A shift in the world of Civil War reenactment in the U.S. and Alabama occurred during the centennial of the American Civil War. Between 1961 and 1965 wartime enthusiasts in the U.S., including those in Alabama, wanted to celebrate the centennial fever. A renaissance of reenacting the war included use of more historically authentic uniforms, weapons, and drill marches. Participants in my military reenactment group have been performing since the late 1970s and early 1980s. According to many reenactors, this was the high tide of Civil War miliary reenactment in Alabama and the country. During this time, it was not uncommon to see a larger reenacting unit in battle than during the actual historical engagement. Artillery and limbers were drawn by horse teams as they raced across the field. This method of reenactment became such a historical perfected craft that war movies began to hire reenactors to fill in as extras. The movie Gettysburgused reenactors as many of their extras. As the Civil War reenactments surged in popularity, so did those of the Hernando DeSoto expedition and the Revolutionary War battles as well.
Today the miliary reenactment hobby has shifted with the times. Civil War reenacting, by and large, is beginning to lose its previous day popularity. Due to our modern-day perception and interpretation of the Civil War, it has lost its luster for a younger generation to join in. There is also a move of old heads to leave the groups. Yet this has opened the door for a new type of military reenactments. Currently the reenacting field is seeing a resurgence for coverage of new eras and military forays. World War 1 is now one of the more popular reenactment wars, as is the DeSoto expeditions, the colonial era, Vietnam, and World War 2. Still, the Civil War reenactments are popular in Alabama as a recent internet search revealed about five events planned for 2022.