Monday, March 14, 2011

Belgians in American Civil War

I have been being told lately about how widespread in America is the pasttime of historical reenactments. This is done somewhat in Europe also but in America it is the Civil War that it seems is most popular for people to reenact. I would never, ever have thought Belgium could have anything to do with the civil War in America but, to my surprise, I was wrong about that. Looking around I have been surprised to see that there is also interest in this unique conflict in Belgium and other places in Europe. Honestly I cannot understand why people would do this but if they enjoy it that is okay. I have seen this done for Waterloo and some (can't think of the word) pageants (maybe?) on the revolution but I don't really understand doing this for the American Civil War that Belgium had nothing to do with, but, I found out there are some people who must really love doing this. I found the website Dixie Belgium which is a group, now joined with a pan-European group (how typical) that dress as Confederate soldiers of the American Civil War and camp in the Ardennes and hold Confederate-themed parties and things alike.

Also, in looking around for this subject, I found this website on the subject of Belgians in the American Civil War. A quick look left me surprised that there were a number of Belgians who fought in the American Civil War, both in the northern states and southern states armies, and at least one friend of mine will be glad to know one was in the Texas cavalry. This site also has general information about the Belgians who came to America. Having known of the connections in the World Wars and the Belgian involvement in Mexico I thought that was as close to get, never imagined Belgians would be involved in the North-South conflict that people in America seem to still be very 'fascinated' by. I have been told by others this is still a very big issue in America even today and that every presidential election they are invariably questioned about their view of the former Confederacy. Wow. 150 years ago -and still this is considered important. Who knew?


  1. Hello again! You were probably looking for the word "Reenactors" as in Civil War Reenactors (from reenactment).
    I am still amazed at all your information! I checked the sites...Incredible!
    The Southern flag in the Ardennes? I will mention this to my Texan SIL (a breed apart as you probably know!). Being anti-slavery, I would have joined the North...
    History is very much alive in the US and I have seen it first hand. You cannot change History but let's hope the World has learned enough of the past to map a better future!

  2. I don't know if 'reenactment' is correct, I'm thinking of those men who dress like the guards at the revolution in the fur hats and blue blouses for parades and flag waving on national day.

  3. I have become very familiar with the Texans in this last year and half -though I hope they are not all for slavery (I don't think so). I first heard that there were a few hundred Belgians just on the north side but then found the website showing some on both sides. I don't know what Belgium thought of the war but I expect Empress Charlotte in Mexico was probably for the south since the north did not want Mexico to be an empire. If the south had won the US could not have interfered anymore in Mexico. I know a little more of that than I do of the war in America, I was surprised Belgium would have any connection to that.

  4. Amazing is it not what an incredible history we have as Belgians! Little wonder we are proud!
    I very much like also your post regarding Julius Caesar. "De tous les peoples de la Gaule, les Belges sont les plus braves" is a comment I learned in school and remained with me!
    From such a military strategist, what a compliment!

  5. They must teach that in every school every year, I had that also. It's a very good compliment and shows why I tell people who say "Belgium is not a real country", yes it is, we have been around since Julius Caesar!