Families - educating
families, uplifting families, serving families, ministering to families -
families are at the heart of all aspects of
We Make History including the
facet of WMH which involves historical reenacting.
Families are focal in our
passion for serving through wholesome, creative, interactive education.
Historical Reenacting is only one facet of
the Vision of We Make History but
it is an important facet directly or indirectly impacting thousands. Our
historical reenacting groups are unashamedly Christian principled,
thus following in the footsteps of so many whom have gone before. Each is
family-focused, family-oriented and family-serving and embraces all ages in
a quest to make good use of living history as together we learn, grow, give
Giving and Serving are not only
basic Christian practices but basic Christian values as well. We are all
expected to make the best use of the gifts and talents we have received to
do some good while we are in this world. One way for us to serve and uplift is to support
families, schools and communities with positive, inspirational education through historical reenacting.
We have members in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio,
New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, DC and
Virginia - all of whom
have been blessed through the experience of learning (receiving) and
educating/serving (giving) which are the continual and natural process of
being part of a We Make History
historical reenacting group.
Please read the little articles below - and
email to let us know if we may be of service to you in joining the
We Make History Family in
the wonderful adventure of family friendly historical reenacting in Arizona
We are preparing NOW for more special roles in reenactments and
events related to the 150th
Anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of the Civil War and are rapidly
expanding our portrayal of the
Blessed to be a Servant to our
We Make History Family ...
Revolutionary War Reenacting
The 1st Virginia
The 1st Minnesota
The 2nd Virginia
Infantry of the Stonewall Brigade
Regarding Historical Reenacting....
Did you know that
historical reenacting can be family-focused and family-friendly?
utilizes historical reenacting as a tool not only
for historical education and appreciation of those who have gone
before us but also as a means for character-building, service and
bringing families together in a wholesome, faith-strengthening and beneficial pursuit.
Our 1st Virginia Infantry
(1861-1865) has achieved national renown and is regularly invited to
participate in the best East Coast events.
We have a very strong core in Arizona and the West but are rapidly adding more
and more friends from Virginia and other states to our ranks both as soldiers and
civilians. We do have our own stock of uniforms, weapons and
accoutrements which allows us to train and involve a number of "new
recruits" at any given time.
If you would have an interest in joining us please
send a note
to telling us about yourself and your interest. We'll
get you in the communications loop and help you to become involved.
Q: Why the reenactment of battles
and historic military life?
The answer to this is three-fold.
If done well, military reenacting gives
us the opportunity to honour those who have gone before us, who sacrificed so
much to bequeath to us the heritage we share and all the blessings which come
This is in itself two-fold. We have a
focus and commitment to service, to sharing our knowledge and what we have
learned with the public. The examples go on and on of persons of all ages who
have become excited and interested in history through interacting with the
We Make History family. Education is
also a personal goal as we all continue to learn of those who have gone before
us and then share the knowledge gained through our portrayals.
Learning of the faith, noble character,
aspirations, motivations and actions of so many who went before us gives us
a greater perspective for our own faith as well as encouragement, tools and respect to carry forward in our day to day lives. For
men in particular, battle reenacting gives a sense of standing literally shoulder
to shoulder in a common cause. The lessons of teamwork, leadership, loyalty and
commitment which we find in history can be given a greater sense of poignancy,
of reality when experienced on the "battlefield" which can translate well into
real life in the real world. In our very individualistic society We Make
History's military reenacting groups give men a rare opportunity to experience,
ponder and put some of these lessons into effect in their own lives. Personal
character development is the result. And on an even deeper level, as the Apostle
Paul knew, the spiritual analogies, lessons and applications to be derived from
a military framework are seemingly
Q: What military oriented reenacting
groups does We Make History offer?
Revolutionary War reenacting in
Arizona? Yes! We created it!
The history of
reenacting in Arizona began back in the late 20th
century with a gentleman who portrays
Washington and later with the founding of
Make History in 1999. By 2002 we were holding
historic balls in Arizona set during the American Revolution and in 2003 we
held our first annual
American Heritage Festival
in Queen Creek, Arizona. As part of the planning for that auspicious and
visionary event we organized the first Revolutionary War reenacting group in
Arizona history and held the very first Revolutionary War encampment and
Revolutionary War battle reenactment in Arizona as well. In the years since
we have grown, expanded and now boast the
Royal Welch Fusiliers of
the British Army, the
Virginia Line of the "Continental Line" of the
United States Army, militia, riflemen, Native Americans and a number of
specific historic personalities such as
Washington. At our 2012
Festival we presented 20 reenactors representing
soldiers of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, plus American regulars and militia, a
French Officer, civilians and historic personalities. The
Festival continues to be
THE event for
Revolutionary War reenacting in Arizona and the West.
