Now that you have had a chance to learn who the Hesse-Kassel
Jägers were and what re-enacting is all about, let us take
this opportunity to show what the Hesse-Kassel Jäger
re-enactment group is about. Founded in 1995 as a non-profit
educational organization, the group was designed to provide
information to the public about the Jägers and camp
life during the American Revolution, 1776 - 1783. With the group
based in South Carolina and members coming from throughout the
southeastern US, the unit primarily portrayal is based on events
of the Southern Campaign of 1780 and 1781.
The majority of what the group does is living history, acting out the daily life of the soldiers and women in the military camps during the war.
At each event the unit erects period correct tents and establishes the camp site. For the remainder of the weekend everything in the camp
site will mirror that the 18th century, as accurately as possible. This is where the group gets to share their knowledge with the public, giving
demonstrations or answering questions are just some of the ways we teach visitors how life was then. The best part is when the camp fire
is lit, that means its time for some good German food cooked over an open fire, lots of good conversation with friends and a little of the
German health drink.
When it comes to re-enacting the actions of the Jägers there is one thing to remember, the unit more closely
resembled a modern day
special forces unit than that of a typical 1700's infantry unit. With the mission of acting as the advanced guard of the army, protecting the
flank of the British Army and attacking the flanks of the American Army during battles makes re-enacting the Jägers physically
demanding. Performing quick tactical movements along the battlefield through thick woods, tall grass, steep hills or other types of terrain, all the while
under the blazing Carolina sun can get the best of one. This type of action on the battlefield also
creates a problem for commanders to
communicate with their NCOs and the NCOs to communicate with the privates. For this reason its important that we have disciplined
people that can keep an eye the safety rules when they find themselves pressing the rebels flank alone.
As much as we try to keep the membership of this group open to all with no discrimination against any person on the basis of race, sex,
religion or ethnic origins, there are some restrictions that are necessary. They are as follows;
1. Prospective Members must be at least 18 years of age. Minors may attend and participate in all living history events but must
be accompanied by a legal guardian. Participation in battle re-enactments may only be by those age 16 and older.
2. Prospective Members must have an interest in the American Revolution in General, the Hessian military and cultural life in
1770's / 1780's. An extensive knowledge of the American Revolution, the Hessian military or life during this time period is not a
requirement to become a member.
3. Prospective Members must be willing to portray 18th Century Military Life assisting in the various details and duties thereof.
4. Prospective Members must not be a user of any Illegal Controlled Substances or Illegal Mind altering substances.
5. Prospective Members must not be restricted from the ownership of Firearms according to State and Federal Guidelines.
6. Prospective Members must be a US Citizen or hold Legal Alien Status. Documentation may be required.
Now we discourage folks from going out and spending money on gear before they
talk with us. We generally ask you to come and hang out at an event in
modern clothes and "get the feel" of an event. Then if you are still
interested we ask you to supply plain black shoes (GI surplus oxfords are fine)
and we will work with you to try and get you loaner gear so you can participate
without major expenditure of funds. We require you to attend 3 events or
meetings before you can request a membership vote. This way you get to
meet us and participate, we get to know you and everyone decides if we are a
good fit together. If you decide we are not the type of unit you are
looking for, we will try and help you find a better fit. Though to be
honest that hasn't happened yet.
Once you start acquiring your own kit (we STRONGLY encourage you to work
with a more experienced member for your shopping) here are some of the basic
items you may be looking at purchasing. The basics for men to "dress out" and join the unit in the camp site and/or on the battlefield would be in Loyalist Militia clothing. The
Hesse-Kassel Jägers enlisted local loyalist during their time in the American Revolution to act as scouts and guides. Based on this
historical fact, members new to the group may dress in militia clothing to portray this role. The requirements are;
Tricorn hat or Voyageur/Stocking cap
Period correct shirt, Drop sleeve design
Neck Stock, black made of linen would be best. Leather Neck stocks are not appropriate.
Hunting Frock or waistcoat
Period correct breeches
Period correct shoes
Additionally, some of the events the group attends we portray Loyalist Militia because historically no Jägers participated in that action. Its a
good uniform to start out with as far as cost, and you can continue to use it even after
completing your regimental uniform. Many of the items
required for the militia uniform will be used for the regimental uniform as well.
The basics for women to "dress out" and join the unit in the camp site is clothing that appropriately portrays
Necessary woman or camp
follower during the 1770's and 1780's. Most of these items can be made at home over the course of a couple weekends with the minimum
of sewing skills. Women that may like to portray a Jäger on the battlefield are welcome to join with the understanding that she must meet
the uniform requirement and be able to pass for a Hessian male while in uniform from a distance of 50 feet.
If you are interested in becoming a Hessian Jäger, stop by one of the events listed on our schedule and talk to
members of the group to get more information. You can also contact one of the staff members listed on the Command
and Staff page of this web site.
Questions on Joining the Jägers? email@example.com