Galvanizing is not a new concept. It originated during THE WAR when Confederate prisoners were given the choice of either staying in prison or wearing the blue uniform and fighting for the U.S. government against American Indian uprisings in the "wild west". However, Confederates were not the only ones to "galvanize". Union prisoners had also switched sides, if you will. During the last days of the war, it was documented that when General Stoneman's Federal Cavalry division pushed into Salisbury, North Carolina, they encountered among the town's 500 defenders "two hundred galvanized Irish who had been recruited from among Federal prisoners". These men battled in the streets of Salisbury. One "galvanized" Confederate, although shot through the lungs, continued to fight back until he fell on the porch of a Mrs. M.E. Ramsay, who dragged the soldier inside her house. The man actually survived and returned to thank Mrs. Ramsay after the war.
We are all entitled to our opinions and beliefs, and our Regiment recognizes our members who request NOT to galvanize. We respect their feelings. However, as one who has re-enacted and lived in "the South" and in "the West", I have observed that galvanizing appears not to be a disgraceful or disrespectful act (e.g. to one's ancestors) among many "Southern-born" re-enactors. I find it very interesting to see many west-coast Confederate reenactors refusing to galvanize no matter how ridiculously one-sided a battle may look to spectators, and yet find most Southern-born east-coast Confederate re-enactors, who's ancestors actually fought in the war, not think twice about galvanizing. If you visit many of the Civil War sites on the web, you will notice that many of these units, particularly Confederate units, are always asking their members to bring both their blues and grays to every event, and they proudly wear both! Furthermore, many large events (e.g. the 1995 "Battle of Franklin" in Springhill, TN) require that Confederate units bring a blue uniform and agree to "go Union" for at least one day. There is no doubt that a few units will choose not to participate, however, most do because such a large event with literally thousands of re-enactors makes it a thrilling and attractive event not to be missed.
So why do we galvanize? We galvanize because: