WILLIAMSBURG, Va., February 22, 2019 — In just 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 16-17. This year’s event will feature a special salute to women’s roles in the military and their contributions during times of war.
“Military Through the Ages,” held at Jamestown Settlement each year since 1984, will feature more than 500 re-enactors depicting armed forces from the first century all the way to modern-day soldiers with the Virginia Army National Guard. This unique chronological display of military history allows visitors to explore military encampments and interact with re-enactors to learn how uniforms, weapons and military tactics evolved through the centuries, as well as aspects of field communication and medical treatment.
A Salute to Women’s Wartime Roles
During a dedicated program at noon Saturday and in military encampments throughout the weekend, discover how women have played a vital role in military conflicts across the ages, from traditional roles of nurses, cooks and tailors to advancement as soldiers, pilots and mechanics. Among the re-enactment camps, visitors can take in the spinning, weaving and leatherworking of women in Scara Karoli in A.D. 778, as well as the field telephone operations and message delivery of a German Army signals company, Afrikakorps, in 1942, and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1944, which recruited women as typists, telephone operators, supply clerks, cartographers and engineers. Representatives with the U.S. Army Women’s Museum also will highlight the history of women in the armed forces.
Timeline from the First Century to the Virginia Army National Guard
More than 500 re-enactors will portray soldiers and military encounters from 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, U.S. Army Transportation Museum and Quartermaster Museum and the Virginia Army National Guard 111th Field Artillery will represent the present day.
Artillery & Pass-in-Review
Comparative artillery-firing demonstrations will be presented at noon 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 year-round 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 re-created ships that brought English colonists to Virginia in 1607 – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.
Jamestown Settlement is a stage for the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, with new gallery exhibits debuting this summer and a series of events and programs commemorating key historical events that occurred in 1619. “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia,” a yearlong special exhibition and 2019 legacy project, connects women’s issues in the 17th century and their relevance today.
“Military Through the Ages” is made possible in part by a grant from James City County, with additional support from the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. Annual Fund.
Admission to Jamestown Settlement, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, is $17.50 for adults and $8.25 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. A value-priced combination ticket with the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is $26.00 for adults and $12.50 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 information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.