Military re-enactors and costumed will gather at a Massachusetts living museum will celebrate June 11 the 19th century New England practice of mustering and training Citizen Soldiers.
“The day will feature marching and drilling demonstrations, military music, and special appearances by the 1812 Marine Detachment from the U.S.S. Constitution, the Oxford Light Infantry, and the Sturbridge Militia,” said Ann Lindblad, the marketing director for Old Sturbridge Village, located in Sturbridge, Mass.
“All three military groups will lead drilling and musket-firing demonstrations. They will hold “sham fights” or mock battles, and target practice. Fife and drum players will play martial music and discuss the importance of music to military operations,” she said.
“In the early 19th century, groups like the 1812 Marine Detachment, based on at the U.S.S. Constitution, often traveled from Boston to locations throughout Massachusetts looking for recruits,” she said.
“The Oxford Light Infantry is typical of an early volunteer militia company that drilled together regularly and had matching uniforms. They stood in stark contrast to less organized citizen soldiers, or ‘enrolled companies,’ as portrayed by the Sturbridge Militia, which were made up of all men in a community between 18 and 45 years old. These citizen soldiers met only once or twice a year and were considered to be far better citizens than soldiers.”
Old Sturbridge Village celebrates life in early New England from 1790 – 1840. Located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike and Routes I-84 and 20 in Sturbridge, Mass., the village museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information, including about ticket prices and military and group discounts, is available at osv,org or by calling (800) 733-1830.