Click here for an
event site map
Safety & Authenticity
The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation (CCBF) is pleased to offer reenactors and the public a series of events to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of 2nd Manassas.
We believe that the reenactment site allows all reenacting interests to come together and to meet their individual expectations. Yes, there will be the modern services needed to support spectators, Yes, there will be event and educational lecture tents and period vendors and yes, there will be large early war garrison-style camps, but there will also be room for campaigners to camp in the woods and natural barriers that minimize the intrusions of modern requirements and the various period impressions. There has been no attempt to divide the community. There is one Federal camp and one Confederate camp. All camps are subject to the following rules, and shall operate under the standards of your umbrella organization. There is no provision for a separate civilian camp nor is there any provision for a modern camp. Reenactors may reside in an RV, for example, in reenactor parking, but there shall be no open or grill fires, tentage or extended RV Flys in the reenactor parking areas.
We expect to have closely scripted, historically accurate, time and command managed battle scenarios. All revenues, to include registration fees, and all net proceeds will go directly to the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation for historic preservation.
With this in mind, reenactors are advised of the following:
1. Every reenactor and/or living historian shall affiliate, as a part of their registration, with an established Civil War reenactment unit. That unit must then, in turn, be a recognized part of an established Civil War reenactment umbrella organization. Independent units and individuals are welcome to attend, but during the course of the event they must affiliate with an established unit and be part of the military command structure Event staff will coordinate with Army Commands to attempt to assign individuals registering without a recognized umbrella organization, but this does not guarantee acceptance by the assigned unit or umbrella organization. As a safety and as a command and control issue it is the individual's responsibility to affiliate and if no recognized unit is found, the individual will not be able to participate.
2. Affiliation means that the unit or individual will be under the control of, camp with, be safety inspected by and fall in for battle with that recognized unit. Individuals must join or affiliate with a unit to register. The event Commanders and organizers will make the final determination if a registration is accepted. Walk-on registrations without a unit affiliation will not be accepted.
Specialty impressions ’Äì to include generals and presidents - are by invitation only.
CCBF reserves the right to limit the number of participants of any branch of service to instill correct historical ratios.
All registration applications are subject to the approval of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation.
3. The event organizers begin with the assumption that the vast majority of reenactors care deeply about our American heritage and have already spent considerable time, effort, and resources in assembling an accurate portrayal of a civil war soldier -- from their dress and equipment to their understandings of the School of the Soldier and School of the Battalion. We also assume that each reenactor and living historian is prepared to take personal responsibility for their own health and safety and the safety of others in camp and on the field.
4. No person shall carry the non-commissioned rank of Sgt/Major or the commissioned filed grade rank of major or above without approval of Army command (Federal or C.S.A.) No General Officers will be allowed on the field without prior approval of Army command.
5. Army commands will work with the Event organizers and staffs to enforce impression and safety standards. Shortcomings will be reported to Army, Division or Regimental command and, if necessary, to event staff, as appropriate.
6. Safety and Scenario violations will be immediately corrected. Army, Division and Regimental commanders will be held responsible for noted safety violations and for their correction. Depending on the severity of a safety violation the Commander may be relieved of command by the Commanding Army General or by the event staff.
This event offers reenactors a rare opportunity to portray a wide variety of military and civilian impressions. We encourage all well-researched impressions that can be linked to the event history at the Company or greater level, e.g., 15 or more common impressions. We are not interested in and will not permit military impressions of two or three individuals ’Äì even if authentic - on the field. Uniforms should conform to an 1862 appearance. Regardless of national origin, you were an American soldier. Strive to look field effective, functional, and most importantly--military.
Please do your best to educate the public and respect your fellow reenactors by heeding the following:
- All clothing must accurately represent the fashion and style of the historical event portrayed: e.g., natural fibers, period cut and color.
