Military Through the Ages
March 17-18, 2018, at Jamestown Settlement
Hundreds of re-enactors depicting armed forces from the fifth century B.C. to modern times will come together on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18, 2018, for Jamestown Settlement’s “Military Through the Ages” event.
This chronological display of military history, held each year at Jamestown Settlement since 1984, features 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. 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 is the centennial observance of World War I. “Profiles of Honor,” a traveling exhibition sponsored by the Virginia World War I & II Commemoration Commission, will be at Jamestown Settlement on both days of the event. The weekend also features artillery firings 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
Hundreds of re-enactors will portray 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.
Displays Honor World War I Centennial
In honor of the World War I centennial, this year’s event will feature the Virginia World War I & II Commemoration Commission’s “Profiles of Honor,” a traveling exhibition that highlights the roles that Virginians played during these conflicts. Visitors are invited to bring their own World War I & II photographs and memorabilia to be scanned for inclusion in the Virginia Profiles of Honor project, a partnership with the Library of Virginia to help preserve documents for future generations.
In addition to World War I re-enactor encampments, visitors can take in the sounds of The Imperial Cornet Band, performing music of the World War I era, including Sousa, Irving Berlin and others, as well as selections written and performed by James Reese Europe of the 369th Infantry “Hellfighters” Regiment.
Military Music, Artillery & Pass-in-Review
Music will be performed throughout the weekend, including scheduled performances by The Imperial Cornet Band at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. each day; and the Cigar Box String Band, offering string band versions of songs from the American Revolution to the 20th century, at 10 a.m. and 12:15 and 2:45 p.m. each day.
Comparative artillery-firing demonstrations will be presented at noon Saturday and Sunday, with weapons ranging from a 17th-century swivel gun to a modern-day howitzer. A military pass-in-review will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday and will feature recognition of re-enactor units judged on campsites and field demonstrations, as well as awards for visitor and re-enactors’ 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.