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2nd Mass


Col. Bailey's

A recreated unit of the American War of Independence

Frequently asked questions

Q. Where do you get your costumes?

An important distinction to make is that we wear clothes, not "costumes",  and they are worn and cared for just as any modern clothing might be.  Typically, much of the clothing is made by members themselves. The patterns used are based upon extensive research by many people in the “hobby”, including our own members. There are vendors (known as ‘sutlers’) that produce some items, but their authenticity standards vary from very good to very bad. Knowledge of which sutlers are worth your hard earned money is part of the guidance we provide new members.  

Q. I have my own clothes, can I just show up at an event and participate?

No.  For safety and insurance reasons, we do not allow “walk-ons” to participate in a scheduled and sanctioned event. If you wish to participate, you need to be a member of an approved unit at the event. For the 2nd Mass, that means your clothing would be reviewed for authenticity purposes, and friendly guidance provided toward meeting our standards of authenticity. New soldiers will be expected to learn the regimental drill, which is based on Baron von Steuben’s “Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States”, and muskets will be fully inspected for both authenticity and safety.

Q. Do you really sleep in those tents all weekend?

Yes, we do. Typically, when the camp opens in the morning, all attempts are made to provide an 18th century experience.  Part of that is wearing our clothing and preparing our meals as part of that period lifestyle. Overnight inside the tents, being a private area, modern conveniences may be used if they do not interfere with the external experience of others. However, come morning, all items that are not of the 18th century period must be concealed so as not to be seen by the public or others.

Q. Is that a real fire?  Are you going to eat that?

Yes it is, and yes are are.  All we are doing is cooking food in an “open BBQ grill”, the food tastes and is just as good (perhaps even better) than that cooked over charcoal briquettes. Some businesses actually advertise their “wood fired grill” as an upscale affair. We simply are preserving the same skills our forefathers did out of necessity.

Q. Do you only do soldier/military impressions?

No - the 2nd Massachusetts prides itself upon being a versatile group, striving to present a full experience.  The military impression is only one aspect. We have members that demonstrate period occupations such as medical doctor, carpenter, musician, (thread) spinner, and more.  In addition, we have many women and children as members, and they represent the lives of "camp followers".  Women followed the army to provide support services such as cooking, mending and laundry.

Q. How much does it cost to be a member?

The 2nd Massachusetts Regiment has a single set fee for full members. The regiment charges annual membership dues of $24.00 per member (16 and older).  Children under 16 are free to attend with their families. To read all about what comes with those annual membership dues, please visit our Join Us page.

There can be, however, a significant cost to making or purchasing the clothing and accouterments necessary to participate in events requiring historical accuracy.  New members will likely be able to borrow many of the necessary items from the Regiment or other members until they are able to replace them over time with their own.