Members of the Regiment portray the men, woman, and children of a military unit fighting for the American cause during the American War for Independence. Members of the unit portray Continental Line soldiers, civilian camp-followers, musicians, militia, sailors, artisans, and civilians associated with the struggle for independence.
While the organization provides many of the common items necessary for participation (tenting, commissary and the like), members are expected to acquire appropriate clothing, and accoutrements. We strive toward a set of authenticity guidelines in all aspects of what we wear and how we interact with the public at an event. The Regiment typically participates in about 20 events per year. We welcome members to participate in as many of these as they are able.
Benefits of Membership
All members are eligible to participate in any event or program in which the Regiment is participating. While participating with the Regiment, members may use Regimental tents and partake in the Regimental commissary. The commissary usually provides three meals per weekend for a very reasonable cost. In addition to the 20 or so events we partake in each year, we have monthly meetings to decide which events, programs, and other activities the unit will partake in or sponsor.
Members also receive a subscription to Rusty Muskets and Empty Steins (our monthly newsletter) and access to Member Services on our web site. The Regiment provides several programs to assist members in learning about the War for Independence as well as aiding them in the acquisition of clothing and accoutrements.
Most events are based on the Regiment participating with other Regiments to put together an “event”. These events typically involve American and Crown forces arriving at a location provided by the event sponsor and setting up an 18th century military encampment. Once this is accomplished, members begin to participate in the many activities provided on a weekend. These include military duties such as patrols, wood calls, water calls, guard duty, drills, and battle demonstrations. For civilians the activities include clothing demonstrations, laundries, the hospital, and hawking merchandise to the soldiers. These activities may be added to for specific events. Aside from these programs, members take part in entertainment including concerts, tea parties, taverns, games, and dances.
The end result is that the weekend is spent portraying and demonstrating the activities in which a typical person of the 18th century might have participated. To participate in these activities, one doesn’t need to have any special knowledge as every program is an educational experience.
New Member Testimonials
“As a new recruit, I was welcomed with open arms, as if I was already one of the members. Even though you are put on a year long probation period, you are treated the same as any other member would be, and encouraged to be part of what goes on at events. Every member is eager to help you in any fashion. It is true what they say, ‘There is never a stupid question’. If there is something you are unsure of, just ask, and you will get five different answers on the same question, and several different approaches to a problem you may have. Every member and recruit is constantly kept up to date on upcoming events though email and social media, so no one is left in the dark. This regiment will soon become your second family.”
“I first met the 2nd Mass at the Red Coats and Rebels at Old Sturbridge Village last year (2015). I found them to be very friendly and dedicated in representing their regiment. When my wife and I attended our first meeting with the regiment, everyone was very welcoming and supportive to a person with no reenactment experience, like me.”
“The regiment has been great at offering everything from advice about obtaining clothing and equipment, and being very generous with lending what was needed. For me that was everything since I had no previous reenacting experience. This allowed me to be able to join in events quickly. Over all I have found everyone to be so welcoming to not only myself, but also my wife and young son.”
“I had hesitated before with beginning this venture in reenacting with my family because of how much of an expense it could be. And having a young child is another expense that makes you think hard about added expenses. But everyone here has been open about how to build your kit without emptying your bank account. And within a matter of three weeks we were lent, bought, and sewed enough clothing articles that my family was able to work their first event fully clothed and with the proper eating utensils. “
“Even though I have only been to a few events and meetings, I feel like I’ve been a part of 2nd Mass for a long time. Everyone here has been open and friendly since the first day I walked into our first meeting, nervous and feeling like an outsider. I only felt like that for about 5 minutes. Instantly I was brought into the fold, having people introduce themselves left and right, getting involved right away with the project that was happening during that meeting. Everyone was very good at answering my many questions and ever ready to give advice from their own expertise.”
“I am a history teacher and perhaps my favorite part about my time with the 2nd MA is how it has affected my ability in the classroom. Before discovering the hobby and the regiment, I used to dress up in costumes for various history lessons and teach in what is called a ‘Living History’ format. Living History is an educational medium in which the historian uses clothing and material culture to immerse the student or visitor in the time period being taught. However, after joining the 2nd MA, I was able to provide my students with a more complete version of Living History.
– I was now able to explain why I wore every article of clothing, show that it was accurate fabric, fit, color and style, and provide my students with primary source documentation to match it against.
– I was now able to explain how to stitch an entire gown because I had learned at our workshops and through other members’ patient tutelage.
– I was able to explain the smell, sounds and sights of battle because I had experienced it.
– I was able to explain how food was prepared on an open fire because I had cooked it.
– I was able to describe the feel of a black powder musket in my hand because I had drilled and fired one.
The list goes on and on! My students are able to handle objects I use at events and see videos and photographs of encampment sites. They are able to gain a deeper appreciation for the 18th century through the passion I have been able to cultivate through this hobby and with the regiment.
On the topic of communication……
The process of keeping members in the loop has constantly improved since I joined a few years back. With the advent of social media, our Facebook page and new website has been a great way to disseminate information about events, meetings and research. We also have our fabulous monthly newsletter, Rusty Muskets and Empty Steins for which I am a contributor. I am always impressed with the amount of coordination it takes to make these events happen!”