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1. Safety comes first and each reenactor participating in the battles must keep that in mind and be aware of basic safety regulations.

2. Every unit is expected to make safety issues a part of their basic training program and review its safety program throughout the year.

3. Each new recruit must be familiar with and be able to pass the New Recruit Test for their arm of the army before being allowed to take the field for a battle. Each unit commander at each event shall be held personally responsible for any failure to test a new recruit before allowing him to participate on the battlefield.

4. Unit commanders shall have a copy of these General safety Rules and applicable branch safety rules at each event and shall require prospective new recruits to read the regulations before taking the New Recruit Test. Unit commanders shall bring the copies of the test for their respective branches to each event so as to be able to administer the test to prospective new recruits. Commanders should not rely on battalion, brigade or division leadership to provide copies.

5. No new recruit shall be allowed on the field until a copy of his successfully completed test is delivered to the battalion adjutant.

6. The Pistol Check Policy, Artillery, and Mounted Safety Rules are posted elsewhere on this web site.

7. Every participant in an event shall properly register and sign a release. At that time, the registrant will be issued a ticket/certificate/coupon that indicates that he/she is properly registered. This document shall be carried on the reenactor’s person at all times during the event and shall be presented upon demand. Any violation of this requirement shall subject the reenactor to immediate ejectment at the current event and may bar his/her participation at future events.


1. All participants must read and have a working knowledge of the Safety Rules before participating in any reenacting event. Participants are personally responsible for doing this.

2. Anything constituting hazardous conduct on or off the field is prohibited. The use of good judgment is paramount.

3. No fires will be left unattended at any time. Water buckets and/or hidden fire extinguishers shall be maintained near open fires at all times.

4. No weapons will be left unattended, either in or out of the camp area. Unattended weapons will be collected and delivered to the Division/Brigade Provost where they will be available to the owner.

5. Members of the public may not enter any participant’s tent, unless by express invitation of the owner.

. Rowdiness, abusive language or public drunkenness will not be tolerated at any time. Unit commanders/leaders are responsible for all unit members' conduct during the event

7. No alcohol will be consumed prior to or during public hours each day. The event host may be more restrictive regarding this issue.

8. Spectators will only handle weapons in controlled, demonstration scenarios. The weapon being demonstrated is never to leave the sight of its owner. Weapons will only be handled by minors with the parent's approval and only when parent or guardian is present. All weapons so used must be unloaded and in a fully safe condition. Handling of weapons by spectators or noncombatant minors for any reason other than that described above is strictly prohibited.

9. No household pets are allowed at the event in any encampment or public area.

10. Smoking or open flame is prohibited during the following times: - While handling powder in any form, within the artillery powder magazine Safety Zone; and after battles until all weapons and cartridges have been secured.

11. To avoid unnecessary conflict, at no time will a member pick up another member’s weapon without permission from such member. The exception is when the member retrieving the weapon has a good faith and reasonable belief that the owner has "lost" the weapon. For purposes of interpreting this rule, cannon implements are weapons.

12. Firearms and powder supplies will never be left uncontrolled. To prevent access before, during, and after battles or demonstrations, firearms, ammunition, caps and powder supplies will be guarded to prevent theft, unauthorized tampering, personal injury and/or damage. No loaded weapons, caps, ammunition or powder will ever be put into the hands of spectators, minors or noncombatants. The individual gun or powder owner will be held responsible.

13. The possession of live ammunition, either period or modern and/or the possession of modern weapons in camp are prohibited, except as may be possessed by sworn peace officers or those retired law enforcement personnel with current carry permits.

14. Weapon firing or clearing of weapons outside of the battlefield must be authorized and supervised by the unit leadership or reenactor commanders. Prior to clearing weapons, a 10 yard safety distance from any general camp area or spectator area is required. A 20 yard safety distance from any picket line is required. The alarm, "Fire in the hole!” or “Firing!" is required. Other than the clearing of weapons at the end of a battle, the firing of weapons is not permitted without express authorization from, at a minimum, a battalion commander.

15. The call "Medic!" is for use in actual emergencies only. For Living History, "surgeon," "stretcher bearer," or other period terms shall be used.

16. The minimum age to carry a weapon, service an artillery piece or ride with the cavalry is 14. No one under the age of 14 is allowed on the battle field, other than functional musicians who are at least 12 years of age.

17. Each pistol must be in an appropriate holster. No pistols shall be carried in belts, pockets, etc. Extra pistol cylinders may be carried on the field in an appropriate leather pouch.

18. Cartridges shall be carried in cartridge boxes. Tompions shall be left in camp. No commercial Wonder Wads shall be used.

19. Hand-to-hand battle scenarios require the permission of the Army Commanders and practice in the techniques by the participants prior to battle. Before engaging in any hand to hand all weapons must be cleared and empty. Individuals who find themselves in unauthorized hand-to-hand combat will surrender, take a hit or run away, as appropriate. After the battle the individual initiating the unauthorized hand-to-hand will be reported to Division command.

20. During battlefield activities, any member, observing a situation that is in violation of a safety rule, may be allowed to correct the situation immediately, otherwise, if not resolved, may call a cease fire, which shall remain in effect until the situation is corrected or resolved. Officers on the field may take reasonable steps to correct the situation without calling "Cease Fire" if it is likely to be quickly and safely resolved.

21. To make a cease fire obvious and quick, the individual calling the cease fire due to safety will take his weapon (rifle or sword) and hold over their head longitudinally, using both hands. A signal that can be repeated by additional participants until the cease fire has been effected.

22. Soldiers may not fire from the prone position.

23. A wounded party may never fire from the ground. A soldier should discharge his weapon before taking a “hit.”

24. No ramrods or bayonets shall be drawn on the battlefield

25. Non-combatant members are not allowed on the active battlefield with the exception of period military medical impressions, clergy, war correspondents, and musicians who are within the chain-of-command. Others may be permitted within scripted scenarios that have been approved at Officers Call.

26. The public is not allowed:

a. On the battlefield, during battle scenarios, to include the time after engagement while troops are still present on the field;
b. On the battlefield between battle scenarios if live ground charges are present, or demonstrations are being held;
c. In camps during battles without authorization from respective commanders;
d. In any member’s tent, unless by express invitation of the owner.
e. The public is allowed on the field immediately following battle scenarios only if they are part of approved tours guided by reenactors.

27. Steel bayonets may be fixed for parade, guard duty, arms inspection, stacking arms, drill, digging in, or other non-battle scenarios, at the direction of the field commanders (except for public demonstration).

28. Swords may be drawn only by officers or at the direction of officers.

29. Knives shall be secured in their sheaths and shall not be drawn or used on the battlefield without express approval at Officers Call when they are made part of a carefully approved scenario.

30. All reenactors with special medical needs/conditions/prescription medications are required to inform their respective chain of command, whether combatant or civilian, of their situation in order to ensure their own safety.