- Modern plastic glasses frames are not to be permitted. Sunglasses were not worn in the mid 19th century. Wire rimmed tinted glasses were only worn by people suffering from syphilis; you decide!
- Footwear is restricted to brogans and approved period boots and shoes. No shoes and no sneakers (we should not need to have this discussion).
- No specialty impressions without the approval of the Event organizers. This includes portrayals of Lee, Jackson, Lincoln, Davis, Grant, Clara Barton, Siamese war elephants, etc. etc. If you have any doubts, ask.
- Women portraying soldiers in the ranks should make every reasonable effort to hide their gender. Hundreds if not thousands of women passed themselves off as men in order to serve as soldiers during the war ’Äì on both sides ’Äì and we will never know exactly how many did so because they were good at it. Honor them. If any Army or event volunteer (as above) determines the female gender at not less that 15 feet that individual will be asked to leave the field/ranks. Ponytails on men aren’t a great idea, either, nor are mohawks or gelled spikes. It’s the 1860s.
- As a compromise to modern safety, a minimum number of period Ice Angels (2-3) will be permitted for each authorized Battalion. Each Ice Angel must be at least 16 years of age.
- Do not wear any uniforms or insignia that would not have appeared summer of 1862. No more excessive early war regalia! This includes, but is by no means limited to:
- Corps badges.
- Confederate sharpshooter badges.
- Tait jackets.
- Kilts, bagpipes, Indian attire, inappropriate furs, feathers, bandannas, frontier trappings and other questionable attire are forbidden.
- A dirty musket is rarely if ever appropriate and may in fact constitute a safety violation.
- Only officers or cavalrymen may carry a side arm (and only ONE). No boot pistols, boot knives, or other Hollywood trappings.
- All anachronisms (cots, coolers, sweat pants, etc.) must be hidden away inside tents at all times.
- Tobacco use shall be confined to period products ’Äì pipes, cigars, snuff, chew, or in rare cases filterless cigarettes.
- All soldiers should strive to wear their uniform in a military manner. For example, the top button on all coats should always be buttoned. All shirt and vest buttons should be buttoned. Accouterments, including your haversack and canteen, should be worn high on the hip.
The following is a brief summary of Event Safety Rules. More detailed discussions may be viewed at:
In the event of any contradictions or conflicts between the CCBF regulations printed here and those linked above, CCBF’s rules shall be defaulted to.
Special Event Safety Requirements.
- No one except military participants will be allowed on the battlefield during the battles.
- Except when simulating a hit, all participants are expected to remain with their units.
- Only a senior non-com may pull a ramrod in the field and only if 20 paces behind the firing line. No exceptions. A violation of this rule can result in the private and the senior non-com being thrown out of the event.
- You can fix bayonets for inspections and to stack arms while staging for battle scenarios, as directed by commanders. You will not fix bayonets or ram cartridges in battle.
- There will be no hand-to-hand combat except as provided by the scripted scenario. You will be told in advance if you are a participant. Anyone who touches another participant, their gear or any colors -- if not previously arranged - will be arrested, ejected and prosecuted. No charging the enemy by an individual (or any other non-scripted skits) will be tolerated.
- During battle scenarios, do not come within 50 yards of the muzzle of an artillery piece.
- No firing of small arms within 40 yards. Never aim directly at anyone at any range.
- Only period smoking on the field.
- No bare feet on the field. You may be willing to run the risk, but we don’t want to send medics for you when someone may be having a more serious problem elsewhere.
- NO black powder weapons of any kind will be carried or fired by any participant less than 16 years of age. Participants 16-18 years old must have parental or signed guardian supervision. Children under age 16 are not permitted on the field during the reenactments. Exceptions will be made for functional musicians (boys 11 or older who can actually play a drum, a fife or a bugle) and trained signal party youths age 12 or above. These youths will be assigned one on one with an adult signal man. Violation of these rules can lead to ejection of the child, responsible adult and/or unit commander.
