Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the First New Hampshire Regiment?
The First New Hampshire Regiment is a New Hampshire chartered historical association, founded in 1973, and is dedicated to recreating the life and times of the common soldier of the American War for Independence, 1775-1783.
Who are members of The First New Hampshire?
Men, women, and children from all walks of life: History professors, museum curators, musicians, retired military men, and firemen, craftsmen of all kinds, students, librarians, engineers, photographers, authors and even a funeral director. The list is almost endless, but all have one thing in common–a love for the study of the American Revolution and for sharing the results of their learning with the people of our area and making it concrete, meaningful, and interesting.
How many members are there?
Almost 40 members make up the Regiment, most serving in the Line Company.
Where are members located?
From all over New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
What branches of service are represented?
Infantry, artillery, musicians, and civilian.
What do the women do?
They portray women of the period, in all of the various roles that women held such as officers’ ladies, soldiers’ wives, or camp followers. The ladies and wives also do many of the crafts and daily chores that would have been done in camp. Without the women, the 18th century armies would have had a more difficult time than they did; women were an integral part of armies of the period. Women are also allowed to field in the same positions as men but must appear in dress and carriage as men (no makeup, jewelry, etc) and take men’s names when in ranks.
What about children?
The First New Hampshire is a family oriented organization and encourages young people to be involved. Children learn and practice games and chores of the 18th century. As they get older, many children gain an interest in other aspects such as learning the music of the period and move up to other areas of responsibility as they mature.
Is the First New Hampshire a hereditary organization?
No. There are no ascriptive requirements for membership, although many men and women can trace their ancestry to those who supported both sides of the conflict.
What does the First New Hampshire Do?
It recreates the entire Revolutionary War scene for its members and the public through marches, encampments and tactical battlefield demonstrations, as well as commemorative observances. On occasion, we attend schools on various 18th century subjects.
What does a typical First New Hampshire event consist of?
Most First New Hampshire events involve a weekend at various locations in New England and along the East Coast. During Friday night and early Saturday, the 18th century camp is set up, complete with soldier’s tents, officer’s marquees, cooking areas and craft displays. After officer’s and non-commissioned officer’s calls (the entire day is run by original drum signals), the unit is assembled, inspected and drilled in movements and firings. In the afternoon, a safe tactical demonstration is staged with other American, and French troops facing the Crown Forces of British, Tories and Germans. The day ends with a formal Retreat Ceremony with honors to the flags, accompanied by the Field Music made up of the different units assembled. Sunday can begin with Church services, conducted by a Chaplain in proper vestments for the 18th century. The remainder of the day follows somewhat similar to that of Saturday. Camp is struck late on Sunday.
How is the First New Hampshire uniformed and equipped?
Each unit is as nearly an exact recreation of the original First New Hampshire unit as present study and research will permit. All cloth, leather, fastenings, etc., are authentic copies. Patterns for uniforms are made from surviving examples in museums, and from contemporary sources such as prints, paintings, and books. No modern, man-made fabrics, plastic, or zippers are used. Weapons are exact reproductions of British and French muskets, American long rifles, cannon and period edged weapons of all types: bayonets, halberds, pikes, spontoons, swords and tomahawks. Cartridge boxes, canteens, belts and buckles, and other accoutrements are all copies of the originals. All members personally own their weapons and equipment; either making it themselves, or purchasing it from craftsmen members. We learn the most about the people by using the most accurate tools to try to accomplish the same tasks.
Is membership open to others?
Yes. We are always looking for new people interested in the history of the period and who have a desire to be involved. After a short trial period and a vote of the membership, you are then eligible to take part, to learn and to enjoy. To learn more please e-mail us, call or write to the Adjutant. We will be happy to explain more and answer your questions.
In summary, the First New Hampshire Regiment brings the history of the American War for Independence to life for children and adults alike. It helps to create interest in the Revolution by a variety of demonstrations. The visitor may look at, touch, and talk to the soldiers and camp followers; thus bringing to life in three dimensions and full color, the Revolutionary War scene. Visitors are almost a part of this scene–not merely spectators. The American War for Independence comes to life…authentic, truthful education for all ages…something to be long remembered.