A Civil War Political Movement Reawakens — Complete With Capes

Sean Sullivan, one other re-enactor, who lives in Greenlawn, N.Y., on Long Island, has an equivalent tattoo on his left forearm. (The two males know one another, however had been till lately unaware they had been tattoo twins.) Mr. Sullivan, too, is especially taken with the Wide Awakes’ aesthetics.

The unique Wide Awakes wearing oilcloth to guard themselves from dripping lantern gasoline, however c’mon, Mr. Sullivan mentioned: “They probably just did it because it looks good with the reflections. You know, all the torches, they would march at nighttime, they would shoot fireworks. You read about how the light reflecting off of the oilcloth was really something that they liked.”

In 2018, Mr. Sullivan put collectively a handful of like-minded mates to do a re-enactment of the Wide Awakes for the Remembrance Day parade in Gettysburg, held yearly in mid-November in observance of the anniversary of Lincoln’s well-known handle. He was a driving power behind a small, personal Facebook group of some dozen who had been planning to march as Wide Awakes this 12 months as effectively, however the parade was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When advised in regards to the new Wide Awakes, Mr. Sullivan — who wore his personal Wide Awakes T-shirt to a Black Lives Matter protest in Greenlawn in June — was delighted by “a movement to help create political and social changes, which is what the original Wide Awakes were doing,” he mentioned. “I think it’s a group that Lincoln could get behind.”

Mr. Sullivan even obtained right into a bar combat defending the unique Wide Awakes’ honor at Remembrance Day final 12 months. Two Confederate re-enactors, “good old boys,” he mentioned, noticed the tattoo on his forearm.

“They started verbally attacking me for being pro-Union,” he recalled. “Some of these Lost-Causer re-enactors that feel the war is still going on, you know, ‘heritage not hate’ and all that stuff. They felt the need to get verbally loud with me. And it was a little intimidating.”

Source link Nytimes.com

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