The 53rd PVI is selective in that we seek persons who have a genuine interest in the Civil War and a sincere willingness to authentically recreate the life of the Union soldier.  If you are interested in joining our organization, here are the steps you need to follow to join:

Meet the Members

The first step is to meet the members of the 53rd.  Every unit has a different personality.  If interested in the 53rd, come see us at a living history event and decide whether you like this hobby and whether the 53rd would be a good fit. Reenacting can be a physically strenuous hobby.  It is not for everyone.

Express Your Interest

Next, if you have decided you would like to try us out, get in touch with us and let us know you are interested.  We can send you a newsletter and invite you to observe a future event.

Become a Probationary Member

Once we have gotten acquainted with each other, you will be voted in as a probationary member of the 53rd. This means you will begin paying dues and are required to attend at least three events during the active campaign season (April – November).  These events include two weekend events and a living history.

Begin Acquiring Equipment

We do not expect each probationary member to outlay money to buy all the necessary equipment at once.  We normally give our new members the first season to get their basic equipment together.  We do not allow probationary members to attend any events with us until they acquire a basic uniform and the minimum equipment necessary to present a good infantryman impression.  See our equipment page.

Attend Introductory Events

These first few events will initiate you to the hobby.  You will get a good idea what this hobby is all about and if your decision to get into this hobby was correct.  You will experience not only the excitement of simulated combat, but the camaraderie around the campfire that binds our members together with friendships that have lasted in many cases for more than fifteen years.

Become a Full Member

Once you have attended some of our events, have obtained your basic uniform and equipment, and shown a willingness to conform to our unit’s philosophy and standards, we will vote you in a a full member of the 53rd.  This gives you full voting rights at our meetings.

Member Locations

If you live in south-central Pennsylvania, chances are good that there is a 53rd member not too far from you.  This can be good news when car pooling to events or just getting together to roll cartridges or get advice when buying equipment.

Here are some of the towns where our members live:


  • Denver
  • Ephrata
  • Elizabethtown
  • Gettysburg
  • Hetboro
  • Kleinfeltersville
  • Hummelstown
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Lititz
  • McVeytown
  • Myerstown
  • Reading
  • Rehrersburg
  • Schuykill Haven
  • Stevens
  • Terre Hill
  • Willow Grove
  • Wyomissing

Please contact us for further information.