witnessed her first reenactment and began to reenact all on
the same day at St. Catherine's Military Academy in Anaheim,
looked like just what the ten year theater director and playwright
would enjoy -- acting without script memorization and reaching
out to the public with important educational information in
a social context.
a year of hoop skirts and corsets, that fatigued her physically
and spiritually, she petitioned her significant other for
the opportunity to be a vivandiere (Mary
Tepe) on the field in their newly formed unit.
a "period correct" uniform, broad brimmed hat, and
a haversack she learned the ropes at the side of the unit's
surgeon, Captain Duncan left, and bandaged soldiers and emptied
canteens up and down Southern California reenactment battlefields;
from Fresno to Chula Vista.
an American Civil War Society
member, Jill regularly attended school functions interacting
with the students to show them that not all women during the
American Civil War were Scarlet O'Hara types.
has written two brief playlets portraying a moment in the
life of a vivandiere on the field and a woman soldier dressed
as a man in a field hospital available for students to perform
while dressed in appropriate costuming and props.
continually wrote period letters, prepared white sheet strips
with "blood" for use in battles, and kept her uniforms
and accoutrements ever-ready for action on the field and off.
has been seen on The History Channel's "Sex
and the Civil War" series putting money down
her corset and unsheathing a union sword and ended up on the
cutting room floor, fourteen hours of shooting later, for
the John Cusack, Catherine Zeta Jones and Julia Roberts' film,
"Vivandiere", French and Latin, meaning 'hospitality
giver'. Vivandieres served as nurses, mascots and sutlers
and often carried a trademark cask filled with brandy, whiskey,
or wine. Their uniforms consisted of jackets copied from their
units with feminine touches of lace or braiding, a knee-length
skirt and pants. Most wore hats to shield them from the sun
and boots to protect their legs and feet. (A good many vivandieres
also carried weapons -- more for self-protection from their
own soldiers than for protection from the "enemy".)
Jill appears on a flyer for the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum
in Wilmington, California and, inserted picture, is ready
for the trolley to Banning House.