Those attempting to present and accurate portrayal of the militiaman of the American Revolution have a difficult task. Recreated Continental and Crown units have the benefit of orderly books and inspection returns to aid in producing a relatively authentic depiction of their 18th century counterparts. Unfortunately, information has not been left behind from those who served in the militia.
Because of this, research centered on a depiction of a militia must be done through other means. Militiamen straddled the line between military and civilian life and this would be reflected in his appearance. Therefore, in order to portray a member of a militia company, one must take into account all aspects of that militiaman's life: geographic location, religion, ethnicity, social status, age, trade and education. One must understand these in order to accurately portray a militiaman.
This membership manual is meant to be a guide into the world of the men of Outwater's Company. It is meant to help you accurately portray them based upon research done to date. There are many "do's" and "do not's" throughout the manual, these are not to discourage but rather lead you so as to avoid the mistakes we have all made in the past.
We encourage your ideas and participation in developing an
increasingly accurate portrayal of the common soldier of the American
Welcome to Outwater's!
You can probably borrow most gear and clothing while you are
getting started. Ask for help, and people will be glad to give
you a hand. We enjoy talking about reenacting!
The basic outfit for men is: breeches, shirt, waistcoat, stockings, shoes , hat, neckcloth and a bowl, a cup, and spoon. After you have these, you will want a haversack to carry things in, and a canteen. In the 18th Century men were Never seen in public in their shirtsleeves without an over garment! Men at arms will need to get a musket or fowler eventurally- ask about where to find the best price.
The New Jersey militia were from a well settled areas, close to New York or Philadelphia. They did not dress as frontiersmen. They would have been dressed and equiped like an average civilized English or Dutch person.
Women's basic clothing was a shift, a petticoat (skirt), and an over garment on top, which could be a gown, short gown, or jacket. Stays were the basic undergarment, similar to a corset.
Outwater's Militia Company is a member unit of the Brigade of the American Revolution (BAR). As a BAR unit, we need to maintain high standards of authenticity in our equipment and clothing. We appear before the public in period dress, which is different from a costume. Costumes give the appearance of being something, but we want to actually dress in realistic, correct, clothing.
Avoid artificial materials. Linen and wool are good. Cotton should be avoided as it was an import from England. Cotton-Linen blends are acceptable.
Smoothbore flintlocks were a NJ militia standard, under the 1775 militia law. A Brown Bess, fowler, or early Charlieville are good choices.
What is the best way to save money? Don't buy anything that you are not sure is authentically correct. Good sutlers will tell you what their documentation is for an item, or you can ask members of the unit. Good choices now will save you money by being useful for many years- bad choices sit in a closet, unused.
If you can sew, or are willing to learn, you can save significantly on clothing.
Most reenactments are done in warm weather. Get clothing for hot weather. You can add an inexpensive wool over shirt for cooler weather, and worry about coats later. You should bring a canteen or water bottle to every event- if you don't have a correct one, bring a modern one and keep it hidden. Don't get overheated!
BAR rules do not allow carrying cartridges in the pockets, so some type of period correct bag or cartridge box will be needed.
You don't need a tent to begin. The unit has some tents, and should usually be able to provide you shelter.
One of the unique aspects of portraying a member of the militia in that you build your own "character". Perhaps you wish to represent a veteran of the French and Indian War, using a mixture of older style clothing and military equipment of that time. Or you can depict a small farmer, wearing largely homemade clothing and equipment, with perhaps a fowler or hunting gun instead of a military one. The details are up to you and you should try to have fun with it. Pick something you are interested in, this is the perfect outlet for an interest in a period trade or craft.
It should be foremost in your mind that the members of Outwater's Company were Jersey Dutch. The Jersey Dutch were an interesting mix of the original Dutch settlers and the immigrants that would follow: French, Scotch, Walloon, German, English and Polish. What makes these people unique is that as the cultures mixed, their speech, dress and customs remained largely Dutch. The Jersey Dutch spoke a dialect of Dutch, were baptized in the Dutch Reformed Church and their dress and customs showed a Dutch influence. Another consideration is that New Jersey was a British colony for over a century before the war. Because of mercantile laws, the imported items would have been overwhelmingly British.
