Reenactments on National Park Service Land
We are often asked why the National Park Service does not hosts "reenactments" of Civil War battles in National Parks. Demonstrations of this nature are addressed in National Park Service management policies:
Battle reenactments and demonstrations of battle tactics that involve exchanges of fire between opposing lines, the taking of casualties, hand-to-hand combat, or any other form of simulated warfare are prohibited in all parks. Even the best-researched and most well-intentioned representation of combat cannot replicate the tragic complexity of real warfare. Respect for the memory of those whose lives were lost at these sites and whose unrecovered remains are often still interred in these grounds precludes the staging of inherently artificial battles at these memorial sites. Battle reenactments create an atmosphere that is inconsistent with the memorial qualities of the battlefields and other military sites placed in the Service’s trust. The safety risks to participants and visitors, and the inevitable damage to the physical resource that occurs during such events are also unacceptably high when seen in light of the NPS mandate to preserve and protect park resources and values.
The attached NPS youtube video elaborates on NPS Management Policy on Reenactments.
Return to Park Laws and Policies page.
Did You Know?
"French Mary" Tepe, a vivandiere with the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry, assisted with the wounded at Gettysburg and was photographed after the battle by Mathew Brady.