Outwater's Militia Newsletter
#9, December 2008
In this Issue:
Annual meeting Scheduled
Best Day of My Summer
Christmas traditions of Holland
The Vulgar Tongue- some 18th Century
Making a simple wool coat
The annual meeting will begin at Feb 21st, 3pm at Rockingham Mansion, Rocky
Hill, NJ. We will start with a tour of Washington's HQ at the end of the war, then move to a restaurant for
dinner and the meeting.
Alex wrote this for school-
I am part of Outwaters’ Militia, which is a reenacting
group. Reenacting is literally reliving past events, mostly wars.
The best day of my summer was the day I participated in the reenactment
of the Battle of Monmouth which took place on June 28, 1778. Here
is my account.
June 28, 1778
British troops are advancing to New York. They’re about one
mile behind, near Monmouth. We wait an amount of time for
orders. Orders are finally received at 10:00 hour. We run
drills after sending a coded message to Continental troops.
Orders are lost. We wait in camp. New orders are received
two hours later. We fall in behind Continentals. We march
through a thick, dark forest to engagement. Two minutes later, a sword
is presented to me. I am glad to receive such a shiny, jeweled sword as
a private. My orders include; defend powder, flag bearer, drummer, and
major. We march ten minutes through thick forest. We’re
deployed ten minutes later. Our tense waiting finally ends.
A horn is heard in the distance. Our flank wields around to
receive fire. The five minutes of tense waiting is finally broken
by a single gun shot. We wait ten more minutes for Continentals
while falling back. We retreat across bridge. Guns bombard
the enemy position. Five minutes later, in field of battle, the
enemy troops fall back. There must be 10,000 of them.
Marching towards us, they look like a formidable group. We look towards
the left. We finally see a colossal column of Continental
troops. In front is riding His Majesty, General George
Washington, on a large black horse. Behind him rides Von Steuben, the
German General who trained us during the winter of Valley Forge.
His hat, a tricorn like mine is black against his white shirt.
Heavy fighting engulfs us. We take down fence on Major’s
orders. Ours swords are drawn and the men are rallied.
We’re ordered to fall back across the field, cussing all the
way. A British officer rides across field. We exchange
salutes. It turns out the British officer is Sir Henry Clinton,
commander of the British troops. It’s a very awkward
moment. Guns pelt enemy into submission. Dirk (a Dirk is a
Scots word for a long dagger) is presented to me to send back to the
Highland regiment, AKA “the ladies.”
After that the crowd cheered and the reenactment of the Battle of Monmouth came to an end.
Dutch Christmas traditions
We get our modern Santa Claus from the Dutch "SinterKlaas"-
although they did not exchange gifts on Christmas itself.
Many Europeans celebrated St. Nicholas, including the Germans,
who had Christmas trees. It is not known how much of the old
country traditions were actually celebrated by the Jersey Dutch.
Washington Irving told some 'tales of imagination' about New
World Dutch Christmas eelebrations, which lead to our modern view of
from the world of Christmas web site:
In the Netherlands, Dutch people
celebrate Sinterklaas Avond or St. Nicolas Eve on 5th of December. St.
Nicholas (or Sinterklaas in Dutch) was known for his generosity and
kindness. On 6th of December, there are family gatherings and
celebrations. Then 25th of December is celebrated as the Christmas Day
while 26th of December is celebrated as the New Year's Day. Finally, on
6th of January, Three Kings Day is celebrated. Children are told that
Sinterklaas sails from Spain to Netherlands for the feast on 5th of
December. Dutch children keep their shoes outdoors and fill them with
hay and sugar for Sinterklaas's horse.
In the morning, they are replaced by
gifts for them such as candies and nuts. Children are told that
Sinterklaas appears in person in the children's homes, looking like
their father or uncle and question them whether they have been naughty
or nice in the past year. Previously, naughty children used to receive
blows by the birch rod that he carried but now, he is kinder.
Today many children are afraid to actually talk to Santa- and
Santa often gets a wet lap. Imagine being questioned by
"SinterKlaas", who will beat you with a switch if you were bad!
The Vulgar Tongue- some more 18th Century British slang
BANAGHAN. He beats Banaghan; an Irish saying of one
who tells wonderful stories. Perhaps Banaghan was a
minstrel famous for dealing in the marvellous.
BANDBOX. Mine a-se on a bandbox; an answer to the
offer of any thing inadequate to the purpose for which
it is proffered, like offering a bandbox for a seat.
