Frequently Asked Questions
How much does this cost?
Reenacting is not a cheap hobby, neither is restoring antique cars, or serious photography. What we mean is simply this, any hobby, if you are seriously involved in it, will be an investment. In the case of reenacting you will probably be looking at $1500-$1800.
* Recognizing the continuing increases in costs from Vendors this Company is currently exploring making as much as we can ourselves inhouse so we will be dealing only with the costs of materials. IF you sew, or know someone who can sew, then you can realize SUBSTANTIAL savings on much of the clothing as well.
Why so much money?
Reenacting in the 18th century generally means custom made uniforms and equipment. While we are currently trying to off set some of the expense, most units face the same problem. The things we use are made especially for the hobby and are hand made in many cases thus the cost is going to be somewhat high. Remember, you are making an investment, you will seldom have to replace the equipment once you purchase it.
How much time is involved?
We certainly encourage you to attend as many activities as possible. We are aware that family, job, and other commitments have priority over your hobby, but think seriously about being willing to attend something on the order of once per month or so. That might only be a drill or local demo event which lasts a couple of hours, or it is a full weekend with a substantial drive involved.
Iíve never reenacted, so Iím not sure if this is what I want to do.
Take this in small steps. First, check out the unit at a local reenactment if possible. Talk to us, and several other groups for that matter. Each unit has a different approach, attitude, and demeanor. Ask questions, and lots of them. You need to feel comfortable before investing hard earned money in this hobby. Now once you feel comfortable enough to try this out we can sometimes outfit you with spare equipment and clothing. You may not actually field for a battle first time out, but you can get a general feel for things.
What if I join and donít like it?
When you actually decide to join you will have time to feel things out for a little. We will also be ďtrying you on for size.Ē We both need to feel comfortable, and if the extremely rare occasion occurs that you truly do not feel comfortable, we can part on decent terms. Selling your gear should be no problem. Just realize that this hasnít actually happened!
OK, Iíve checked out units, and want to reenact with the 64th Lights, now what?
You can officially join by paying the regimental dues (currently $15.00 annually) through the company. This pays for your insurance (a necessary evil) and gets you officially started. Now comes the fun part, drill, and getting geared up.
How much DRILL do I need before I get a chance to reenact?
We will start you off with plenty of instructions. Every member of the regiment needs to be proficient in the 1764 Drill Manual. This was the standard for the British Army in the Revolutionary War era. The basics will take a few sessions, but we will drill you at every opportunity in order to get you up to speed as quickly as possible. At each event/activity we drill. Any good sergeant will tell you, you can never drill enough! We pride ourselves on battlefield tactics and the only way to know how to do things is constant practice. On top of learning basic battalion tactics you will also learn Howeís Light Infantry Drill.
How do I go about getting my stuff?
Here is where you begin making an investment of time
and money to get equipped. First, there are several suppliers that are currently used to obtain the correct items required by the company and the regiment. DO NOT go off and buy anything without consulting a senior member. We have a list of who to go to in order to obtain all that you need. Consult the uniform and equipment supplier list. Most of these suppliers custom build/sew these things so do not expect instant delivery. Some items may take several weeks to receive.
Do you have monthly meetings?
We do not conduct monthly drills/meetings. Some drills and meetings are scheduled in the winter. Meetings and drills are held at our 'Home Site', the Artemas Ward House (Shrewsbury, MA). This is our base of operations for meetings, drills, recruiting and local events.
Do I need any special permits for my musket?
Current Massachusetts law exempts black powder weapons from the requirements of permits and storage restrictions. However the best idea is to obtain a Firearm Identification Card (FID) through your local police department. (Cost is $100.00) In addition you will need a Black Powder Purchase/Transport/Storage permit from your local fire department. (Cost varies by town, usually @ $10-$20 annually) These represent added expenses we have no control over unless you reside outside Massachusetts. Outside Massachusetts it would be a good idea to check local and state laws.
Where are the events and how far should I expect to travel to support an event?
Primarily we try to make most of our events east of the Hudson River. We will sometimes consider beyond that based on the event information we have. For most events, we're looking at not more than 4-6 Hours driving time one way. Often members will try to carpool to an event to reduce the travel expenses. We will look at events beyond the 4-6 hour drive roughly every other season or so. It all depends on what event it is, and where it is.