September 20, 2023 – Tom Schobert, long known for his Robert E. Lee impression, was recently honored at a meeting of the West Seneca Historical Society with an Excellence in Living History Award. The award was presented by Derek Maxfield on behalf of Rudely Stamp’d Historical Impressions.
A long-time impressionist who has performed as Millard Fillmore, William Fargo, John Rawlins, Lee and many others joined Rudely Stamp’d about five years ago and has performed with the group many times.
Not long after the Civil War sesquicentennial in 2016, Schobert was interviewed by Maxfield for an essay on living history and reenacting for a pop culture book for Southern Illinois Press. But the project fell through and the essay went unpublished for many years. However, in observance of the 10th anniversary of Emerging Civil War, the essay was picked up and included recently in The Civil War and Pop Culture: Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians of Emerging Civil War. In celebration of the publication of the essay, Schobert was presented a copy of the book.
One of the finest living historians, Schobert has influenced a generation of reenactors and living historians with his vivid portrayals. Maxfield often cites Schobert’s masterful performance in a program developed by Schobert entitled “Four Days after Appomattox” as a major influence in the development of his own impressions. “Tom’s portrayal of General Lee is chilling,” Maxfield wrote, “You are convinced that Lee is there talking to you. Audiences are entranced.”
Tom lives in West Seneca with his wife Kim, who has often portrayed Dolly Madison. Although he has now retired his impression of Lee, he still will toy with new impressions from time to time. Very recently, Schobert began preparations to appear as Theodore Roosevelt for a special program at the West Seneca Historical Society.