BANBURY STORY OF A COCK AND A BULL. A roundabout,
BANDOG. A bailiff or his follower; also a very fierce
mastiff: likewise, a bandbox. CANT.
BANG UP. (WHIP.) Quite the thing, hellish fine. Well
done. Compleat. Dashing. In a handsome stile.
A bang up cove; a dashing fellow who spends his money
freely. To bang up prime: to bring your horses up in a
dashing or fine style: as the swell's rattler and prads are
bang up prime; the gentleman sports an elegant carriage
and fine horses.
TO BANG. To beat.
BANGING. Great; a fine banging boy.
BANG STRAW. A nick name for a thresher, but applied
to all the servants of a farmer.
BANKRUPT CART. A one-horse chaise, said to be so
called by a Lord Chief Justice, from their being so
frequently used on Sunday jaunts by extravagant
shop-keepers and tradesmen.
BANKS'S HORSE. A horse famous for playing tricks, the
property of one Banks. It is mentioned in Sir Walter
Raleigh's Hist. of the World, p. 178; also by Sir
Kenelm Digby and Ben Jonson.
BANTLING. A young child.
BANYAN DAY. A sea term for those days on which no
meat is allowed to the sailors: the term is borrowed
from the Banyans in the East Indies, a cast that eat
nothing that had life.
BAPTIZED, OR CHRISTENED. Rum, brandy, or any other
spirits, that have been lowered with water.
BARBER'S CHAIR. She is as common as a barber's chair, in
which a whole parish sit to be trimmed; said of a prostitute.
BARBER'S SIGN. A standing pole and two wash balls.
BARGAIN. To sell a bargain; a species of wit, much in
vogue about the latter end of the reign of Queen Anne,
and frequently alluded to by Dean Swift, who says the
maids of honour often amused themselves with it. It
consisted in the seller naming his or her hinder parts, in
answer to the question, What? which the buyer was
artfully led to ask. As a specimen, take the following
instance: A lady would come into a room full of company,
apparently in a fright, crying out, It is white, and follows
me! On any of the company asking, What? she sold
him the bargain, by saying, Mine a-e.
BARGEES. (CAMBRIDGE.) Barge-men on the river.
BARKER. The shopman of a bow-wow shop, or dealer in
second hand clothes, particularly about Monmouth-Street,
who walks before his master's door, and deafens every
passenger with his cries of--Clothes, coats, or gowns--what
d'ye want, gemmen?--what d'ye buy? See BOW-WOW SHOP.
BARKSHIRE. A member or candidate for Barkshire, said of
one troubled with a cough, vulgarly styled barking.
BARKING IRONS. Pistols, from their explosion resembling
the bow-wow or barking of a dog. IRISH.
BARN. A parson's barn; never so full but there is still room,
for more. Bit by a barn mouse, tipsey, probably from an
allusion to barley.
BARNABY. An old dance to a quick movement. See Cotton,
in his Virgil Travesti; where, speaking of Eolus he has
Bounce cry the port-holes, out they fly,
And make the world dance Barnaby.
BARNACLE. A good job, or snack easily got: also shellfish
growing at the bottoms of ships; a bird of the goose
kind; an instrument like a pair of pincers, to fix on the
noses of vicious horses whilst shoeing; a nick name for
spectacles, and also for the gratuity given to grooms by the
buyers and sellers of horses.
BARREL FEVER. He died of the barrel fever; he killed
himself by drinking.
BARROW MAN. A man under sentence of transportation;
alluding to the convicts at Woolwich, who are principally
employed in wheeling barrows full of brick or dirt.
BARTHOLOMEW BABY. A person dressed up in a tawdry
manner, like the dolls or babies sold at Bartholomew fair.
BASKET. An exclamation frequently made use of in cock-pits,
at cock-fightings, where persons refusing or unable
to pay their losings, are adjudged by that respectable
assembly to be put into a basket suspended over the pit, there
to remain during that day's diversion: on the least demur
to pay a bet, Basket is vociferated in terrorem. He grins
like a basket of chips: a saying of one who is on the broad
BASKET-MAKING. The good old trade of basket-making;
copulation, or making feet for children's stockings.
BASTARD. The child of an unmarried woman.
BASTARDLY GULLION. A bastard's bastard.
TO BASTE. To beat. I'll give him his bastings, I'll beat
BASTING. A beating.