- NO projectiles, bullets, musket balls, or loading blocks will be carried at any time.
- Cartridge paper will not be placed in the barrel and NO wadding or ramming will be permitted except in the use of handguns. (Absolutely NO wonder wads, Cream of Wheat recommended). Multiple loading is not permitted.
- Infantry cartridges will not be carried anywhere on the person except in a hard cartridge box.
- Infantry black powder will only be carried in the form of cartridges.
- No cameras or electronic video equipment are permitted to be carried on the battlefield during the battle reenactment.
The Cedar Creek event is located on the original battlefield. This is hallowed ground must be respected as such.
- No metal detecting.
- NO FIREPITS. All fires must be built on the surface of the ground.
- ALL campfires shall have, at a minimum, one full bucket or other container of water /fire extinguisher close at hand. Event staff will inspect for this and may cancel your fire permit.
- No loaded weapons may be brought into any camp. No discharging of weapons in camp at any time.
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or use of illegal drugs is prohibited.
- Spectators are told to leave the battle and camping areas one hour before the start of each battle. Reenactors should remind the public to move back to spectator row. We encourage battalions to mount guards.
- It will be hot and summer in Virginia ’Äì hydrate!
- Lights out means lights out and quiet time. We know you’re happy to be with your friends but people need their sleep before they go out on a hot summer day and handle black powder weapons.
- Straw must be left inside tents.
- Adequate firewood and hay will be provided by CCBF at designated points. Straw for bedding will be available for a nominal fee.
- Due to congestion and the number of participants, Cars in camp ’Äì for 15 minutes ’Äì to unload when permitted.
- Each organization shall lay out its military streets within its designated area according to period regulations. All participants must camp within the perimeters of the organization they will be serving with or assigned to for the entire weekend. There will be no independent messes camping separately without prior written approval from CCBF.
- All modern items, (including food containers), will be kept out of public view at all times.
- Civilians must be in period attire if remaining in the camps during the weekend.
- Civilians camping in military mixed camps are subject to military rules and discipline.
- Each organization is responsible to police its own area during and after the event-- leaving the area as it was found, or better.
- Before the Sunday battle, all campfires should be out and trash bagged and placed in dumpsters on your way out. Unused firewood should be returned to the wood piles.
- Provost Guards will have the responsibility and authority to enforce conduct in the camps as well as enforcing the event rules and regulations.
1. 3 band muskets preferred; correct 2 banders and flint locks allowed only by prior written approval from the Army commanding General subject to supporting historical documentation and must be restricted to use in the front rank only.
2. NO non-period weapons.
3. NO civilian weapons.
4. Side arms carried ONLY by officers and cavalry troopers.
5. NO sheath knives will be carried on the field.
6. POWDER CHARGES limited to a maximum of 70 grains for .54-.58 caliber and 90 grains for .69 caliber, 60 grains for carbines; 14 and 30 grains for .36 and .44 caliber pistols respectively.
7. No live ammunition is allowed on the reenactment site. LEAVE IT HOME!
8. No tompions may be taken to the field.
9. No "Wonder wads" are to be used in any weapon.
- Field pieces must be full size 12 lb Napoleons, 3" 0rdinance rifles, 6 pounders, or 10 lb Parrots mounted on full scale #2 field carriages (with 57" wheels). CCBF guarantees black powder bounties for the first twenty (20) Union pieces registered and the first twenty (20) Confederate pieces registered. Additional bounties will be based on CCBF’s ability to secure sponsors. Consideration for the use of any other guns at this event must have prior written approval from the CCBF staff. No exceptions! Unit must register gun and a crew of at least 5 to secure placement. All artillery pieces must register by mail.
- All sanctioned cannons and crews must participate in both scripted battles to be eligible for cannon bounty.
- A safety zone of 50 yards in front of the cannons will be maintained whenever the guns are firing. No loading of cannons will occur and an immediate cease fire order must be given when cavalry or troops are within the safety zone. Passing in front of cannons is extremely dangerous and must be avoided.