Outwater's Company was composed of a wide variety of tradesmen and men of different means. Bergen County was largely inhabited by farmers, but there were also tanners, millers, river-boatmen, teachers and many other trades. Contemporary paintings and engravings show that what one wore largely depended on one's trade. Also, the wealth of the individual would largely affect the types of clothing available to that person. A small farmer may be limited to simple homespun linen and wool clothing, whereas a prosperous merchant maybe able to afford imported fabrics and tailored clothing.
Most people from Bergen County were farmers, but there were many other occupations such as: blacksmiths, boatmen/sailors, carpenters, colliers, coopers, fishermen, innkeepers, joiners, millers, stagecoach drivers and tanners to name a few. Some period pictures have been included in the appendix for examples.
After you work out the details of what type of person you wish to portray, begin to think what clothing and equipment would be appropriate for that persona. Look over the following list of items.
* Farmer or workmen's smock
* Sleeved waistcoat
* Civilian coat
* Sailor's jacket
* Wool, linen, or buckskin breeches
* Linen slops
* Linen shirts
* Linen Trousers
* Civilian-style gaiters
* Linen or wool waistcoats (single or double breasted)
* Civilian style stock
* Felt civilian tricorn
* Uncocked hat
* Knitted or wool stocking caps
* Round hat
* Canadian Caps
* Period leather shoes buckled or tied
* Sabot or wooden shoes
* Period spectacles (round frames)
Farmer or Workman's Smock: A contemporary account describes "the wagoner's frock was intended, as the present cartmen's to cover and protect their other clothes, and is merely a long coarse shirt reaching below the knees". As the quote suggests, a smock is more than an oversized shirt of course unbleached linen, about 65 threads per inch. "Hunting Frocks" are widely used in the hobby but smocks are a much more common article of clothing. Smocks are ideal for those portraying farmers.
a Frock coat
Civilian Coat: Coats are generally made of a good close and regular weave wool. They can be with or without a collar and cuffs and either single or double breasted. Coats are not for "dress" - all classes wore coats, from the upper class to slaves. The difference would be the quality of construction and material. Generally made of wool or linen. Coats of the 1750's tended to be full with large cuff, while those of the 1770's were more fitted with smaller features.
Jacket / Sleeved Waistcoat: A short coat of wool or linen with sleeves ending in either a buttoned cuff or a slit. Mostly a working class piece of clothing.
Breeches: Breeches can be made of wool, linen or leather. Breaches
of the 1770's had a "fall front" or a flap in the front,
which buttons near the waistline, covered by the waistcoat. An
earlier style was the "fly front", which buttoned up
in the middle of the front and would have been hidden by the longer
waistcoats of the 1750 - 60's. The legs end about one or two inches
below the knee and close with five horn, wooden, or white metal
buttons or four buttons and either a buckle or drawstring. Breeches
should be well fitted, rather than tight in the legs and waist
with an excess in the seat. Leather breeches were very popular
in New Jersey; made of buckskin by the working classes for durability.When
picking a style, either fall or fly front, make sure that your
breeches, waistcoat, and coat are of the same period.
Trousers: Trousers are made of a coarse unbleached linen with a straight-leg and looser than breeches. They vary in length from above the ankle to one inch above the ground and are not cuffed.
Slops or Skilts: An item generally worn by sailors over breeches for protection. Slops have very wide legs that are gathered at the waist and at the knee.
Gaiters: Gaiters and made of brown wool or painted lines canvas, worn over the shoes and stockings for protection. They have a tongue that covers the shoe buckle and a strap that goes under the shoe. Gaiters extend close to the knee and are secured with black horn buckles.
Shirts: Shirts are basically the same in construction, differing on materials due to economics. They are loose cut and very long (to the knees), the collar is long enough to fold over a cravat or stock. Materials would differ, a fine bleached linen with dorset (thread) buttons or cuff links for the upper classes, the lower classes may wear a heavier linen, bleached or unbleached / natural, using horn or bone buttons.
Waistcoats: Mid-century waistcoats were cut mid-thigh, but by the 1770's they would get shorter, long enough to cover the waistband buttons and shirt completely. They were made of materials such as silk or a lightweight linen or wool which would be either solid, striped or patterned. Regardless of style, a waistcoat should be long enough to cover the front buttons of one's breeches.
