Patrick Stultz wades through the forest, bushes snagging his baggy red trousers.
He hoists a .58-caliber musket above his blue-wool jacket and sweat-stained red kepi hat.
Gunpowder granules mix with saliva and turn his lower lip black.
He dumps the remainder down the barrel of his replicated Springfield Model 1861 and puts a gold-colored cap no bigger than a pencil eraser in front of the hammer.
And yet there may be a silver lining in the hobby's decline.
A few groups, he says, began obsessing over details as early as the late 1960s, some of whose members turned up with original Civil War accoutrements.But the push towards more period-authentic dress came about a decade later, and has intensified since then.As the hobby evolved, so too did a marketplace for proper-looking gear.(More from : Zen and the art of whip cracking) The earliest Civil War reenactors were in fact Civil War soldiers.Before the fighting ended, veterans were already restaging battles to honor the dead and to show civilians what their countrymen had endured.