Members of the Licking County Historical Alliance will meet at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 6, at The Works in downtown Newark to continue planning sesquicentennial commemorations of the American Civil War, beginning next year.

Members of the Licking County Historical Alliance will meet at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 6, at The Works in downtown Newark to continue planning sesquicentennial commemorations of the American Civil War, beginning next year.

Activities will include exhibits, lectures, period dances and full-blown reenactments, including a Civil War encampment June 10-12, 2011.

Newark resident Doug Gill has been doing Civil War re-enactments since 1991 and said they make for a full and enjoyable weekend, regardless of weather.

"They usually go in on a Friday night and set up and then tear down on Sunday afternoon," Gill said. "There have been times when I've woken up to two inches of snow."

Gill became involved with re-enactments when a friend who played the role of a surgeon asked him to fill in for a "patient" who dropped out at the last moment.

"He said I was doing so good, would I like to join his unit?" Gill said. "I've been doing it ever since. I play a surgeon and a patient both."

Likewise, Gill often recruits others to participate.

"If I need someone, I'll ask if they'd like to be a patient of mine and tell them, 'this is what you do,'" Gill said. "It's mostly tourists and the public that comes."

Some Gettysburg re-enactments have included as many as 15,000 participants, Gill said, and he expects the 150th anniversary to have strong interest.

Re-enactors pay attention to every aspect of the times, Gill said, down to shoes and eyeglasses, although there are no hard and fast rules.

"You don't want to wear modern shoes with a Civil War uniform; you don't want to have modern glasses," Gill said. "But if you're just getting started, maybe that's the only shoes you have to wear or the only glasses you have. You try to portray as best as possible, but it doesn't come overnight."

Gill, a retired high school industrial-arts teacher, said re-enactors are dedicated to the avocation.

"I love teaching history to people, and I love the Civil War," Gill said. "It's a passion for me."

Re-enactors often play several roles, he said.

"I play both sides," he said. "I'm usually a Confederate surgeon, but I have the Union outfit, too, so I can play a Union surgeon."

During the Aug. 6 meeting, the committee plans to finalize events for 2011 and potentially discuss additional plans, Gill said.

"We have things planned out for next year, but that's just the first year," Gill said. "It goes on for (a few) years after that."

What: Organizational meeting

When: 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 6

Where: The Works, 55 S. 1st St., Newark

About: Members of the Licking County Historical Alliance will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. An organizational meeting will be held at The Works to plan events in 2011 and prepare for additional events, including lectures, re-enactments and ceremonies. Those interested in joining are invited to attend the organizational meeting Aug. 6.