Cravat: A long narrow strip of fine white linen, about 60 inches in length and is wrapped around the neck ending with the ends hanging in the front over the waistcoat.
Neckerchief: About a square yard of cotton, linen or silk generally worn by the working class, rolled and tied in the front.
Stock: A piece of white of black linen, which is closed in the back of the neck by either ties or a buckle.
Hats: Hats came in a variety of styles and materials. Felt hats are made of beaver, (castor), or wool felt, blocked with a low, round crown and a four to six inch brim. They are left uncocked or cocked into a tricorn, round hat, or fantail and have a linen band gathered by a drawstring sown inside close to the rim. A tricorn is made by turning up the brim on three sides. Round hats have a two and one half to three inch brim and can be turned up on the left side, while fantails have a relatively small brim turned up in the back. Knitted wool caps were popular, made of a good woolen yarn. Straw hats may have been worn by farmers in the summer, and many tradesmen wore linen caps sown out of four panels, a lining and turned up cuff. Canadian caps were made in a similar manner to the workman's cap, with four wool panels, lined and trimmed with a fur band.
Shoes: Shoes are made out of black leather, rough side out for the working classes and smooth side out for the more middling and upper classes. The majority of shoes were worn with buckles of brass, bronze, iron or silver, which were very simple or ornate, depending on the economics. Some of the working classes wore their shoes with ties.
Wooden Shoes or Sabots (French): Wooden shoes are usually associated with the Netherlands, but were common in Northwest Europe. They were the work boots of the time, generally used for dirty or wet tasks such as plowing. Wooden shoes are practical: they do not absorb water or deteriorate as quickly in mud or water as leather shoe, they are easy to clean and slip on or off with little effort for going indoors. Perhaps the best thing about wooden shoes for a Dutchman was that they were inexpensive! Thier practicality ends at the farm, and it is unlikely that they would be worn in other situations but could be used in camp.
Spectacles: The popular style for glasses in this period was a round frame made of a white metal. Oval and octagonal frames are 19th century.
General Rules for Men's Clothing
There are some general rules in regards to clothing. The upper classes are more likely to wear frock coat, breeches and waistcoats of solid colors or simple patterns made of wool and fine linen. The lower classes were more inclined to wear jackets or coats, linen smocks, waistcoats, breeches, trousers and slops. They would have used bright and gaudy colors as well as stripes and checks. Upper classes had better fit and material.
Avoid frontiersmen clothing and equipment. We have found no evidence of Scotsman's bonnets being worn.
Like with men's clothing of the Revolutionary War era there
were "standard" items worn almost universally. This
basic set of clothes would include: a shift, petticoat, stockings,
shoes, stays, a modesty piece and a gown or short gown. Again
the quality of construction, materials, colors and patterns would
set one class of person apart from another. Additional articles
could be caps, hats, pockets, aprons and capes.
For complete information on 18th century women's clothing, including patterns and descriptions, check the Basic Non-Military Clothing Guide for Women, printed by the Brigade of the American Revolution and Beth Gilgun's Tidings from the 18th Century.
Choosing Clothing Styles to Match Your Persona
For types and styles, Clothing and Textiles in New Jersey: 1776-1782, is excellent reference. It is a collection of excerpts from New Jersey and New York newspapers containing references to clothing and fabrics in New Jersey; advertisments for run away slaves and indentured servants, descriptions of lost or stolen property, and advertisements of merchants. It gives a good idea of what styles, fabrics and colors of clothing were available and/or popular during the war. It includes descriptions for both men and woman, as well as many classes.
Another source is contemporary prints and paintings. Artists such as William Hogarth (1697-1764) and Denis Diderot's L'Ecyclopedie (1763) have numerous drawings of all sorts of individuals from the period. Diderot's work is especially helpful because he produced hundreds of plates dedicated to specific trades and industries and while Hogarth is somewhat early for our period, his subjects are a window into everyday English life.
Fabrics and Patterns
For our uses, only 100% natural fiber fabrics such as linen, wool, cotton, silk and are certain blends of these are acceptable. Of these, the fabrics of choice were linen and wool because they were the most available fabrics and cheaper in the 18th century. Correct fabrics drape properly, conform to shape more readily, crease, wrinkle, and wear more appropriately and are safer to wear around camp fires.