- Safety...During battles, crossed rammers must be prominently displayed to caution a misfire in the face of approaching forces!!
- The chief of artillery, in accordance with the rules of the CCBF, has the authority and responsibility to inspect and grant a “go” or “no go” final say in matters concerning drill, uniform requirements, safety, condition of gun & implements and proficiency of the cannoneers.
- Artillery will be inspected by the Artillery Commander or his staff before taking the field. The Artillery Commander will be responsible for reporting to their Army Commander in writing that the weapons were inspected and the weapons, implements, crews and rounds meet the safety standards set forth in the USN and ANV Safety Regulations.
- All horses brought onto the site are required to have a current Coggins certificate which will be checked by CCBF staff for each army. Failure to produce proof of Coggins will result in the horse not being allowed on the property.
- Horses are forbidden in company streets and sutler row and must be ridden at a “walk” amongst non- combatants.
- The chief of cavalry has the authority and responsibility to inspect and grant a “go” or “no go” final say in matters concerning drill, uniform requirements, horse tack, condition of horse as well as of the proficiency of the rider.
Vehicles and Parking
- Vehicles are necessary for transportation to and from the reenactment. However, at the event they serve no purpose other than negatively impacting the 1862 experience for those who have already settled in for the weekend. Too often, participants park in unauthorized areas causing havoc for those volunteers in charge of controlling the parking areas.
- Vehicles are permitted into authentic camping areas to unload for a maximum of 15 minutes.
- A parking pass with your name and unit displayed on the windshield is required for each vehicle to enter the CC property. The pass must remain visible at all times when you park in the designated areas. (We must know how to quickly contact the owner of any vehicle.)
- Artillery pieces may be quartered with the unit however no modern trailers or vehicles may remain in camp.
- CCBF and/or agents thereof reserve the right to tow any and all vehicles and/or trailers, unattended or otherwise, parked in inappropriate areas at the owner’s expense.
- No live ammunition, fireworks or modern firearms will be allowed on the grounds. Violators will be expelled from the event!
- NO PETS WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE GROUNDS! DO NOT BRING DOGS, CATS, CHICKENS, ETC.
- Sutlers by invitation only! Any other sales or solicitation on the CC property will not be permitted and violators will be expelled from the event.
- With the exception of authorized photographers, cinematographers, press, etc., all other personnel must film from the spectator viewing area only. Special credentials will be issued by CCBF to approved individuals and must be carried at all times. No recordings, photos or videos may be manufactured and sold on or off site at any time without prior approval and written consent from CCBF. CCBF retains all intellectual property rights to any and all images derived from past, present and future events. Violators will be subject to legal recourse.
- Because of the unsafe structural support, entrance to the Heater House is forbidden.
- No modern camping or RV parking will be provided. Local police will be responsible for incidents outside CCBF’s property and emergency situations on the field. CCBF will be responsible for parking & Sutler areas.
- CCBF, or agents thereof, reserve the right to immediately expel from this event any personnel in violation of any rules listed in this posting as well as any personnel acting in an unsafe, disrespectful, destructive or disrupting nature towards the land, the authorities, spectators or fellow participants.
- During the course of any event on CCBF administered property or in connection with any event arranged by, sponsored by or affiliated with CCBF, we encourage reenactments of period-appropriate Civil War encampments, military engagements, public civilian activities (e.g., medical services, sutler and craft activities) but we must strictly forbid any activities that simulate behaviors that are calculated to demean any individual or group based on race, religion, ethnicity, disability, gender, or private and lawful lifestyle preferences. We want everyone to enjoy and benefit from our events and we share in our reenactors' and supporters' strong commitment to public service and education in the spirit of a commitment to mutual respect and personal liberties.
Thanks very much for your cooperation. If you have any questions about these or the full set of safety regulations, please contact us