american revolutionary war reenactors military history battle histories british continental militia loyalist units rebel links
Dedicated to the memory of James Frederick Justin 1NJV, father, ensign, color bearer and friend
Full Coverage For The Revolutionary War Reenactment Hobby
Welcome to the Regimental, a site devoted to the centralization of online resources regarding information relevant to the revolutionary war re-enactor and persons interested in observing, joining or learning more about that hobby and the history it represents.
For newcomers to the hobby perhaps a bit of explanation is in order. Revolutionary War Re-enacting, popularized during the American Bicentennial, is a hobby wherein the persons in the hobby, known as re-enactors, attempt to bring a period of American History to life for an audience of the public. They do so by participating in Mock Battles using tactics and equipment of the period while wearing uniforms of the design and material of those worn by the soldiers of the American Revolution. Camp life is also recreated by the re-enactors and their re-enactor spouses and children who are also dressed and accoutred in a period fashion. These Mock Battles, also called Tactical Demonstrations, involve the use and firing of real weapons made to the designs of the time and firing real powder, live ball being left out for obvious reasons. The Camp life usually inlcudes the setting up of camps of period tents, provisions for Suttlers (merchants with period wares for the re-enactor as well as the souvenier seeker) and the cooking of period style food. Period Music, Marching and Firelock Drill Demonstrations as well as occasional Cannon demonstrations or skits of various sorts will often also take place between Mock Battles, depending on the size of the event and the inclinations of the hosts. The public is allowed to observe the Mock Battles and afterwards permitted to visit whatever camp there may be to talk to the re-enactors. The Re-enactors, being actors after all, will normally be most happy to pose for photographs as well as answer questions.
The American Revolution was a war fought between the forces of the American colonies and their Allies the French and the forces of the British Empire and their mercenary troops, the German Hessians, between the years 1775 through 1783. As the extent of America at the time extended not far from the Atlantic Ocean, most large events in the hobby will take place on the eastern seaboard. However, branches of the Hobby do exist accross the country.
The most common Re-enactment event is a recreation or observation of a historic battle upon or near the original battlesite and near its anniversary. The second sort of Re-enactment involves a local celebration by a local organization, such as a town historic society or county chamber of commerce. These organizations will often invite re-enactors to hold an event as a focal point for their celebration. Finally, historic sites will often host re-enactments to fund their preservation efforts and to generate interest. All such re-enactments are occassionally advertised in local papers or television programs, particularly the second sort. However if you wish to make certain you see an event, it is suggested that you review the web sites below for Units and Organizations. These usually will have a calendar of upcoming events which that unit plans to attend.
Battles will usually take from twenty minutes to up to an hour or more to complete, with 45 minutes being a fairly average duration. Most events will have one or two battles per day of the event, which will be planned and announced ahead of time. Generally for two day events more re-enactors can be expected to attend the first day's battles than the second's, particularly in inclement weather conditions. You should be certain to obtain the schedule for an event before going so as to be certain you do not miss the Battles.
If you plan on attending a re-enactment, please keep in mind that for obvious reasons they usually are scheduled from spring through fall. As such the events frequently take place in very warm or even hot weather. Furthermore, these events most often take place out doors in fields far from shade, indoor plumbing and air conditioning. You should plan on long walks and lengthy standing in most circumstances. Also, being outdoor events, inclement weather will sometimes prevent a Battle from taking place. Finally some small children and most dogs find the loud noise of the gunfire to be dismaying. For your own enjoyment, please keep these factors in mind when planning your attendance at a re-enactment. All of that being said, spectators usually seem to have a good time - I know I still remember from my childhood those family trips which included seeing re-enactments!
The Units and Organizations links below provide access to Re-enactor Unit or Organization Web Pages. A Unit is a smaller body of persons all of whom portray a single military unit, a regiment or artillery battery, which fought in the revolution. An organization is a group of units which have pooled together to coordinate their activities to improve their portrayal to the public and thus their enjoyment of the hobby. Unit sites will tend to give more detail about the hobby while organizational pages will give a broader calendar of events and perhaps more information overall. Unit sites are broken down into types. British means British Regulars - the Redcoats. Loyalists are Loyal Americans fighting alongside the Regulars. Hessians are the British mercenary allies. Continentals are the Rebel American line troops while Militia are state units of a more irregular nature. Finally French units are the Regular French line troops sent to America to aid the Rebel Americans. Both Unit and Organization sites should provide a calendar of events which that unit or organization plans to attend. Both should also give e-mail and other contact information for those with questions or wishing to explore possibly joining the hobby.
The Sites link will lead you to a selection of pages with links to web pages concerning the various historic sites which have hosted re-enactments as well as other revolutionary war historic locales which may be of interest to a student of the period. If you are planning to attend a re-enactment, you should check to see if the location of the event has a web page listed here to obtain directions and information. If you are planning a vacation you might wish to check out these sites to see if any in the area might be worth planning an excursion to. Also most sites provide contact information in their pages so that you may obtain directions or ask questions. Sites included vary from battlegrounds, to houses, forts or simply monuments or references to historic areas.
For the person desiring more information about the Revolutionary period, the Knowledge link will forward you to a page of links to on-line documents, book lists, stories and histories relevant to the period of the American Revolution as well as to some organizations based upon histroical research not engaged in re-enactment.
The Suttlers link provides access to web pages of businesses with hobby related products. If you are not a re-enactor, you will not find any usefulness to the links in the section entitled Suttlers. These provide links to those businesses which engage in the production and sale of period style equipment and clothing for the re-enactor.
The Genealogy Link provides access to genealogy information on-line relevant to those looking into their revolutionary lineage. This source is not the primary purpose of this page, however, and ought not to be relied upon as a primary source for this purpose.
The Gallery Link is perhaps the most unique feature of the Regimental. This provides access to the Schultz Collection of photographs taken at various Revolutionary War Re-enactments during the past years. Persons wanting to see what the Hobby `Looks' like will find this area interesting. Re-enactors will find the site a record of events they may have been to, or a way of `checking out' an event they missed. Reprints may be available at a modest cost for expenses as set forth in the linked pages.
The History Link is a series of original pages with history of the war and its battles, with links apropos to the topic of that page. Although the entire page is an ongoing project, I anticipate these to take the longest to complete.
The Campfires link will lead to a collection of humorous stories and items related to the Re-enactment hobby. Please email your stories to me to post as well!!
Please browse through these links to your contentment. If you do not find a site you think should be included please let me know. If you see problems, have suggestions, questions or comments please feel free to send me a note. Thanks for visiting!
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Last Updated 5/3/15
Visitors since May 7, 1998