WILLIAMSBURG, Va., March 7, 2018 — In one weekend, visitors can experience centuries of military history during Jamestown Settlement’s time-honored “Military Through the Ages” event on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18. More than 400 re-enactors depicting armed forces from the fifth century B.C. to modern-day soldiers with the Virginia Army National Guard join forces to present a unique chronological display of military history as well as comparative artillery firings, military music and a pass-in-review.
“Military Through the Ages,” held at Jamestown Settlement each year since 1984, will feature military re-enactors and modern-day units depicting how uniforms, weapons and military tactics evolved through the centuries, as well as aspects of field communication and medical treatment. Visitors can explore military encampments and interact with re-enactors to learn how soldiers attired and armed themselves, and how they were fed and housed in times of war.
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.
“The program will give the audiences a chance to hear what this music sounded like performed by a small regimental band and gain insight on how music was used to further the war effort at home and on the battlefield,” said Jari Villanueva, who plays alto horn in the 10-member Imperial Cornet Band.
Timeline from the 5th Century B.C. to the Virginia Army National Guard
More than 400 re-enactors will portray soldiers and military encounters from Greek and Roman times, the medieval period, Hundred Years’ War, War of the Roses, American Revolution, War of 1812, Napoleonic Wars, and American Civil War. Re-enactors depicting World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War will take visitors through the 20th century. The National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Virginia Army National Guard 111th Field Artillery will represent the present.
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.
Admission to Jamestown Settlement, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, is $17.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. A value-priced combination ticket with the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is $25.50 for adults and $12.25 for ages 6-12. Parking is free.
Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 near the Colonial Parkway in James City County, just southwest of Williamsburg and adjacent to Historic Jamestowne. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit https://www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement/military-through-the-ages/.