Technology tip: Living historian and reenactor groups, like good historical novelists, try to be as honest as they can in portraying their characters, and we can learn much from them. They have studied everything about the period of history they portray, right down to the material from which their buttons are made.
The web page of a group devoted to the Middle Ages can be found at http://www.sca.org/
The Civil War Reenactors home page is
Reenactor.net at http://www.reenactor.net/Is a site that includes reenactor groups from ancient times to the present.