Where The Present Meets The Past
The 71st Regiment of Foot, informally called Fraser’s Highlanders after Simon Fraser, was raised in the Highlands of Scotland specifically for the American Revolution. Soldiers were recruited from Inverness, Glasgow, and Dundee. Fraser would not join the Regiment in America but many veteran officers from the 78th regiment, Fraser’s regiment from the French and Indian War, would accompany the 71st to NY. The 71st was engaged in almost every major battle in both the Northern and Southern theatres of operation.
The Mecklenburg Militia participates in regional Revolutionary War battle reenactments and living histories all over the southeast United States. They have been involved in large scale re-enactments as well as local living histories. The Militia’s goal is to represent the local people from the Charlotte region as accurately as possible. They portray anything from continental line soldiers, to militia, and British loyalist if need be.
Authenticity is important to the Mecklenburg Militia and their members strive every day to earn the reputation that they currently hold. However, the reasons why they became involved in this hobby reach far into their very being. Why did members of the original militias fight the battles they did, lived the lives they led, and ultimately died the deaths they died plus what were their motivations? The Mecklenburg Militia feels that there are many answers to these questions. They believe all they can do as living historians is attempt to understand the people who came before them and try to emulate their beliefs and actions.
To the Mecklenburg Militia, the past is ever close and constantly calling to them. It lives in their members every day and calls them to represent their ancestors to the best of their ability. To do less would be an insult to who the revolutionary war militias were and the country they created for us.
Clann Nan Con is a living history group with a mission to honor our Scottish ancestors by providing as accurate a portrayal as possible of the Highlanders who fought for the Stuart cause in the 1745 Jacobite uprising and the early Scottish settlers of Georgia and other parts of North America. It was founded in 1998 by a group of long-time Civil War Reenactors looking for a new challenge. The clan name is Gaelic for “Clan of the Dog.” The Clan motto is “Uaireigin Cu, Daonnan Cu” translated as “Once a dog, always a dog”. Membership is drawn primarily from Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. Each man furnishes his own kit and wears clothing accurate to the period with historically accurate weapons and equipment.
Clann Nan Con portrayed the Highland Independent Company of Darien in History Uncovered, an educational film developed for Fort Frederica National Monument. The group is at the heart of living history events at Forts Frederica and King George on the Georgia coast, and participates throughout the Southeast in living history encampments, treks, battle reenactments, and Highland games and Celtic festivals. Members have participate in events in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
The Nova Scotians
The 84th Regiment of foot was originally embodied in Nova Scotia. In 1775, they came down half strength to recruit Highland Scots in the Carolina colony. They were largely recruited in Campbelltown and Cross Creek NC (now Fayetteville). The recruits marched from there to Wilmington with an eye towards boarding ship to return to Nova Scotia to train to become the 7th Co. 2nd Bn. of the 84th. They reached Moore’s Creek where the Patriots had an entrenched position with a canon and swivel gun on the other side of the bridge. Most of the planks had been removed by the Patriots and the bridge timbers greased but the 84th recruits still attempted to cross and charge the Patriots. The recruits were soundly defeated; however, many of those who survived scattered in the woods and made it to Wilmington and the ship. They became an established regiment in 1778/1779.
The 84th served with distinction throughout the colonies and were the only regiment to keep their broadswords.
The North Carolina Historical Reenactment Society, founded in 1960, portrays the 6th North Carolina Continental Line Regiment during the Revolutionary War, as well as local militias from the French and Indian War through the late Revolutionary War.
The 6th visits historic sites throughout the Carolinas, Virginia, and beyond, where they reenact battles and demonstrate eighteenth century skills and camp life. They have fun together and their members would not devote so many financial and temporal resources to the hobby if they did not love living history.
The 6th NC Regiment takes historical reenacting very seriously and prides themselves on the high quality of their interpretations of eighteenth century life. As reenactors, they share their historical knowledge with the public through these interpretations. In this manner, the Regiment can vividly explain the past, the everyday men and women who demanded freedom from colonial rule, and the social customs that defined their daily lives.
Locke’s Dismounted Militia, which was formed early in 1990 was named for militia Colonel Francis Locke who along with his company of North Carolina militia was very active during the American Revolutionary War. Their unit began as a means for people in their area to be able to participate in the re-enactment of the “Battle at Colson’s” which originally took place on July 21st, 1780 near what is now Norwood, N.C.
Their alternate persona is that of Kingsbury’s Independent North Carolina Artillery Company. North Carolina was the only state to have an independent artillery company which was part of the Continental Army. The North Carolina Artillery Company served with General George Washington’s Continental Army for over two years. Valley Forge and the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse among others. It was then sent South to help defend Charleston, S.C. and was surrendered with General Benjamin Lincoln’s Southern Army.
The Southeastern Civilian Living Historians is a non-profit organization dedicated to research, education, and accurate portrayal of civilians in all eras from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and early to mid 20th century through workshops & living history events.