The following is reproduced from the Basic Non-Military Clothing Guide for Women for reference:
Linen: a fabric made from the flax plant, noted for it's strength, coolness and luster. Please do not confuse linen-look materials for true linen. These are often polyester blends. Read the bolts for fiber content.
Cotton: a fabric made from plant seed fiber. Because the cotton gin had not been invented at the time of the American Revolution, cotton was more expensive than linen and most of it was imported.
Wool: the fiber from the fleece of sheep. This was the most common fabric, whether called woolen, worsted or stuff. Wool was so finely woven that is would retain a firm edge when cut and left "raw".
Silk: A filament produced by the larvae of a silkworm as it spins it's cocoon. While some silk was produced domestically, most silk was imported.
Color: All colors achieved in the 18th century were created with natural dyes. These were obtained from berries, roots, bark, flowers, shells, and insects. Some fabrics "took" dyes better than others.
Stripes and checks: While solid colors were probably the most common, stripes and checks were worn.
Stripes: whether even or uneven, remained fairly small until just before the end of our period.
Checks: for semantic clarification, means any fabric of any fiber in plain weave with one, two or three colored warp and one, two or three colored weft stripes intersecting at right angles to form squares.
Prints: Printed linens and cottons were available and popular in the eighteenth century. Finding printed fabrics today that are right for our clothing is difficult. Some companies, such as Waverly and Schumacher, have produced fabrics, which are called "documented prints" in 100% natural fiber.
On all 100% fiber fabrics, prewashing in essential. Even if
you intend to dry-clean your clothing, rain and sweat can shrink
a fabric just as easily, ruining your garment. Also make sure
all your seams are finished to prevent unraveling.
Documentable styles and patterns are just as important so be sure about anything before you buy. Approved patterns are available from the Brigade of the American Revolution. This is not to say that the BAR is the only source for patterns, just the most reliable. J.P. Ryan Patterns are also very good and available from many of the merchants, and Beth Gilgun includes many patterns in her book Tidings from the 18th Century.
Before you purchase finished clothing or materials to make your own, check with the Commander first, getting a sample swatch before committing yourself.
Before you purchase any items, consult the Commander to make
sure that is of sufficient quality and authenticity. Many of the
merchants that service this hobby cater to other time periods
and other types of units, so it is possible to get something that
is of our period but is simply not documentable for what we portray.
Due to the unit's high authenticity standards, such unacceptable items will not be allowed to be used. Do not make costly mistake, double check with the Commander to make sure that the material, tailoring or the general use of the item is correct for our portrayal. Also, some of the sutlers cut corner, like using cotton or the like. Before you buy something, ask questions about construction and materials.
Gilgun, Beth Tidings form the 18th Century. Rebel Publishing Co. Inc., Texarkana, TX, 1993. Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing.
Basic Non-Military Clothing Guide for Women. The Brigade of the American Revolution, 1993. Woman's and Children's Clothing
Soldier Manual. The Brigade of the American Revolution, 1990 (Particularly Chapters 7 & 9)
Part III: Equipment and Accouterments
The following Militia Ordinance was passed by the New Jersey Provincial Congress, and it is a good outline for equipment required for Outwater's Company:
"That every person above directed to be enrolled shall bear Arms, attend Musters, and in all Things be comformable to the Rules and Orders herein after mentioned; and shall, as soon as possible, furnish himself with a good musket, well fitted with a Bayonet, Steel Ramrod, Worm, Priming-wire and Brush, a Knapsack, Canteen, twelve Flints, Cartouch-Box, and twenty-three Rounds of Cartridges suited to his Gun..."
Passed by the New Jersey Assembly, March 1778. Original Statue book in the collection of the Morristown National Historical Park. Note: the statute has a preamble and 58 sections. The quote is from Section 4.
