Military Through the Ages
March 18-19, 2017, at Jamestown Settlement
Hundreds of re-enactors depicting armed forces from the fifth century B.C. to modern times will came together on Saturday and Sunday, March 18 and 19, 2017, for Jamestown Settlement’s “Military Through the Ages” event.
This chronological display of military history, held each year at Jamestown Settlement since 1984, featured re-enactors and modern-day units showing how uniforms, weapons and military tactics evolved through the centuries, as well as aspects of field communication and medical treatment. This family friendly event also showcased a variety of military vehicles and equipment.
Visitors are encouraged to interact with re-enactors to learn how soldiers attired and armed themselves, as well as how they were fed and housed in times of war. A highlight of this year’s event was the centennial observance of America’s entry into World War I. Weekend featured military music, artillery firings, a Saturday children’s parade and a Sunday military pass-in-review. Merchants also will be on hand to sell reproduction wares.
Timeline from the Roman Legion to the Virginia Army National Guard
More than 400 re-enactors portrayed soldiers and military encounters from Ancient Greece, Roman times, the medieval period, Hundred Years’ War, War of the Roses, Napoleonic Wars, American Revolution, War of 1812, and American Civil War. Re-enactors depicting World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War will take visitors through the 20th century. The Virginia Army National Guard will represent the present.
Musical Performances at Military Through the Ages
Music was performed throughout the weekend, including the booming sounds of The Federal City Brass Band, re-creating a Union Army regimental brass band from the 1860s; Field Musick Virginia, presenting a mix of American Revolution military music and instrumental history; and the Old Cigar Box String Band, offering string band versions of songs from the American Revolution to the 20th century.
Artillery, Children’s Parade, Military Pass-in-Review
Comparative artillery-firing demonstrations were presented on Saturday and Sunday, with weapons ranging from a 17th-century swivel gun to a modern-day howitzer. A children’s parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, allowed young “troops to march through the re-created colonial fort and campsites to formally present ribbons to each of the participating military units. A military pass-in-review took place at 3 p.m. Sunday and featured recognition of re-enactor units judged on camp impressions and field demonstrations, as well as awards for visitor and re-enactor’s choice for the top re-enactment unit.
Military Aspects at Jamestown Settlement
Arms, armor and military accouterments of 17th-century Virginia can be seen inside Jamestown Settlement’s extensive galleries, featuring films and interactive exhibits that tell the story of America’s first permanent English colony and of the Powhatan Indian, European and African cultures in 1600s Virginia. Families can experience hands-on activities, such as trying on reproductions of English helmets and breastplates, in outdoor re-creations of a 1610-14 English fort, a Powhatan Indian village, and on board one of three ships that brought English colonists to Virginia in 1607 – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.