a speech by Wes Cowan of The Antiques Roadshow, pretty much leaves me speechless. Apparently, there was another event going on downtown at the same time….

UPDATE, APRIL 18, 2011: I’ve gotten a piece of hate mail from a fellow member of the Sesquicentennial Commission, slamming me big time for posting this photo. He says it makes the re-enactors look bad and that it also makes the Commission look bad. While I am not a re-enactor and personally don’t get it, I have plenty of friends who are re-enactors who take it very seriously by trying to get it right, and it was never my intention to offend any of them. My intention was to take a photo that HAD ALREADY SPREAD ACROSS THE INTERNET by the time I saw it, and have a little bit of fun with it. As I told him, if he takes himself so seriously as a re-enactor that he can’t have a laugh at a silly, funny picture, then that’s a real shame

As for the Commission: My membership on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on the Civil War is a matter of great pride for me. It’s important to me to have been asked to serve on the Commission, as I think that I have something to offer. I take that responsibility VERY seriously, although I try never to take myself too seriously (although I admittedly don’t always succeed).

Unfortunately, I could not attend the event, as I had already committed to do the event in Greencastle, PA months before the idea for this event was even cooked up. I felt it would be disingenuous to brag about an event I could not and did not attend, and at the same time, I wanted to let it be known that we can all have a little fun with this stuff, that there’s no reason to be as serious as a heart attack about it all the time. It certainly was not intended to belittle the effort that went into planning and executing the event–which was substantial–or to disrespect anyone who participated in it. If any other of my fellow Commission members–other than the member who sent me the hate mail–were offended by my having a little fun with this, then I apologize for offending you. However, I do not, and will not, apologize for thinking that it’s okay not to take ourselves–and the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial–too seriously.

Scridb filter


  1. Mark Pflum
    Sun 17th Apr 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Yes, this is quite disturbing. The woman in uniform and the appearance of Captain Jack Sparrow are TOTALLY unacceptable! All that is missing is Waldo. LOL

    This is why most reenacting units are often referred to as: “A social group of costumed campers . . . ” History isn’t important, it’s being able to dress up and have fun that is important.

    If only the Courthouse Battery had been there. They would have helped to bring some quality to this photo. They are a credit to all Buckeyes!

  2. Duane
    Sun 17th Apr 2011 at 6:53 pm

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

  3. Sun 17th Apr 2011 at 7:07 pm

    My favorites are the two Ghostbusters on the left hand side. πŸ™‚

  4. Darth E. Lee
    Sun 17th Apr 2011 at 7:21 pm

    The FARB is strong in this one…

  5. Mark Pflum
    Sun 17th Apr 2011 at 7:41 pm

    That should have been the _Statehouse_ Battery! D’OH!
    (I was knocked senseless by the assault this picture made against my logic processors . . . ) LOL

  6. Brian
    Sun 17th Apr 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Where are the Ewoks? πŸ™‚

  7. Sun 17th Apr 2011 at 11:23 pm

    That is priceless.

  8. John
    Mon 18th Apr 2011 at 9:32 am

    There are no words for this, othen than maybe disgusting.

  9. dan
    Mon 18th Apr 2011 at 11:16 am

    Obviously, this is a PR disaster for the re-enacting community.
    The most important question for me is why would these fellows pose with Star Wars characters for this photograph?
    What is the calculation they made that made them come to the conclusion that posing with Star Wars characters would be good for their units, good for Civil War studies, and good for re-enacting?

  10. Mon 18th Apr 2011 at 12:37 pm

    What a joke!

  11. Mon 18th Apr 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I always wondered what it would look like if the two Grand Armies of the Republic came together…

  12. Brad Snyder
    Mon 18th Apr 2011 at 8:12 pm


    I could not agree with you more. Life is too short to not have a good laugh once in a while. It was a very funny photo and, as you point out, it is not like you took the photo, orchestrated the photo or first put it on the internet. I can’t believe that someone actually got upset about you posting the photo. Obviously, they are taking themselves way too seriously. Keep up the good work!

  13. Glen Hughes
    Tue 19th Apr 2011 at 1:31 am

    Those sunglasses on the yank don’t look period to me. Iknow they existed for syphyliss sufferers but those seem kinda big.

  14. Ray
    Tue 19th Apr 2011 at 11:37 am

    Where are the Zouaves?

  15. Tue 19th Apr 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Hmm. Something akin to Harry Turtledove’s _Guns of the South_.

  16. Ken Noe
    Tue 19th Apr 2011 at 2:46 pm

    β€œThis will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of John Hunt Kenobi, and will soon see the end of the rebellion.”

  17. Tue 19th Apr 2011 at 3:06 pm

    LOL. I love it, Ken. πŸ™‚

  18. Sat 23rd Apr 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Obviously the re-enacters weren’t offended. They posed for the photo. Nobody’s being disrespected, it’s in fun.

    Nothing to apologize for, Eric.

    Except maybe that you weren’t there and in some sort of costume…

    got a favorite Star Wars guy?

  19. Sat 23rd Apr 2011 at 7:43 pm


    Yep, Lando Calrisian. Notice that he’s not there. πŸ™

  20. Thu 28th Apr 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Hi Eric,

    Boy has this photo generated some attention! I believe the Star Wars/pirate/etc. group was in town for a toy show and just happened to come down by the Statehouse. The picture was a harmless thing, but once the Dispatch ran it, people started assuming it was planned or officially sanctioned. The CW150 staff received some hate mail from folks who assumed we had invited the Ghostbusters to join our kickoff event; I think one of the letters called us “a bunch of yahoos!”

    The reenactors probably feel a little caught in the crossfire, too. They were impeccable and received high praise from those who attended the event.

    We missed you but know you were there in spirit!

  21. Terry Walbert
    Sat 30th Apr 2011 at 10:01 am

    Reminds me of the scene in Blazing Saddles where the assorted bad guys gather to attack the town. Was there a time warp going on?

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