Modern History

Our Modern History (1974 – Present)

The following timeline lists the highlights and milestones during our storied history. It does not list every event or parade the unit has participated in or helped to coordinate. The full list is simply too numerous to list here.  However, if you are around an encampment long enough, you will hear tales of our past memories, quips, and puns to fill the gaps along the way.

December 1974Inception

Under the leadership of Captain Richard Canto, the Town Fathers of Wakefield, Massachusetts granted permission to several Middlesex County history buffs to reconstitute the original Wakefield company of militia. Officially designated as the Reading 1st Parish Company of Militia, this group was authorized and empowered to represent the town of Wakefield at various Bicentennial activities in the years to come.

1977Hubbardton, Vermont

During the unit’s first battle re-enactment, five members of the company marched from Crown Point to Hubbardton with members of the Essex County Regiment and subsequently took part in the battle of Hubbardton.

The decision was made to portray a local Plymouth County unit of the Continental Line as opposed to a company of militia. The unit chosen was the “2nd Massachusetts Regiment.” Being originally commanded by Colonel John Bailey, the unit name was renamed “Colonel Bailey’s 2nd Massachusetts Regiment,” with a uniform coat of brown faced red.

New Captain Elected

James Ickes becomes the Regiment’s 2nd Captain.

Bennington, Vermont

Under the command of Captain James Ickes, the Regiment took part in the Battle of Bennington.

1978New Captain Elected

Lieutenant/Adjutant Bradford Chetwynd becomes the Regiment’s 3rd Captain.

Monmouth Courthouse, NJ

Impressed by the large 18th century encampment set up by the sponsors, the unit decided to attain their own tents the following month.

1979The Merger

The Lowell-Dracut Company of Militia disbands, resulting in 13 members joining the 2nd Mass. Along with the 13 new members were several accomplished musicians.

1985First Blue/White Uniform

Following exhaustive research by persistent unit members, the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment changed to a blue regimental coat faced in white and military overhauls. Numerous organized work parties resulted in the creation of authentic cartridge boxes, backpacks, as well as other accouterments.

The Regiment completes its application to the Brigade
of the American Revolution
(BAR).

1987Audience for the Queen:

The 2nd Mass is requested/invited, and attends, a glorious 10-day performance in England, as the rebel colonialists

1988We Become a Non-Profit

The unit is officially incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a non-profit, educational organization.
The Founding of the Continental Line

The 2nd Mass joins several other living history organizations in founding The Continental Line.

1991New Captain Elected

Michael Thompson becomes the Regiment’s 4th Captain.

1995Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (#1)

The Regiment is invited to participate in the “Militia Days” event. The 2nd Mass is the first New England unit invited to attend.

1996Quebec, Canada (#1)

The unit co-hosts the first Battle on the Plains of Abraham, a joint effort of the Continental Line and the British Brigade.

New Captain Elected

Eric Chetwynd becomes the Regiment’s 5th Captain.

1997Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (#2)

The Regiment is invited back to Colonial Williamsburg.

1998Quebec, Canada (#2)

The unit co-hosts the second Battle on the Plains of Abraham, in Quebec, Canada. This time, in addition to the Continental Line and the British Brigade, the Brigade of the American Revolution and the NorthWest Territories Alliance are invited to participate.

1999Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (#3)

The Regiment is invited back to Colonial Williamsburg for their “A Call To Arms and Action” event.

2000New Captain Elected

Brad Chetwynd is elected as Captain once again.

Battle Road 2000

The Regiment co-hosts Battle Road 2000, celebrating the 225th anniversary
of the fights at Lexington and Concord. The event is the start of eight years of celebration commemorating the 225th anniversary of the American Revolution.

2001Crown Point, NY

The Regiment co-hosts Crown Point in Crown Point, NY. This event is another 225th anniversary event celebrating Benedict Arnold’s victory over Governor Carlton on Lake Champlain.

2002New Captain Elected

Mark Nowacki becomes the Regiment’s 7th Captain

2004New Captain Elected

Ted Gaudette becomes the Regiment’s 8th Captain.

Quebec, Canada (#3)

The unit co-hosts the third Battle on the Plains of Abraham, in Quebec, Canada.

2006New Captain Elected

Eric Workman becomes the Regiment’s 9th Captain.

2008New Captain Elected

Ron Barry becomes the Regiment’s 10th Captain.

2010New Captain Elected

Barry Greene becomes the Regiment’s 11th Captain.

2010Regimental (Flying Hospital) Re-created

After a long hiatus, former colonial soldier Brian Cortez researches and recreates the original 2nd Mass Regimental Surgeon, Doctor John Hart. As a result, an expanded aspect of the regiments impression is introduced with a fully supplied and staffed Flying Hospital.

2011Battle of Richardson’s Tavern

The 2nd Massachusetts hosts a large event at Millis, MA. Units from all over attend, and storm the fortifications built by the unit for the battle.

2017New Captain Elected

Eric Chetwynd becomes the Regiment’s 12th Captain.