WILLIAMSBURG, Va., March 4, 2013 — Make ready! Hundreds of re-enactors depicting armed forces from the first century A.D. to modern times will come together on March 16 and 17 for Jamestown Settlement’s time-honored “Military Through the Ages” event.
This chronological display of military history, held each year since 1984 at Jamestown Settlement history museum, will feature 35 groups based in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey.
In one weekend, re-enactors and modern-day units will show how uniforms, weapons and military tactics evolved through the centuries, as well as aspects of field communication and medical treatment. The event also showcases a variety of military vehicles and equipment. Visitors are encouraged to interact with re-enactors to learn how soldiers attired and armed themselves, as well as how they were fed and housed in times of war.
Artillery Firings, Children’s Parade, Military Pass-in-Review
Among the weekend highlights, “four centuries of artillery” will be presented at noon Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17, with the firing of a 17th-century swivel gun and falcon, an early 18th-century naval deck gun by the “Crewe of the Archangel,” a Revolutionary War six-pound brass battalion gun, a Civil War 12-pound field howitzer by the “Norfolk Light Artillery Blues,” and a howitzer by the Virginia Army National Guard 111th Field Artillery.
During a children’s parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, young “troops” will march through the museum’s re-created colonial fort and re-enactor campsites to formally present ribbons to each of the participating military units. A military pass-in-review will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17, and will include recognition of re-enactor units judged on camp sites, clothing and cooking presentations, and field demonstrations.
Roman Legion to the Virginia Army National Guard
Re-enactors will portray soldiers and military encounters from Roman times, the medieval period, Hundred Years’ War, War of the Roses, French and Indian War, American Revolution, War of 1812, and American Civil War. Re-enactors depicting World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War take visitors through the 20th century. The National Museum of the Marine Corps, Wounded Warriors Project and the Virginia Army National Guard will represent the present.
Visitors can learn about the Roman unit “Legio IX Hispania,” encounter “The Fenvald Vikings,” and visit medieval campsites of Charlemagne’s Army “Scara Karoli,” “La Belle Compagnie,” “Lord Grey’s Retinue,” and 1500s German mercenaries “The Devil’s Nightmare Regiment.”
The American Civil War will be depicted by two Union units – the “3rd U.S. Regular Infantry” and maritime group “U.S.S. Aroostook” – and two Confederate units – “23rd Virginia Infantry” and “Norfolk Light Artillery Blues.” Ground troops will demonstrate military drills, uniforms and period cooking. The “3rd U.S. Regular Infantry” will invite visitors to take part in hands-on company and bayonet drills, as well as present interpretation of Civil War medical treatment and civilian life at home.
Visitors can learn about facets of the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War from the “24th Regiment of Foot,” and see the Victorian opulence of scarlet-clad British “Coldstream Guards” officers during the 1882 Egyptian campaign. The “West Cork Flying Column” and “Crown Forces in Ireland” will show aspects of ambush and explosives training during the 1919-21 Anglo-Irish War.
Aspects of a soldier’s life during World War I will be depicted by the “American Expeditionary Forces,” “8 Kompangnie, Infantry Regiment 459,” and “Guard’s Division, British Expeditionary Forces.” World War II will be shown by “1st British Airbourne” paratroopers, British “Women’s Land Army,” and a British infantry battalion training exercise prior to D-Day.
Military Aspects at Jamestown Settlement
Arms, armor and military accouterments of 17th-century Virginia can be seen inside Jamestown Settlement’s extensive galleries, featuring films and interactive exhibits that tell the story of America’s first permanent English colony and of the Powhatan Indian, European and African cultures in 1600s Virginia. Families can experience hands-on activities, such as trying on reproductions of English helmets and breastplates, in outdoor re-creations of a 1610-14 English fort, a Powhatan village, and the three ships that brought English colonists to Virginia in 1607 – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.
Jamestown Settlement is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round. Admission is $16.00 for adults and $7.50 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. A value-priced combination ticket with the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, is $20.50 for adults and $10.25 for ages 6-12. Parking is free.
Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 near the Colonial Parkway in James City County, just southwest of Williamsburg and adjacent to Historic Jamestowne. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit hif.ciniva.net/military-through-the-ages.htm.