By early 2013 we will be able to field a very substantial number of soldiers and civilians
representing and reenacting both the British and American sides of the era
of the American Revolution and will showcase our expanded group at our
American Liberty Festival
in February. Continued growth in numbers, quality and
authenticity are all part of our bright future as we continue to develop
reenacting in Arizona and beyond.
Our Revolutionary War reenacting
team is in the midst of a rapid expansion with growing numbers and more
facets in the works.
American Liberty Festival will be held in February 2013, a special and
inspirational living history event focused entirely on the American
Revolution. We are learning, serving and growing together!
Our large Civil War team is in fact
the largest in the Southwestern United States and is well
known nationally for positive education and excellence in community service.
These are the
1st Virginia Volunteer Infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia, the
1st Minnesota Infantry
of the Union Army
and the 2nd Virginia Infantry of the
The 1st Virginia
Volunteer Infantry recreates a "gentlemen's regiment" of the War Between the
States and often travels as far as Virginia. As the
2nd Virginia Infantry we have participated as part
of the "Stonewall Brigade" at the Battle of Manassas. We have also taken part in
Jackson's Flank Attack at Chancellorsville and has been involved in numerous
other East Coast actions such as Cedar Creek and New Market as well as both
organizing and participating in Arizona's best and largest Civil War reenacting
events such as the American
Heritage Festival and Battle of
Payson to name just two. From these experiences the
1st Virginia Infantry has won national
recognition and an unprecedented award on the East Coast. We look forward to
exciting opportunities relative to the 150th
Anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of the Civil War such as our recent
participation in the
150th Anniversary Reenactment of the
Battle of Manassas. The
1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry is
the Union side of our in-house family-oriented reenacting group
and recreates one of the North's most distinguished regiments. If interested in
participating in any of these capacities please
contact us with interest.
Q: Are there roles for civilians as
Certainly! When representing a time
period such as the American Revolution or the War Between the States we
enthusiastically welcome and include diverse civilian representation of men,
women and children of all ages. Our civilians are not a sideshow. They are
central to our educational mission!
Q: What ages may participate?
A) Men, women and children of all ages are welcome to participate as
historic civilians. Possible roles include (but are not limited to)
participation in historic fashion shows, boys serving the ladies and
helping around the encampment, showcasing historic occupations,
demonstrating crafts and activities, role playing as historic civilians,
helping at our "Prairie School", demonstrating historic children's
games, playing historic music and helping at the water booth or in other
B) At age 12 and up gentlemen may be soldiers/musicians playing fife or
drum with parental permission. (Acquiring historic musical instruments
and committing to learn to play them is necessary.)
C) At age 13 or 14 a gentleman may be a soldier/standard bearer with
parental permission and if tall enough/strong enough to handle a flag on
D) At age 14 a gentleman may be a regular soldier IF his father is also
a soldier in our group.
E) At age 15 - 17 a gentleman may be a regular soldier with parental
F) Gentlemen 18 and up may be regular soldiers.
Q: We have heard (or experienced) that
some reenacting groups or events are either unsafe or not a wholesome
environment for families. Is this true?
Unfortunately this is often true -
particularly here in Arizona where certain "events" and groups have had
notoriously low standards and bad reputations and continue to do so. That is
why here in Arizona all We Make History
activities are "in house" so we are able to determine and hold to high
standards. In Virginia we only join in with a top notch organization with a
proven honourable reputation and with events of the highest standards. When
considering involvement in any "outside" event
We Make History is very
careful regarding what we participate in and who we participate with. We will
NOT compromise the safety or values of the
We Make History family, thus there
are certain events and groups we choose not to be involved with. Period. This is
Family Friendly Reenacting - The Value for Men, Women & Children
Q: Why is
We Make History
of Arizona and
a huge investment of resources in historical military reenacting -
not to mention the time factor involved - in organizing and training
A: Our mission is to serve families through education which is
creative, interactive, inspirational, faith-centered and character-building.
Historic military reenacting serves as a valuable facet of our
As with all facets of We
our historical reenacting group involves
these directives on a number of levels. While learning about history
and educating others we create and discover opportunities for
service, character development and inspiration which carry over and
serve us well in the modern world.
There are some unique inspirational, learning and
character-developing experiences enjoyed by men reenacting as
soldiers on the battlefield. It is a team effort, something of great
value to us as men but something that for the most part we have no
real opportunity for in the modern world. Learning the drill and and
being shoulder to shoulder with other men in a line of battle is not
only a real eye opener in understanding our heritage but is a
sublime experience that gives one much pause for thought, a more
fully developed sense of faith and responsibility that is
difficult to put into words.
Since 2004 the 1st Virginia Infantry
has won honours and accolades - particularly in the demanding arena
of Civil War reenacting on the East Coast - of which we are justly
proud. We have high standards - morally, historically and in terms
of safety and behaviour. We consider participating only where these
standards are met and only accept recruits willing to meet them. No
exceptions. We always take the high road.
