Battle Road 2000 - The 225th

April 14 - 17, 2000

Our Heritage Through Living History

Battle Road

Lexington Minute Men

2nd Massachusetts Regiment

4th Middlesex Regiment/85ème Régiment de Saintonge

1st Foot Guards

5th Regiment of Foot

10th Regiment of Foot


Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here. -Captain Parker

Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob will find himself much mistaken, they have men amongst them who know very well what they are about. -Lord Percy


Xxx Xxxxx, Chairman
xx Xxxx Xx
Xxxx, XX xxxxx
(xxx) xxx-xxxx


Battle Road 2000 is the first major reenactment event of the 225th anniversary of the American Revolution. Reenacting has come a long way in the last 25 years and we would like Battle Road to continue this trend toward greater authenticity. We thank everyone for the tremendous job they have done in preparing their clothing and equipment for Battle Road.

General requirements: Participants are required to dress in authentic/appropriate clothing for the 1770's period for Eastern Massachusetts. Western frontier and native dress are not acceptable; this includes hunting shirts with fringe, beads, and a general "buckskin" appearance.

  1. No ANACHRONISMS such as: cameras, cigarettes, plastic items, wrist watches, non-period glasses or sunglasses, etc., will be used in sight of any spectator while on the field. (You may bring your camera, but do not use it on the field in sight of spectators while a scenario is being played out. We suggest you wrap it in cloth to make it less obvious. Please hide it in a pocket or bag when not in use. Because of the expense of period glasses, modern glasses will be accepted if not too obvious–wire frames only.)
  2. For safety and authenticity purposes clothing should be of natural fiber such as wool, linen or cotton. Polyester, nylon, Velcro, fringe or other manmade fabric presents a safety hazard and should not be worn.
  3. Any accoutrements such as Company pins, logos, nameplates or any other paraphernalia not authentic to the period must not be worn.

The Battle Road Clothing Committee ran its annual Clothing & Accouterments Seminar on January 29, 2000, and may sponsor workshops and/or sewing bees this winter, as it has for the past two years. Detailed information about clothing and equipment can be found at the BRCC's Web site at Watch for changes on the site throughout the winter and spring, as well as the schedule of seminars and workshops.

(New!) If you're feeling ambitious, and want to do more than you have to, to follow these guidelines, see I'm Long On... at the Battle Road Clothing and Accoutrements site. For answers to frequently asked questions about clothing, see the FAQ.


  • Frock coat, workman's jacket, sleeved waistcoat, farmer's smock (non-fringed pullover style acceptable), of wool, linen (flax or hemp), or cotton (or silk if appropriate to the overall impression). Leather coats and frontier/rifle/hunting shirts/frocks/coats (the garment with the cape and the fringe) are not acceptable. An appropriate sleeved outer garment is required and companies must not field with matching coats.
  • Shirt: long, full sleeved, closed neck with stock, cravat, or neck cloth: Wool, linen, cotton in white, natural, or checked.
  • Waistcoat: wool, linen, cotton (or silk if...). Necessary with frock coat, optional with buttoned workman's jacket or buttoned sleeved waistcoat or smock.
  • Breeches: wool, linen, leather, or cotton (or silk if...). Trousers are acceptable as part of a lower class impression. Fringed suede frontier-style trousers are not acceptable.
  • Stockings: over the knee, wool, cotton or linen (or silk if...), white or colors, held up with leather or cloth tape garters. Athletic socks are not allowed.
  • Shoes: period-style leather shoes with buckles or 2 hole lace up, black or brown (appropriate modern leather shoes may be worn if covered with gaiters), or moccasins (workman's ankle height, not calf-high).
  • Gaiters: Optional with period-style shoes. Civilian-style half gaiters preferred to full or half military gaiters.
  • Hat: such as civilian, cocked hat ("tricorn"), floppy hat, knitted cap, workman's cap. If no hat is worn, hairstyle should be reasonably believable (not blowdried into fluffiness).