* Blanket Roll
* Bayonet or Sword
* Period British military or American "make due" cartridge box
* Period wood, glass, gourd or metal canteen
* Period Leather belt of shoulder frog
* Fowling piece
* long or Short Land Pattern Musket
* Committee of Safety Musket
* 1763 Model or earlier French Musket
Other Necessary Items
* Period Wooden bowl or plate
* Pick and Brush
* Period Eating Utensils
* Musket Tool
Things to Avoid
* New improved knapsack/haversack
* Rifleman or Scalping knives
* Indian tomahawks
Tumpline: A tumpline is a blanket wrapped and tied around a carrying strap two to two and a half inches wide, with items being rolled within the blanket. The strap is traditionally worn across the chest, but can be worn over the right shoulder
Blanket Roll: A simple pack made by placing contents in the middle of a blanket and rolling the blanket into a cylinder, then tying off the ends. The blanket could be tied in more than one place to secure the contents inside and worn over the shoulder
Haversack: Haversacks are made of a course, unbleached linen. They are a pocket, covered by a flap secured by buttons (horn, bone or white metal) and attached to a strap, which is slung over the right shoulder. Used originally to carry food and eating utensils.
Knapsack: These packs are a tight-woven linen or linen canvas envelope, covered by a buttoned flap, carried by two linen shoulder straps connected by a breast strap. Required under the Militia Acts.
Bayonet, Sword or Ax: This choice largely depends on what type of firelock you have. A military arm, such as the Brown Bess and Committee of Safety muskets, would most likely have a socket bayonet fixed for that gun. Americans often lacked a bayonet so a sword or tomahawk may have been substituted. Swords could be an old military hanger, hunting sword or crude cutlass. Axes would be made by a blacksmith, not like the trade tomahawks common on the frontier. Swords and Blades of the American Revolution or the Collector's Encyclopedia of the American Revolution should be consulted for documentable patterns. The Militia Acts required either a bayonet, sword, tomahawk or belt axe.
Cartridge Box: There are many cartridge box styles appropriate for militia. Provincial cartridge boxes from the French and Indian War may still have been around, New Jersey used a twenty-three box, which was long and narrow with a double flap. There may also have been some captured British boxes of an early war pattern. Another possibility is a "make due" box, an American approximation of a British pattern. These boxes would be made of local material; black, brown or natural leather for the body and straps, hardwoods for the block and on the more economically produced boxes, linen straps. Regardless of the construction, boxes should be made to carry at least 23 rounds, per the New Jersey Militia Acts.
Leather Belt of Shoulder Frog: Frogs carry the scabbards of a bayonet and/or sword as well as a tomahawk. They can be attached to a waist belt of shoulder strap with either a single or double frog. Frogs are made either entirely of leather of leather with a linen strap.
Canteen: Appropriate canteens would be made or wood, tin or glass wrapped in leather. A wooden canteen is constructed much like a stout barrel with a strap. Tin canteens were used by the British and were either kidney or crescent shaped and carried on a hemp or linen cord. A blown glass bottle could be wrapped with leather to make a serviceable but not as rugged canteen. Bottle gourds can be given a lining of wax to make a servicabe canteen.
Long or Short Land Pattern Musket (Brown Bess): A British Brown Bess musket was the standard firearm for the British Army. The Long Land Pattern (or First Model) had a 46" barrel and saw use through the French and Indian War. During the conflict, the Short Land Pattern (Second Model) was introduced with a 42" barrel and changes in the furniture. There is documentation that the Long Land Pattern muskets were being cut down in the field during the war. Considering that New Jersey was a British colony until 1776, it is probably safe to say that the Brown Bess was available in Bergen County.
Committee of Safety musket: Since there was a deficiency of military muskets, the local Committee of Safety would contract a gunsmith to produce copies of the Brown Bess. The result was a close approximation of the British gun.
Fowler: The use of a fowler, or a hunting gun much like the modern shotgun, would be likely. A fowler was much like a musket in that it is smoothbore, and could be loaded quickly. Any fowler should be of a Dutch pattern, but not the "Hudson Valley Fowler". The barrels of the Hudson Valley fowler are so long that it is impractical for military service. Fowlers should be of at least .62 caliber.
1763 Model or earlier French musket: There is also documentation of French muskets finding their way back to New Jersey after the French and Indian War. These would be of the 1763 pattern or earlier, as the 1777 pattern muskets were almost exclusively used in Continental Service.
Rifles- technically, rifles were not allowed in the NJ Militia until late in the war. If you are purchasing a firelock, get a musket or fowler first. I period correct rifle will be allowed if you already own it.
All firearms regardless of model are required to be fitted with a flashguard and hammerstall for safety. Flashguards must have two points of contact so it can not swivel if loose.
