For one local Civil War reenactor, portraying a military man of that era is more than just donning a costume and having some fun.

For one local Civil War reenactor, portraying a military man of that era is more than just donning a costume and having some fun.

For Cody Zone, 19 of Wayland, it’s about “being able to get as close to history as you can...getting out there to educate the public, show them what our history was,”?he said, adding that comeraderie is also a large component.

“The 22nd, we’re a family,” he said while packing his car in the parking lot of his father’s business, Wayland Dental Care for a weekend trip to a reenactment at Endview Plantation in Newport News, Va. for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Big Bethel.

Captain Michael Davis of Batavia and Private Nate Campbell of Wayland joined him on the excursion (but were not available for the interview).

Zone is an acting 1st sargeant for the 22nd Virginia Battalion Co. G, which began about 30 years ago in Springwater by Captain John?(Zack) Zakrzewski in honor of his great-great grandfather, John C. Gardner, who fought in the 22nd Virginia during the war.

The battalion is now based in Bloomfield under the command of Rob Roark, and includes reenactors from several states, many of whom have joined due to family ties in the area.

The 22nd Battalion has been a sponsor of the Mumford Civil War Days at the Genesee Country Village and Museum, as well as for the Arcade and Attica Railroad reenactment.

Zone has two personas that he portrays when reenacting – a farmboy by the name of Joseph Zone?and an Irish immigrant by the name of Joseph Doran. Doran was his grandmother’s maiden name; and the name Joseph is Zone’s middle name, which was more common than Cody during the Civil War era.   

Zone has been with the group for about three years. Prior to that, he had been part of the 21st Georgia Unit since he began reenacting at the age of eight.

It was after having taken one of Joe Debell’s American Civil War classes at the Genesee Valley BOCES one summer that started a passion for the Civil War.

Highlights over his more-than-decade career include having reenacted on many actual battlefields in the south that “haven’t been touched.”

The greatest highlight for Zone was recreating Pickett’s Charge [for a story on Pickett’s Charge, look at adjacent story] at Gettysburg on the actual field. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the ranks,” he recalled.

The 22nd not only includes infantry, but also civilian reenactors, totalling about 30 in the group.

Zone is a recruiting officer for the 22nd. If anyone is interested in trying out for the battalion, they may contact him at 585-314-0996 or email at

The 22nd is also online at

They will be reenacting locally for students in the Wayland-Cohocton School District in May and for the public at the annual Wayland Potato Festival in August.

The Mumford Civil War Days will be July 8-10; and the Attic/Arcade train reenactment is scheduled for Aug. 12-14.