Reenacting, Then and Now
"A total of 180,000 musket charges have been ordered for use in the battle re-enactment, produced in the same manner as they were in 1862, including the type of paper wrapping to the recommended knot in the string that holds the charge together.
During the re-enactment, 15 mess kitchens accommodating 100 men each and 1200 troop tents will be used. Twenty gallons of water per minute, night and day, will be used during the two-day re-enactment.
It will cost more than $20,000 to feed the 1800 troops nine meals during the re-enactment period, $15,000 for ammunition and $15,000 for land leases for the land on which the battle re-enactment will take place.
Eight parking areas have been arranged, each with room for over 1,500 cars."
(from the "Battle of Antietam Centennial Official Program"; reenactment held 15/16 September 1962 on the original battlefield)
The musket charges (of dangerously varying load size and authenticity of manufacture) are supplied by the reenactor with no concern as to the type of knot used to "hold the charge together," and reenactors provide their own food or can purchase meals from one of many, many concessionaires at exorbitant prices. Tentage is provided by the reenactors, and the water supply always runs out. One parking area is provided and it is served by a single dirt road which turns into gridlock at the end of the event. Preregistration is $5.00, $7.00 or $10.00 per person (yes, we pay to attend these things!) before the first of the year when we haven't even gotten in all our dues checks, after which the price progressively goes up to the $15.00 "at the gate" cost. The battlefield site is usually an as-yet-unconstructed "business campus." There may or may not be office buildings within sight of the authentic camps, or SST's flying overhead.