  • Sleeved outer garment such as full or three-quarter length gown, jacket, caraco, "shortgown", bed jacket, or riding habit of wool, linen, or cotton (or silk if appropriate to the overall impression). Because of the difficulty of obtaining period-appropriate prints, it is recommended that you avoid prints unless you have studied them in detail or can find exact replicas (such as Williamsburg replicas); paisleys, cabbage roses, and 19th century calicoes are not correct. The sleeveless so-called "French bodice" and "English bodice" are not acceptable. A sleeved outer garment is required.
  • Petticoats: at least three yards in circumference, longer than mid-calf; high-ankle/low-calf suggested. At least one petticoat with full length gown; otherwise at least two. See above concerning prints.
  • Shift: low necked, sleeves reaching below elbow. Linen, cotton, or wool in white or natural.
  • Stays: recommended. Since they are not seen, material and pattern are irrelevant. Should provide conical shape to upper body.
  • Neck handkerchief: recommended. Triangle or folded square of linen, cotton, or wool (or silk...) in white, natural, or small checks or stripes.
  • Apron: Optional. Wool, linen, or cotton (or silk if...) in solid color or small checks or stripes. No eyelet.
  • Stockings: over the knee, linen, wool, or cotton, white or colors, held up with leather or cloth tape garters. Athletic socks are not allowed. (As stockings do not show above low calf at most, plain modern knee socks are acceptable and garters are optional.)
  • Shoes: period-style leather or cloth shoes with buckles or 2 hole lace up, black or brown (appropriate modern leather shoes may be worn if petticoats reach ankles or lower), or period-style clogs or moccasins (workman's ankle height, not calf-high). Shoes are optional but strongly recommended; Battle Road takes place in highly-developed suburban locations.
  • Cap: White or natural. Acceptable cap styles are too numerous to list here, but "mobcaps" (a single circle of cloth gathered with a casing and/or elastic to form a ruffle) are not acceptable. Note that a plain cap with front band and gathered back is the simplest to make. A cap or hat is required except for fine ladies and slatterns. No eyelet.
  • Hat: Low-crowned women's style in straw, chip, or felt, plain or covered, or, if appropriate to the overall impression, a man's civilian-style felt hat. A cap or hat is required except for fine ladies and slatterns.
  • Hair: Either long, pulled back from the face, and put up, or hidden with a cap. Long or thick bangs should be pulled back off the face. Obviously-dyed hair should be well-covered by a cap. If the overall impression is of a slattern, then loose hair is acceptable.
  • Make-up: Only if 18th century style (white face paint, beauty spots, etc.). Appropriate only for fine ladies and actresses.
  • Cold weather gear: Optional. Period-pattern cloaks, capes, tippets, hoods, etc. Wool kerchiefs. For a lowly impression, a length of woven wool used like a shawl. Woven or knitted wool, linen, or cotton (or silk...) mitts, mittens, or gloves. Wool and/or fur muffs.
  • About lace: Eyelet and tatting are not authentic to the period. Crochet is not acceptable in any form (lace, shawls, etc.). Machine-made lace is acceptable if it is in imitation of period-style lace.


  • Babes in arms: shirt or shift, and cap, of linen, cotton, or wool, in white or natural. Frock, shoes and stockings optional. If plastic diapers are used, cover with a cloth.
  • Young children: shift of linen, cotton, or wool, in white or natural. Child's frock, or "shift dress" with sash. Cap and/or hat for girls (optional but preferred), cap or hat for boys (optional). Stockings as for women. Period-style shoes including moccasins; due to the expense of children's shoes, any black or brown leather lace-up modern shoes, or moccasins, are also acceptable. Shoes and stockings are optional but strongly recommended; Battle Road takes place in highly-developed suburban locations. "Young children" are unbreeched boys from toddlers through age 3 to 7 and girls from toddlers through early puberty.
  • Older boys: generally same as men.
  • Older girls: generally same as women.
  • Please note: Depending on the weather, very early morning events may be extremely cold and may be inappropriate for babies and very young children.


If you don't like the weather in New England, wait 5 minutes. Battle Road weekend in Massachusetts can be very cold, especially in the early morning hours when the events begin. You will likely be assembling for the first event just before dawn; temperatures will probably be in the 30s or 40s, but it may well be colder. Snow is a possibility; so is rain, which can feel even colder. It may -- or may not -- warm up significantly during the day. Lately temperatures have been reaching the 60s or 70s, but with the recent subsidence of El Niño, who knows?

Participants will be transported from site to site but you will not be able to stay with the same vehicle. Much of the transport will be on National Guard trucks so it may get very cold. So while you should bring enough warm clothes for the early morning, keep in mind that you will have to carry them throughout the day. (Campfollowers may be able to drop items in camp during the lunch break if the events pass near it but the schedule is still under development; stay tuned for more details.)


An appropriate sleeved outer garment is needed for authenticity. This was overwhelmingly the mode of dress for all classes in the areas of Massachusetts that responded to the alarm on April 19th. The Battle Road Committee recognizes that some reenactors currently have only military clothing appropriate for later in the war, such as uniform coats and rifle frocks. The BRC is allowing unlimited numbers of smocks in lieu of coats -- even though smocks were likely to have been rare at Battle Road -- because smocks are known to be authentic for the area and time, and because they are very easy to make. These guidelines will be enforced for Saturday's activities only. At its discretion the BRC may allow some exceptions where people have shown marked improvement and a clear effort to comply with these guidelines. If you are in doubt, please contact the BRC before the event to avoid any difficulties.

The BRC recognizes that it is not all-knowing. If you can provide the BRC with appropriate documentation that contradicts the rules given above, we will gladly allow you to wear your documented clothing; in fact we hope to be proved wrong when it results in greater knowledge of the period. Examples of documentation: Letter from Jas Hosmer of Concord dated March, 1775, thanking his cousin in Virginia for sending that odd-looking but practical open-front shirt with cape and fringe. Diary entry of Geo Washington of Southington, Connecticut, dated April 20, 1775, detailing how he got the alarm and arrived in time to fight at the North Bridge in his itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini, that he wore for the first time that day. Documentation which applies to an individual may only be used by one individual; first come, first serve. The decision of the BRC regarding acceptability of documentation is final; we recommend you submit your documentation early to settle any questions. For instance, that last example would probably be rejected on the grounds that Southington men would not have received the alarm in time to fight at the North Bridge.

See also the Military Guidelines.

Back to BRY2K: Information for Reenactors.

Last updated: 23 Feb 2000

Webmaster: Sue Felshin