Wooden plate or bowl, cup, and eating utensils: Is is not documented that a militiaman would have carried these item, but they are necessary to eat at events! Treenware, made of wood, was the most economical and durable choice and very common. Likewise, a tin cup will stand up to being carried in a haversack. Forks, spoons and knives would most likely be brought from home so civilian utensils are appropriate. Crude utensils such as forks made from twisted wire are period but for Continental troops. Other materials, such as pottery, are certainly authentic, but prone to breaking.
Worm, Wire and Brush, and Musket Tool: These items are for maintenance of the muskets; a worm was used to clean the barrel and remove foreign objects, while a pick and brush were used to remove black powder fowling from the area around the touch hole, and a musket tool was a combination of a pick and screwdriver. The so-called "Pickering Tool" should be avoided: although it is based on a drawing from Timothy Pickering's drill manual an original has never been found. Either a musket tool or a period screwdriver is appropriate for tightening musket screws. Required under the NJ Militia Acts,. along with spare flints.
Things to Avoid/Picking Patterns
Before buying your first piece of equipment, pick up a copy George Neumann's Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. This author owns one of the largest collections of originals from the period (part of which is on display at Valley Forge) and was one of the founders of the Brigade of the American Revolution. The book contains over 2,300 photographs and illustrations of period pieces and is as close to a definitive source for styles and patterns of equipment as there is. Neumann's other book, Swords and Blades of the American Revolution, is just as helpful for those specific items.
When picking a piece of equipment for your "kit", the most important question is "How would my 18th century 'self' get this?". Militiamen were expected to equip themselves, so there would be the same range of quality in materials and construction as with clothing. Equipment should generally be circa pre-1775 British standard issue or an American made approximation of British equipment. American made versions of equipment ranged from very crude to almost exact copies.
There are some items that saw service in the Continental Army, but are not exactly correct for militia. Items such as "Newly invented knapsack/Haversacks" and tin cartridge boxes were made for the Continental Army by governmental contractors and it is unlikely that they would find their way into a militiaman's hands. A good rule of thumb is if you need to make an intricate story for why you would have a particular item, it is probably not right for you.
NJ was a long settled area, close to the major cities of America. They did not dress like frontiersmen. Avoid breechcloths, fringed riflemen's frock or hunting shirts, scalping knives and Indian tomahawks, clothing or other gear. Only men on horseback wore boots. Rifles were not allowed in the NJ Militia until late in the war, and we portray a 1777-1778 view of Outwater's.
The unit owns tents and cooking equipment for use by it's members, but you may find that you may want to get your own at some point. If so, there are some guidelines.
First of all, Camp equipage should be kept to a minimum. Soldiers had to carry everything themselves, so they couldn't be burdened by excessive equipment. Almost all of the pension applications made by veterans mention that for the duration of the war they were constantly on the move, sleeping in "barns and boats on the river".
This also applies to modern living historians, you'll have to load and unload everything to and from events. A story from Joseph Plumb Martin's Private Yankee Doodle makes this point:
"We had our cooking utensils ( at that time the most useless
things in the army) to carry in our hands. This was made of cast
iron and consequently heavy. I was so beat out before morning
with hunger and fatigue that I could hardly move one foot before
the other. I told my messmates that I could not carry our kettle
any further. This said they would not carry it any further. Of
what use was it? They had nothing to cook and did not want anything
to cook with. We were sitting down on the ascent of a hill when
this discourse happened. We got up to process when I took up the
kettle, which held nearly a common pailful. I could not carry
it. My arms were almost dislocated. I sat it down in the road
and one of the others gave it a shove with his foot and it rolled
against a fence, and that was the last I ever saw of it. When
we got through with the night's march, we found our mess was not
the only one that was rid of their iron bondage."
With this in mind, in the military camp, personal camp equipage should be restricted to a cast iron kettle of a period pattern for cooking (Copper corn boilers are not period) and standard British infantry canvas wedge tent (6'x7'x6' with 1'3"bell) using wooden pegs. Period camp stools should be simple, made of hard wood such as oak or maple with a canvas seat, and put away when not in use.
