Frequently Asked Questions
What is the 2d Virginia Regiment all about?
The 2d Virginia Regiment is recreated by a group of dedicated historians with a love of history who which to represent the life and times of the common Continental soldier as accurately as possible. The 2d recreates the entire Revolutionary War scene for members of the public through encampments, battlefield reenactments. "self education", immersion, and preservation march events.
Where are you located or headquartered? Do you have meetings?
The majority of the 2d Virginia Regiment's membership is spread all over Virginia, from the Tidewater to Northern Virginia. We have some members who outside of the state and even some who are stationed overseas. For this reason, the 2d Virginia Regiment is does not maintain a physical "headquarters" per se. Besides an annual meeting, which is generally held in either January or February, most unit business is conducted at events or via mail, phone or email.
What type of activities do you participate in?
Living Histories: Typically held at National Parks or other historic sites, these events are designed primarily to educate the public through first and third-person interpretation. Often, these include narrated demonstrations, static displays, and camp tours depicting the day-to-day life of the common soldier.
Battle Re-enactments: Attended by large crowds of spectators, these events attempt to recreate the events of specific battle. In theory, the troops move to a choreographed script to depict historical events as accurately as the program and numbers of participants allow.
Educational: "Professional development" for living history interpreters. These events are focused on educating us as interpreters, rather than the general public. They often take the form of workshops, "schools", firelock shoots, and authenticity contests.
Immersion: These are non-public events held in areas that are as free of modern intrusion as possible and complete use of "first person" is expected. Picket posts, marches, encampments, and winter quarters are just a few examples of the types of scenarios these events encompass.
Preservation Marches: Preservation Marches are highly intensive events that require much physical, as well as mental preparation beforehand. These marches are arranged along actual routes taken by the armies in areas with as little modern intrusion as possible. The goal of preservation marches often is to raise money and public awareness to preserve battlefields or physical property (i.e. houses, forts, or any structures of significance to the war) that existed during the war. Everyone who volunteers to participate in a march raises money from family, friends, and peers for the non-profit organizations that have arranged the event.
How do I get outfitted? How much does it cost?
Uniforms and equipment were made by hand in the 18th century and fitted by regimental tailors to be "tight without constraint". For this reason, it is difficult to buy clothing "off the rack", and the 2d Virginia Regiment maintains list of unit approved tailors to make clothing for our members. For those with a some skill with a needle, or at least the willingness to try, patterns and material lists are also available to make your own clothing and equipment. A comprehensive membership manual is provided upon joining listing sources of suppliers for all the equipment we use. It is important to stress that no one is expected to get all their "kits" together overnight, in fact, recruits are encouraged to pace themselves and acquire their uniforms as time and resources provide. With the amount of "loaner" equipment available in the unit, there is no reason for recruits to feel rushed to get their kits together. A good kit takes a year or more to piece together, and it is something we all consistently tweak over the years. Costs vary, depending on how much you are able to do on your own and how much you pay someone else to do for you. All in all, recruits should expect to eventually spend about $1,500 within the first two years of joining getting everything they need. This is not inexpensive, but recognize that most of this cost is associated with the purchase of a $700 musket, and virtually all the expenses come only in the initial "start up".
Who can join? Are there any age requirements?
The 2d Virginia Regiment welcomes all recruits in good physical condition who can subscribe to our standards of authenticity. To carry a musket a member must be 16 years of age, to be a musician one must be at least 12 years old. For reasons of safety, no one under 12 years of age is allowed on the field as a "combatant". Women and children often followed the armies for protection or out of entrepreneurial desires. Either way, non-combatants were expected to serve some logistical use to the army, if not, they were turned away. For this reason, those wishing to portray civilians need to develop a "persona", or a reason for being with the army, such as that of a nurse, a seamstress, laundress, waggoneer/driver, surgeon or surgeon's mate, etc.
Are there minimum participation requirements?
To obtain full membership status, a probationary member is expected to attend at least two events in one calendar year. Once full membership has been achieved, there are no requirements for attendance, though members are encouraged to attend all "maximum effort" events, that is, events that are of particular importance to the unit. Naturally, we would like all members to attend all events, but as this is a volunteer organization, this is not always possible.
Should a situation arise that you are unable to attend events with any regularity, members can move to inactive status. As an inactive member you will loose your right to vote and run for unit office, but you will be able to participate when you can. When your participation increases, you will be moved back to an active status. However, if you just can no longer continue, we would prefer you formally resign prior to the next dues period, rather than just dropping from the roster.
I have some previous living history experience and own assorted items already, can I use these with the 2d Virginia Regiment?
Because of our high standards of authenticity, such determinations must be made on a case by case basis. Much of what we use is specific to our impression, and as clothing and equipment was issued en masse, there is a need for some uniformity within the unit. Some items may be used temporarily until the unit approved equivalent can be had.