When Bob Krist was invited to a Civil War re-enactment in 1995, it was the start of a hobby that quickly encompassed his family - and that is something he loves about Civil War re-enactments.
"It's very family oriented," Krist said. "We're always looking for families or people who want to be involved."
That same can be said of a Civil War encampment planned for Saturday and Sunday at Edgewater Park in Beaver Dam. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the park.
Krist said the schedule will include an officer's call at 9 a.m., morning drills and a battle each day at 2 p.m. for about 30 minutes.
The battles will feature the 10th Tennessee (Krist's unit) representing the Confederate side and the 2nd Wisconsin representing the union. McAllister's Battery will provide 6-pound artillery and Battery B of the 4th U.S. Artillery will have a 12-pound cannon.
He said in addition to the military encampments, there will be civilian participants including the wives and children of re-enactors. They also will demonstrate the way people lived in Civil War era camps.
In addition, youth 16 and younger are invited to participate in a Gettysburg Address contest. Starting at noon each day, the first 35 children who can recite the Gettysburg Address will receive a free sandwich and drink from the Beaver Dam Exchange Club.
The Exchange Club has worked with the 10th Tennessee and the city of Beaver Dam to put together the living history event. They will provide picnic tables and have food and beverages for sale.
Krist encouraged those who attend the free event to interact with the re-enactors in their camps and before and after drills and battles.
"We're living historians," Krist said. "We're there to teach American history."
Such re-enactments are ramping up this year as the United States marks 150 years since the Civil War took place. Krist said there are many national re-enactment gatherings planned in the coming year and local events such as the one in Beaver Dam are an opportunity to prepare for the large events.