Civil War political movement awakens – Complete with capes

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Sean Sullivan, another re-enactor actor, who lives in Greenlawn, NY, Long Island, has an identical tattoo on his left forearm. (The two know each other, but were unaware until recently that they were tattooed twins.) Mr. Sullivan, too, is particularly enamored with the Wide Awakes aesthetic.

The original Wide Awakes were dressed in oilcloth to protect themselves from dripping fuel from the lantern, but come on, Mr Sullivan said, “They probably did because it looks good with the highlights. You know, all the torches, they were going at night, they were shooting fireworks. You read that the light reflecting off the oilcloth was really something they loved.

In 2018, Mr Sullivan gathered a handful of like-minded friends to re-enact the Wide Awakes Remembrance Day Parade in Gettysburg, held annually in mid-November on the anniversary of the famous speech. of Lincoln. He was a driving force behind a small private Facebook group of a few dozen that had planned to march as Wide Awakes this year as well, but the parade was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When told about the new Wide Awakes, Mr. Sullivan – who wore his own Wide Awakes t-shirt at a Black Lives Matter protest in Greenlawn in June – welcomed a “movement to help creating political and social change is what the early Wide Awakes did, ”he said. “I think this is a group that Lincoln could support.”

Mr. Sullivan even fought in a bar to defend Wide Awakes’ original honor on Remembrance Day last year. Two Confederate reenactments, “good old boys,” he said, spotted the tattoo on his forearm.

“They started attacking me verbally because I am pro-Union,” he recalls. “Some of those Lost-Causer reenactors that feel like the war goes on, you know, ‘legacy, not hate’ and stuff. They felt the need to talk loudly with me. And it was a little intimidating. .


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