We are also unflinchingly family oriented. When men of all ages
learn to think and behave as gentlemen - respectful and with a heart
to serve, the ladies and children discover an environment in which
they thrive, learn and grow as well. I know of no reenacting group
anywhere in the country that has as high a level of participation
from ladies and children. When we travel to East Coast events we are
pleasantly overwhelming in service and respect to the locals and always receive compliments
on the number, beauty and behaviour of our ladies and children. Our
ladies and children are of incomparable value to us in our mission
to use reenacting as an educational and inspirational tool. They
have much to do and to share - and even the play of children often
In 2008 the time had come for us to form a Union Regiment to join
of the 1st Virginia Volunteer
as part of a team effort to learn, educate and inspire.
Thus our 1st Minnesota
, a recreation of one of the most courageous
regiments in the Union Army has now joined the illustrious
as part of
our unified family
friendly reenacting team.
Together they are two parts of one whole. We are not separate groups
but rather one unified team with any or all of us prepared to
portray either Union or Confederate roles at any time. Thus, new recruits using our
uniforms and equipment may very well have opportunity to serve in
one, the other or both capacities. Remember - serving others through
creative, historical education is at the heart of what we are about.
Our presentation of the
American Revolution is also a unified team
as we portray the
Virginia Line (USA), the
Royal Welch Fusiliers
(Great Britain) and reenact other facets of the
Revolutionary War as
well. We are the originators of
War reenacting in Arizona and take pride in that fact even as we
expand both numerically and geographically across the United States!
in the noble cause
of bringing history to life
Family Friendly Historical Reenacting? Is it
Encouragement for those
- out there anywhere - who have given up on the idea.
Some who have looked into or even actually tried
reenacting have seen, heard and experienced enough that has been negative
that they might legitimately ask "Family friendly reenacting? Is such a
The answer is "Yes!" And if somewhere out there -
the reader of this little article needs encouragement in this area - then
I can certainly understand why some may be
skeptical. Their experiences have not been positive. In some parts of the
country reenacting is much healthier with much higher standards than in
others. If you have been in an "unhealthy" area then some of what I and
others have collectively experienced and observed might sound familiar. For
instance - events which tolerate purposefully unsafe behavior such as
dangerous misuse of artillery, malicious and life-threatening pranks or
protests such as secretly hiding and setting off explosives,
threats and planned sabotage by those who refuse to follow scripted
scenarios - and yet in these types of situations such events will not "back up"
concerned leaders or enforce standards
for fear that the reenactors involved in bad behavior won't return. (Some
events believe that "any body is a good body" because the hope of
having a few more bodies around is
more important to them than safety, security or standards of behavior. We
STRONGLY DISAGREE with this dangerous and irresponsible philosophy.)
Or perhaps you have been
around reenacting groups where filthy language, pornography, dirty
jokes, excessive drinking, threats, slander, vicious gossip, hate, women
being verbally abused or "hit on" or married
men chasing other women were all part of camp life (or "internet camp
life") whether often or from time to time. I've seen these
things and have
heard the same and similar things from others, so it is no wonder that some
may be concerned as to whether reenacting can actually be family friendly.
Personally, it didn't take long to come to the
point that I was not comfortable with my family coming to certain events or
being around certain groups or people. And once I became the leader of a reenacting
group I could not in good conscience bring the families of others whom I
love, care about and feel responsible for into situations where I would not want to bring my own family.
As we were (and are) family-oriented reenactors in
a family-oriented group that left no other choice but to be completely free
of people, places or associations that could put us in a position of
danger or compromise - being "unequally yoked". I say this for the encouragement
of others for whom some of what has been related here may ring familiar -
The decision to completely "prune off" unacceptable, irresponsible (and even dangerous)
events and associations has meant an immense burden lifted and has ushered
in a season of profound multi-dimensional growth in our group as we have
created and pursued new events, new activities, opportunities for community
service and followed the heart of our mission - to make use of living
history as a tool to educate, bless, serve and inspire others. Through investments
diligence, devotion, dollars, hard work and faithfulness we have had no shortage of
immensely rewarding events and activities, have dramatically increased our
scope of educational service and have seen our family-friendly reenacting
groups grow at an exponential rate.
friendly reenacting is possible and in fact it is being done. There is hope.
But high standards must be in place and firm lines must be drawn.
I have a standing promise that I will not lead families
involved with We Make History historical reenacting into situations where
their safety could be compromised, where dangerous/irresponsible people are
involved or bad
behavior tolerated (whether publicly or behind the scenes), where their families could be negatively affected or
where their time and efforts would be wasted. Our standards are purposefully high and no
exceptions are made.