Delaware Civil War re-enactor Sean Protas of Newark: Soldier, Scholar
Photograph by Tom Nutter
Sean Protas of Newark loves to bend someone’s ear about the Civil War—show some interest, and off he goes, talking about battles and people and what the war was really all about. (Slavery, not state’s rights, he insists.) He’s been a military history buff childhood.
“My parents worried about me,” Protas says. “I can’t tell you why I’m so interested in history. It just speaks to me.”
Protas was delighted to discover a photo of an ancestor, Charles Henry Minnemeyer, a musician with the 11th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry, who bears “an eerie resemblance” to him.
The Civil War has become an obsession. Not only does he participate as a Union private in re-enactments and living history events, he’s historian of the 2nd Delaware Regiment Volunteers, a task that has taken him to archives, battlefields and cemeteries throughout the East Coast and has led to frequent speaking engagements.