Welcome to The Perryville Civil War Battlefield Website


Commemoration 2017

Living History Village Information 2016

The following information will guide you through the impression, guidelines, and registration process for the Living History Village at Perryville Battlefield’s 2016 Reenactment. Please read the following information thoroughly as it will answer most of the questions you may have about participating.  If you have further questions, email joan.house@ky.gov or call 859-332-8631 to speak to the staff.

What is the Living History Village?
The Living History Village is reserved for authentic civilians who wish to recreate the lives of local citizens around the time of the Battle of Perryville. This area will be interactive with the public and all participants will need to have a functioning impression that is relevant to a central Kentucky farming community. All participants will closely observe the standards and rules for this area.

How can I participate as a Civilian Reenactor?
Civilians may participate in either the Living History Village or the Mixed Camp.

Adherence to the park living history guidelines will be observed regardless of camp choice. There is no “after hours” for the event regardless of camp choice.  Historical impressions are to be maintained at all times during the weekend.

Per the military commanders - No civilians will be quartered in the military camps unless they receive permission for the overall military commanders before the event starts.

No military participants can camp in the Living History Village. This area is reserved for civilian only impressions. The Mixed Camp is appropriate for military and civilian participants who are camping as a family. The military may enter the Living History Village to visit the mercantiles and interact with the civilians in a period manner only.

Participation in the Living History Village is limited. Due to a smaller camping area only 150 participants will be accepted for the Living History Village. If you would like to reserve a slot you must register for the event. Please pay close attention to the impression and guidelines for the Living History Village. If you have questions about participation please contact joan.house@ky.gov

*If you have a mercantile of any kind please contact the park before registering.


Living History Village Impression Information
Perryville, Kentucky was a typical upper south farming community and most of its citizens were yeoman farmers. The community resided at the conflux of several main roadways that transverse the Kentucky countryside. Perryville contained several successful merchants and professionals that maintained offices and shops on what is today known as Merchant’s Row (referred to as Bottom’s Corner during the war.) Impressions therefore can reflect the diversity, which was present in the original 19th century community. Please refer to the “Owners of the Battlefield” document on the website. The research contained there in will assist those seeking to do an accurate impression of Perryville’s Civil War citizenry.

The impression will be semi-immersion and all participants are encouraged to do first person, but may develop a third person conversation with the visiting public. This will allow the visitor to better understand the civilian scenarios.  Further – those that are doing demonstrations are encouraged to interact with the visiting public via third person. Interaction between guests and participants is highly recommended.

Historical Information
During the early part of September 1862 there would have been an occasional Union military presence; however, as October approached there was a significant amount of Confederate forces in the area. Confederate cavalry was operational in the area several weeks before the battle as Rebel cavalry regiments were being raised throughout the countryside. Braxton Bragg and his officers came through Perryville on their way to Frankfort in early October.  Between October 1st and October 8th Perryville was between two Confederate armies and no Union troops were present in the town.On October 7th, Bragg's entire army marched from Springfield through Perryville towards Harrodsburg.

Of course as soon as the battle began, citizens fled the area. They returned to thousands of wounded men who filled every house and barn for miles around the battlefield.  All of their resources had been consumed or destroyed. Soon after the battle was over, waves of people showed up looking for wounded or buried loved ones. The battlefield was littered with graves and it was not uncommon to find a body that had been dug up and badly reburied once it was discovered that the grave did not contain the relative they were seeking.

Participant Guidelines
The following guidelines were designed to insure the typical impression of an individual that lived in Kentucky during the 1860s. These people were generally farmers and small merchants with families. Some of the farms upon which the battle was fought were large and the citizens prosperous, but not of “the planter class.”



  • Civilians must wear apparel, including head coverings, made by period pattern and construction techniques, of material like that available during the late 1850s and early 1860s.
  • Cotton, wool, or blended cotton work dresses in checks, plaid stripes, or period prints with corded petticoats is acceptable. Absolutely no skirts with white blouses and/or jackets are allowed. Mismatched skirts and bodices are only appropriate for exceptionally poor or refugee impressions.
  • Period correct ladies headgear including slat or quilted bonnets, and knitted hoods are encouraged. High fashion bonnets should be avoided.
  • Collars and cuffs with dresses please.
  • Absolutely no modern undergarments or modern clothing beneath period attire – Please wear period correct undergarments.
  • Modern stockings and shoes are not acceptable under any circumstances unless they are constructed in such a way as to pass for period shoes.
  • Men should not appear in public without vest or coat. Sack or frock coats in appropriate materials are acceptable. Jean cloth, kersey, linsey, broadcloth, satinette material is suitable for men’s attire.
  • Period correct men’s stiff brimmed hats or caps only.
  • Neckwear should be appropriate to the period and worn in the correct way.
  • eriod appropriate children’s clothing only. No modern footwear.
  • Children should not be dressed in military uniforms. Military influences can be reflected in children clothing, but miniaturized uniforms are prohibited.

Personal Appearance

  • Hairstyles for women should have a center part without bangs. Modern hairstyles must be disguised with appropriate head covering. No “snoods.” Please no hairdressing in public.
  • Men’s period correct hairstyles and facial hair only.
  • Modern makeup and nail polish will not be allowed.
  • Only period eyeglasses or contact lenses are allowed.
  • No modern jewelry or watches.  Please avoid “high fashion” jewelry.


Please remember to adjust your impression to the social status that you are attempting to portray.



  • All participants (including children) must remain in period correct clothing during event.
  • Infant necessities such as bottles and diapers must be kept from site.
  • No modern toys.
  • Children must be attended at all times.
  • No anachronistic items may be visible at any time during the event.
  • All furnishings, cooking items, utensils, bedding, and food containers must be of appropriate period type, material and style.
  • No military participants may camp in the authentic civilian camp. All military visitors should keep visits to a strict minimum.
  • These items are strictly prohibited: cell phones, cigarettes, and electronic gadgets such as radios and CD players.
  • Please keep cameras concealed during the event.
  • Camp Commander will be responsible for enforcing these standards and may at anytime ask participants to leave if they are not following the above written guidelines.

If these standards for participation are acceptable then you are welcome to register for the 2016 Battle of Perryville.


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