“Military through the Ages” brings hundreds of re-enactors representing centuries of martial history to Jamestown Settlement. This year, women and their military contributions are on the front lines.
More than 500 re-enactors depicting soldiers from the Roman era to the Hundreds Years’ War and Napoleonic Wars to the Vietnam War will descend on Jamestown Settlement March 16-17. A Virginia National Guard unit will be on hand to represent modern-day soldiers.
“ ‘Military Through the Ages’ is very unique in that it is a 'timeline' event that brings together many centuries of military history to one location for the weekend,” Homer Lanier, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation interpretive program manager said in an email. “Each unit will have their own historically accurate campsite along with uniforms, weapons and gear that they themselves have acquired or constructed over decades of researching and collecting.”
Visitors can learn how uniforms, weaponry and tactics have evolved over time. The event has been held at Jamestown Settlement since 1984, and this year features a special recognition of women’s roles in the military and wartime.
Visitors can discover how women participated in wars across history, ranging from traditional roles as nurses and cooks, to contemporary roles as pilots and mechanics.
“We really wanted to highlight these stories, which are often overlooked when people think about warfare throughout history,” said Cindy Daniel, foundation interpretive program manager, in an email.
Inside the re-enactment camps, visitors can see the weaving and leather working of Frankish women, as well as the myriad military roles filled by members of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1944, according to the release. Artillery demonstrations will take place March 17, and will include a 17th-century swivel gun and a modern howitzer.
At noon on March 16, there will be a special ceremony focused on specific women and their military service and a recognition of female active duty or veterans present at the event, Daniel said.
"Representation matters, and warfare has always involved more than kings and generals. Our programming and re-enactment units this year will remind everyone that women have done more than just survive the wars that have happened around them. They have stepped up, signed up and contributed to the cause,” Daniel said.
“Military through the Ages”
When: March 16-17
Where: Jamestown Settlement, 2110 Jamestown Road
Cost: The event is included with admission to Jamestown Settlement. Admission is $17.50 for adults, $8.25 for children 6-12 years old, and free for children younger than 6. Residents of James City County, York County and Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive free admission.
Jack Jacobs, 757-298-6007, email@example.com, @jajacobs_