Some may only know him as Mr. Falzoi, Dansville High School principal, but when not overseeing the daily operations of the school, this history buff enjoys the hobby of Civil War reenacting.

Some may only know him as Mr. Falzoi, Dansville High School principal, but when not overseeing the daily operations of the school, this history buff enjoys the hobby of Civil War reenacting.


Michael Falzoi has been reenacting on and off for about 12 years, and is  with Company A of the 21st Georgia Volunteer Infantry. He specifically portrays a 1st lieutennant.


The unit is primarily comprised of members from the immediate area.


There is no specific base location for the reenactment group – they meet and practice drills wherever they can, and has twice done so in the high school’s gymnasium.


The 21st Georgia reenactment unit is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and is one of the oldest units in the hobby.


At the time it started, members came from all over the U.S.


“One of the things we really used to take pride in was the number of people from across the country in our membership, but it’s not necessary anymore because you can easily just join a local unit,”?Falzoi said.


As far as getting into the hobby himself, Falzoi said it sprang from his life-long interest in the Civil War.


“My parents knew I had a passion for history and the Civil War. I was always running around and playing soldier; this is kind of the ultimate expression of that, I suppose.”


His first glimpse of reenacting was when he went to a reenactment at the Genesee Country Village and Museum at the age of seven or eight.


“Boy, I wanted to do that,”?he remembered.


A friend of his, who was a reenactor, helped him get started at the age of 19.


Aside from infantrymen, the 21st Georgia, which has more than 100 members, also includes musician, medical and civilian reenactors.


Reenacting has become a family affair for Falzoi. His wife, Kim, who is a fourth grade teacher at Ellis B. Hyde, and their two-year-old daughter, Allison; plus his father, in-laws and nephews take part in various aspects of  reenacting as well.


This isn’t uncommon, Falzoi said. Many families comprise the 21st Georgia.


“It’s sort of like, if you enjoy camping, it’s like camping with a point,” he said with a chuckle. “We get together and we talk about history.”


Everyone brings something  different to the table, he also said. “When you get together, you teach each other, and you learn. So that’s a big part of it.”


Beside educating each other, reenacting is also about educating the public.


“We want as best as we can to portray what these guys dressed like, in some cases what they talked like, and maybe what they were thinking to the best of our ability.”


To this end, audiences get a close-up, realistic experience of what kinds of uniforms and weapons, and what sort of tactics were used, among others.


During reenactments, audiences can approach reenactors and ask questions and literally step into a Civil War camp.


This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. As such, there will be many noteworthy reenactments that Falzoi and his family will be a part.


Falzoi said that every year for the next four years, there will be one massive national event.


“We’re looking at Manassas this year – 15,000 reenactors. That’s a full-scale battle. What people are going to see out there is what – at least in terms of numbers – what it would have been.”


Locally, the 21st will be reenacting July 9 and 10 at a Civil War reenactment at the Genesee Country Village and Museum; and on July 11 and 12 in Canisteo.


The Arcade and Attica Railroad will have a reenactment Aug. 13 and 14; and ther will be a reenactment Sept. 24 and 25 in Angelica.


Many members also reenact during Dansville Middle School Civil War Day each fall in Church Park. Other than Falzoi, there are a number of Dansville teachers who are part of the 21st.


For more on the 21st reenacting unit, log onto www.21ga.org.


A memoir of the actual 21st Georgia was written by its captain, James Nisbet, and is titled, “Four Years on the Firing Line.”