Lexington Minute Men
2nd Massachusetts Regiment
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
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
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
- 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
obviouswire frames only.)
- 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
- 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 http://www.18cnewenglandlife.org/.
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.
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.
long, full sleeved, closed neck with stock, cravat, or
neck cloth: Wool, linen, cotton in white, natural, or
wool, linen, cotton (or silk if...). Necessary with frock coat,
optional with buttoned workman's jacket or buttoned sleeved waistcoat
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.
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).
Optional with period-style shoes. Civilian-style half gaiters
preferred to full or half military gaiters.
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.
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
- Shift: low
necked, sleeves reaching below elbow. Linen, cotton, or wool in white
- 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
- Apron: Optional. Wool, linen, or cotton (or silk if...) in solid
color or small checks or stripes. No eyelet.
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.)
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
boys: generally same as men.
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
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
See also the Military Guidelines.
Back to BRY2K: Information for Reenactors.
Last updated: 23 Feb 2000
Webmaster: Sue Felshin