Third Battalion Pennsylvania Regiment of Foot
"The Augusta Regiment," Burd's Company

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The Camp Followers of the recreated Augusta Regiment

Mistress Kay Martz, Chief of Distaff

Mistress Joyce Bucci

Mistress Kim Otto

Mistress Kelly Perine

Mistress Mara Riley

Sutler Scott Baylor

Master James Fenton

Mistress Annette Beamsderfer

Mistress Nancy Slease

What is a camp follower?

A camp follower, contrary to popular belief, does not identify women of "ill repute." Although there were nearly always some women of that type who followed armies or solicited "business" in a fort, the practice was generally highly discouraged by commanding officers. These women were usually thrown out of the baggage train or out of the fort. A camp follower may be a woman, a man, or a child.

A female camp follower may have been forced to follow her husband in the army due to certain circumstances. Perhaps there is no one to help her on the family farm, or to protect her from marauders. Perhaps she is a widow who is following her son to try to watch over him, or a new wife following her beloved young husband. She may be employed by the army or the fort as a seamstress, laundress, cook or nurse, or she may be hired by an officer to serve him in those capacities.

A male camp follower may be an older family member – a father or father-in-law – who lives with the family and has no place to go, the underage sons of a soldier and his wife, a tradesman or craftsman who can perform valuable services for the army, a wagoner who is employed by the army to haul baggage and supplies, a bateaux man who is employed to haul goods by water, or a sutler (merchant) who hopes to make money by selling goods to the soldiers.

Who are the Women of the recreated Augusta Regiment?

We are wives, widows, sweethearts, mothers, daughters, single or married. We are women who are deeply interested in the women who came before us. We love their courage on the frontier, their wisdom in raising their families in hard times, and their histories. We endeavor to revere and honor them and to imitate and portray them to the very best of our abilities.

We are women who love everything about the 18th century: the clothing, the art, the music, the culture, the very ambience of it. We strive to portray every aspect of that century and the people who lived, worked and died in it, as accurately as possible.

What do we do?

Appropriate to the unit's history, Regimental policy does not allow women to take the field (fight as soldiers); however, there is plenty to do in camp including interacting with the public. Often, women will engage in hand crafts while in camp. Good camp cooks are always welcome, but the men share in this duty as well.

Some of our members are excellent public speakers who enjoy giving talks at schools, service clubs, historical societies, genealogical groups, etc. We are always looking for more, but if public speaking isn't your thing, there is certainly a place for you.

The distaff of the Augusta Regiment have developed a very informative display about 18th century women's clothing that is set up at a few events each year.

Above all else, we have fun!

So you want to be a camp follower?

The Augusta Regiment is a very family oriented group. Membership is open to men and women of any age, and to families with children of any age. Anyone can apply for membership, but anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian join with them and participate in events with them.

The only restriction is that a male child must be 16 years of age or older in order to carry a musket and be on the firing line. Younger boys may serve as musicians, color bearers, or in other capacities. Girls are encouraged to assist the distaff members as an excellent learning opportunity. There are many civilian camp follower personas that can be assumed, and we can help you decide on one and develop it.

The first thing you need to do is to contact us for an application. Once that is submitted, the application is presented to the Membership Committee for review. If accepted, you will be an Applicant Member until the next general meeting in January. At that time a general vote will be taken and if accepted, you will become a Probationary Member for the period of one year. At the following general meeting, the membership will vote and if accepted you will officially become a member of the Regiment.

What should you buy to get ready?

Nothing! There may be loaner clothing available for your use at first. You will be assigned a Mentor, a veteran of the Regiment who will guide you in acquiring your clothing and equipment. It is very important to be patient. There is a lot of incorrect stuff out there, and waiting for guidance from your mentor can save you a lot of wasted effort and money. You will receive a copy of the Clothing Regulations that will assist you as your mentor guides you.