Muster on the Wabash Nov. 3 & 4, 2012
Reenactors come from various parts of the country to appear at the Muster on the Wabash. It is a hobby with most of them. yet they invest time in researching items used in camp; uniforms appropriate to the various units, what foods might have been available to the people and soldiers how were they cooked; and more areas of interest than can be named here. They have invested money in equipment, weapons, tentage, clothing, and in simply getting to the event. they are here to interact with the audience. You are invited to wonder camp, to talk with the soldiers and camp followers, and to learn all that you can from this knowledgeable group.
The camp is divided into several groupings - these groups would have been similarly divided in a military camp of the era. See if you can determine which camp is which. Feel free to stop in camp and chat with whoever you may find there.
Militia - These soldiers were the National Guard of the day. They were not "regular" army. Being in the army was not their principal occupation. They may be farmers, merchants, or any other occupation. The local newspaperman, Elihu Stout, was in the militia and accompanied Harrison to Tippecanoe. The militia typically were not uniformed although some militia units wore coats of the same color or chose some other way to be recognized as being with a particular company. The militia brought their own equipment and weapons little beyond food was provided by the army. Camp may be laid out in various fashion with little sturcture.
Mounted Rangers - some militia were mounted. These men brought their own horses and were individually responsible for the care of their animal. They camp separate from the army to care for their horses.
Infantry - These are the foot soldiers, the backbone of the army. These are the regulars. They are well trained in military maneuvers and tactics. They typically setup camp in tight order with tents in neat rows. The soldiers of each unit are issued uniforms and each soldier looks similarly clad. Uniforms are often blue but black, gray, and other colors may be found as well.
Artillery - These are the units responsible for the artillery pieces. They are dressed similarly to the infantry but you will likely find artillery close to their camp. Historically they also would have had livestock too move the cannon from place to place.
Riflemen - The first US rifle company was formed in 1808 and arrived in Vincennes in 1811. They would accompany Harrison to Tippecanoe and it would be the first time a US rifle company was involved in a battle. They camp similar to the infantry but wear uniforms of green linen fringed with yellow.
Native American - This group should be the easiest to spot. The Indians did not wear uniforms. Nor did they put their tents in neat rows. You may find a variety of shelters in camp. They often have a central fire or gathering place in camp.