Our recruitment video is online at Youtube
Items and pages:
Short History, Full History, Original rosters, Schedule, Re-enacting with us, Manual of Arms,
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Captain John Outwater's Company of the Bergen County Militia Regiment was one of twenty-five companies raised by Act of the New Jersey Assembly in 1776. However, due to the demoralizing retreat of the Continental Army across New Jersey after the Fall of New York and the surrounding American positions, it seems the Company did not actually form until early 1777.
When the Company was assembled in Hackensack, the Company elected its Company Commanders: John Outwater as Captain; Adam Boyd, Lieutenant, and Abraham Allen, Ensign. Outwater's Company one of several companies in the Bergen County Militia Regiment, commanded by Colonel Theunis Dey.
The Company was composed of Jersey Dutch farmers and tradesmen who attempted to protect their property from British foraging parties. Because of the proximity to the British in New York City and the large Tory or Loyalist population, Bergen County was dangerous for those in rebellion. Unlike other militia, it was often unsafe for these men to return to their homes. Because of this, the men of the Outwater's Company were often on constant duty, much different from the men of New England. Raids into the area from New York City and British held Paulus Hook (now Jersey City) were frequent and often directed towards capturing militia men at home. The militia tried to guard the roads amd rivers as much as possible.
When not repelling raiders or invasions, the company concentrated on interdicting Loyalist trade with the British in New York. Goods for the British were often sent down the Hackensack River and the goods and transporters would be seized by Outwater's men. The Justice of the Peace would then award the goods to the captors. Sometimes Outwater's militia guarded prisoners for the Sheriff.
In December 1780, the State legislature commissioned the company Outwater's Company, New Jersey State Troops. State Troops were considered a cut above militia; the comparative stability of their long-term enlistment allowed them to be assigned more important and intensive duties. They served as State Troops through 1781.
See the full History article / Read the Manual of Arms.
Re-enacting breathes life into the past and Outwater's Company is the perfect outlet for any history/military history buff. The unit receives invitations from events all over the Northeast at a variety of historical sites. From two-hundred year old forts to original battlefields, you get to experience the past in a unique way. Imagine standing on the actual battlefield site and being surrounded by hundreds of people in period clothing with blue-gray smoke from the artillery and musket fire rolling over the field. You feel like you are there in the past!
Outwater's Militia does not only provide this opportunity for just those who wish to portray a soldier. Because of our affiliation with the Continental Line and the Brigade of the American Revolution (BAR) and the civilian aspect of being a militia, there is something for women and children too, which is great for those with families. Women can explore the impact of the Revolution on the lives of women by portraying a campfollower, women who followed the armies to be with their husband or as individuals trying to make some money as a merchant, laundress, or hospital matron for the army. There are often activities for children during which they learn how life in 18th. Century would be like. Boys are encouraged to take to the field playing the drum or the fife which would make it possible for commands to be heard above the gunfire. Men who are more interested in civilian life can be involved portraying a craftsmen or professional. See our SKILLS web page. Family participation is easily worked into our efforts to authentically portray the 18th. Century.
New members are helped every step of the way to getting started. There is an abundance of resources available from the other members to get you involved and settled in as soon as possible. New comers have at least one year to get the basics together, and the unit will help with this also. Outwater's Militia has been incorporated since 1979 and and the unit carries its own insurance. Also, members receive publications from the BAR: The Courier, a monthly newsletter with event information; The Express, a quarterly magazine recapping the years events with photographs and articles; The Dispatch, a scholarly journal with research and interesting information on a variety of topics.
Outwater's Company is always looking for more recruits. Our focus is on a correct militia impression, using correct materials, styles and equipment. Members are encouraged to learn about the Revolutionary War period. Men at arms must be at least 18 years of age, or 16 if accompanied by a parent. Younger boys can field as musicians. Families are encouraged to participate. Skills of the period are praticed by several of our civilian members. As stated above, the unit will assist you in getting started, with the loan of equipment and clothing, and (of course), good advice.
Outwater's meetings are held at historic sites throughout central NJ. These will be posted on our schedule as they are arranged. We have an annual meeting the weekend closest to Washigton's birthday in Feburary. Traditionaly we tour a historic site on a Sunday afternoon, then have the meeting at a historic tavern or Inn. The annual meeting is for elections and scheduling. Other meetings are held at need during the year. There are no other regular meetings, but we do usually spend a weekend each month re-enacting.
Outwater's Militia is a TAX-EXEMPT 501 (c) charity. Some
expenses and all donations are tax-deductible. Ask your
accountant or tax preparer- and keep receipts!
Online membership application Clothing and equipment guide
Our recruitment video is on line at Youtube.
We put out a newsletter "The Broadside" , about once a year, which contains informative articles, receipes, pictures, 18th Century definitions, etc. See our Newsletters.
See the Brigade of the American Revolution schedule of events
the Revolutionary War Militia email
discussion group at Yahoo Groups
Outwater's Militia is an IRS recognized 501 ( c ) charitable tax exempt organization. Donations accepted.
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