About Us/Enlist Now!
In the mid, to late-80s, when reenacting was still done on a much smaller scale and was less organized, several, more energetic, members of the 20 Maine, 78 Pennsylvania, 7 West Virginia, 29 Ohio, and the 66 Ohio joined forces. They did so, primarily, because they wanted to do more battle events and not just living history events. By 1990, the newly formed group was alternating from the 78 Pennsylvania, 7 West Virginia, and the 66 Ohio, depending upon which event we were attending. To make things simple, sometime before 1992, the group met and decided to officially become the 66 Ohio, Company A, and then later Company I. It was agreed that the newly organized unit would be commanded by the late Keith Howell of Salem, Ohio. Captain Howell commanded the Company until about 2000, when Rob Shick was elected Captain. In 2014, Josh Wales was appointed to the position of Captain.
Since becoming the 66 Ohio, our unit has attended more than 200 large and small events, ranging from our back yards to as far as Shiloh, TN and Atlanta, GA. A few notable events were: 135 Antietam, (18,000 reenactors and a well organized event), 135 Gettysburg (24,000 reenactors), and 140 Manassas (15,000 reenactors). We have done dozens of living history events, parades, and preservation marches at various places throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. Our members have participated in documentaries, such as the Johnson’s Island Visitor’s Center film, and movies, such as Gettysburg and Gods & Generals.
The members of the 66 Ohio reenactors come from all walks of life and from all over Ohio, western PA and northern WV. We all love history, especially Civil War history. Some of us are very knowledgeable, but we are all learning more as we go. As we learn, we also teach. It is very rewarding to see thousands of spectators come to events to learn, from us, the way of the Civil War Soldier. We are a family friendly group. We do both mainstream mixed camp events (where civilians are allowed in camp), as well as hardcore campaigner events (guys only). At mainstream events, where we are in mixed camp, we have a company mess (kitchen) that will rival all those in reenacting. We are a well fed group. At campaign events, however, we must fend for ourselves. Mind you, cooking our own meals over an open fire does have its rewards. We often enjoy talking, and on rare occasions, singing, around the campfire at night. Reenacting is a great way to meet new, like-minded, friends. It is also a great way to see Civil War sites.
Our unit is focusing on three major things: authenticity, recruiting, and safety. Authenticity has always been our goal. We are continuously working to look better in all aspects of the hobby, from our uniforms, leathers, weaponry and drill to our camp appearance. We strive to give the appearance of a true Civil War Company wherever, or in whatever we do. When buying equipment, we encourage our old and new members to keep authenticity in mind. There are a lot of inaccurate (FARBY) items out there to confuse new recruits. Of course, we will be glad to guide you through purchasing your gear.
Because several of our members are aging or raising a family, which limit the number of events they can attend, we are trying to fill their place in the line, as well as increase the size of our Company. Those interested in becoming a soldier, can be suited up for an event, or drill, before buying any gear. We try to make it as easy as possible for new recruits as they gradually buy their gear. In the end, it will be worth the effort for both the company and the individual.
We are currently in the midst of the 155 Anniversary cycle of events, which began in 2015, representing 1860 and secession, and continue through 2020, representing 1865 and the end of the war. We attend many large scale "national" events as well as local events, such as Burton, Hale Farm and Village, Zoar, Painesville, and Perryopolis. We try to do 8-12 events each year, but each year varies. Every member attends the events that they can. We try to carpool, whenever possible, to save on costs and increase event attendance.
If you are interested in joining our ranks, we would be glad to hear from you!! When you read about history, it is easy to forget the human element and the hopes, dreams, terrors and thrills that those long ago people endured. When you live your history, you begin to understand what those people experienced a little better. Join us today and LIVE YOUR HISTORY!!!!!
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Or join us at our next event. See the schedule page for more information.