In the 1970s two former art students with a passion for history, John Elphick and Willy Howell, initiated American Civil War re enactments at Cudgee near Warrnambool. This unusual activity ran between 1974¬1975. The group fluctuated from six to about twenty participants for each event. Enthusiasts who leaned towards rebel tendencies favoured the South and more industrial participants were on the side of the Yankees from the North. John documented these stirring events for posterity.
All the collectable revolvers and muzzle loading guns were capable of firing live rounds using gun powder. The re-enactment group also got together and played appropriate music using banjos and mandolins. Reflecting on these re-enactments John Elphick said ‘it was ironic that the participants were mainly peace loving hippies’.