If you desire more equipment, such as a wall tent for more space, more cooking equipment or a fly (or awning) for demonstration purposes, you should consider moving out of the military camp. Many events, especially those of the Brigade of the American Revolution, will have a civilian camp set up for this purpose. Usually the militia will be set up outside the edge of the military camp, or in the civilian area. It is unlikely the original unit had tents or much besides their personal gear that they carried, however we can not reenact sleeping in homes, barns, boats and outbuildings as the original men did. The unit owns several tents, including a spare wall tent, a dining fly, portable tables, and an assortment of tin and cast iron cooking gear, so you will not need to buy such things to get started. You may find it handy to have a wooden, period style box or crate to put a small cooler and other gear in, especially since they make good seats.
We do recommend you keep the personal gear to a minimum you
can be comfortable with at events.
Nuemann, George C. and Kravic, Frank J. Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Rebel Publishing Co. Inc., Texarkana, TX, 1989.
Neumann, George C. Swords and Blades of the American Revolution. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA 1973.
Peterson, Harold L. The Book of the Continental Soldier. Stackpole
Books, Harrisburg, PA 1968
Part IV: Safety
Living History can be a dangerous hobby if certain rules aren't followed: with constant exposure to open fires, firearms and blades, safety should always be thought of. Read and Understand the safety regulations in the Brigade of the American Revolution's Soldiers Manual (section II) for firelock, edged weapons and general camp safety. Read and Understand the Manual of Arms (these manuals were written for the safety of 18th century soldiers and are essential for safe use by living historians) and use common sense - if it doesn't seem safe don't do it!
Part V: Research
We will never know every aspect of eighteenth century life of that of Outwater's Company, but we can get closer and closer through research. All members are encouraged to do as much reading and research as possible on their chosen persona, life in 18th century Bergen County, and Outwater's Company in general. Listed below are some references as well as libraries for research.
Baumgarten, Linda Eighteenth Century Clothing at Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg VA: 1993
Cleary, Micheal Clothing and Textiles in New Jersey 1776 - 1782. 1976
Copeland, Peter F. Everyday Dress of the American Colonial Period. Dover Publications, New York: 1975.
Gilgun, Beth Tidings from the 18th Century. Rebel Printing Co. Inc.
Basic Non-Military Clothing Guide for Women. The Brigade of the American Revolution, 1993. Women's and Children's Clothing.
Nuemann, George C. and Kravic, Frank J. Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Rebel Publishing Co. Inc., Texarkana, TX, 1989.
Neumann, George C. Swords and Blades of the American Revolution. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA 1973.
Peterson, Harold L. The Book of the Continental Soldier. Stackpole
Books, Harrisburg, PA 1968
Baily, Rosalie Fellows. Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Houses and Families in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York. Dover Publications, New York: 1968
de Crevecoeur, J. Hector St. John Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of Eightennth Century America. Penguin Books, New York: reprinted 1986
De Jong, Gerald F. The Dutch Reformed Church in the American Colonies. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company., Grand Rapids MI: 1978
Leiby, Adrian C. The Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley: The Jersey Dutch and the Neutral Ground 1775 - 1783. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick NJ: reprinted 1992
Marrin, Richard B. A Glance Back in Time: Life in Colonial
New Jersey (1704 - 1770) as depicted in News Accounts of the Day.
Heritage Books, Inc, Bowie, MD: 1994
-, The Brigade of the American Revolution's Soldier Manual.
Brigade of the American Revolution. 1990.
Trades and Crafts
-, The Williamsburg Craft Series. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Williamsburg VA
Bridenbaugh, Carl. The Colonial Craftsman. Dover Publications, New York: 1990
Gillispie, Charles C. (ed.) A Diderot Pictorial Encyclopedia of Trades and Industry, Dover Publications, New York: 1987
Stockham, Peter (ed.) Little Book of American Crafts and Trades Dover Publications, New York: 1976
Tunis, Edwin. Colonial Craftsmen. Thomas Y Crowell Co., New York: 1965
Underhill, Roy. The Woodwright's Shop Series, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC
The National Archives - Northeast Region
201 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014
Hours: Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for microfilm use only. Closed Sundays, Federal Holidays and all other Saturdays
The New Jersey State Archives
185 W. State Street, CN 307
Trenton, NJ 08625
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed state holidays
Call for an appointment.
David Library of the American Revolution
David F. Sower, Research Director
River Road, Box 748
Washington Crossing, PA 18977
Call for an appointment
Morristown NHP Library
Morristown, NJ 07960