BASTONADING. Beating any one with a stick; from baton,
a stick, formerly spelt baston.
The NJ militia protected Sussex County from Iroquois Indian
raids, and sometimes went into upstate New York to assist the people
there against the Indians, such as the disasterous fight at Minisink.
See: http://www.doublegv.com/ggv/battles/Indian.html and http://www.doublegv.com/ggv/battles/Minisink.html
Also, the NJ Brigade went on the Sullivan campaign to chastise the Indians for their raids against settlers.
This year marks the 230th Anniversary of the Battle of Newtown,
NY, the only battle against the Indians by Sullivan's men on
their march through Indian lands. It is held on the original
ground, with several battles against the Indians and their British
allies. It will be the last weekend of August.
Also, our friends in the 24th Conn. Militia reg't are having
their Wyoming Massacre reenactment again in mid July. So we have
TWO chances for everyone to go out and do what is very rare for us-
fight the Indians in the woods. Woods battles are the most
interesting and exciting, so plan on attending. This past year
the 24th CMR tried something different- escorting the public down
a woods trail, and having to defend them against marauders as they
went. Newtown also tried this with great success, and
everyone-the public and both sides- had a great time.
Making a simple wool coat
While making a tailored garment can be difficult or at least
time consuming, making an almost non-tailored coat is fairly simple and
quick, even by hand. We can make it out of three pieces, total.
No pattern required. Just take careful measurements, so you
"measure twice, cut once". It can be completed in a few hours of
hand work. It gives you a workable, non-dressy outer garment.
First, buy a used, heavy wool blanket. This will be your material. If
the blanket is well made of close weave, it will not need any edge
work, but can be left with a raw edge. If it has a stripe or stripes,
figure out if you want them on the coat, and if so on top or bottom?
Later when you cut, try and use the stripes to your advantage. Do
you want a wrap around coat, belted at the waist, like a capote or
hunting shirt, or do you want to add buttons...or belt it now and add
Seams are sewn on the inside of a garment, so they edges are hidden. A
simple seam is to hold the two edges together and use an overhand or
lock stitch to sew the pieces together.
Start with a chest measurement over the clothes you will be
wearing. Add 4 inches for the overlap. Write it down.
Measure length from base of neck to about 4 inches above the
knee, or at least past your waistcoat or coat you are wearing.
Write the length down. Measure around the armpit, add two
inches, write it down. Measure from the point of the shoulder to
the finger tips for the sleeve length ( we will fold over the end for a
cuff). Write this down. Measure around wrist, add two
inches, write this one down too.
OK, we need a coat body. Measure your chest size
across the blanket, mark with chalk, and measure from that point down
the needed length. Cut this block out. Now fold from the
edges into the center, overlapping at the center 2 inches.
From the center, measure 5 inches to each side. This marks
the neck opening. If you are small, you can reduce this a couple
Now mark three inches down from each top corner, and then on
each side a line from that point to the neck mark. This
marks the shoulder slope so the coat does not have the padded shoulder
look. Cut these triangles off. From the 'inside' sew the
shoulder seams together with heavy thread. One coat body is done
Of course, you have to have somewhere to put sleeves on it.
Cut from the shoulder edge HALF the armpit measurement down the
side of the coat for the sleeve opening.
Now the sleeves. Sleeves are not straight cylinders, they taper
from shoulder to wrist. Measure out two sleeve pieces by
measuring the armpit measurement PLUS the wrist measurement, by the
sleeve length. Now cut this piece out, and then make it two
pieces by measuring the armpit diameter from the upper left side,
marking that point, and at the lower left the wrist measurement.
Mark the line from wrist on bottom to armpit on top and cut,
giving you two mirror pieces for the sleeves.
Sew the each sleeve together starting at the wrist from the
OUTSIDE. Sew about 6 inches together then fold the cuff over so
the seam is now on the inside. Continue sewing the seam up on the
INSIDE. Attach each sleeve from the INSIDE.
Wow, with the addition of the sleeves, you now have a coat.
You can use a leather belt to close it, or make a belt out of the
remaining fabric- tack it on the back so it stays with it. You
can add buttons anytime. You can put one or two buttons on top
and close the bottom with a belt too. When you add buttons, you
probably want to reinforce the button holes by running some stitches
around the hole. You can add a collar and or cape later as well.
I have made capes by attaching the large remaining leftover
piece of wool, marking an equal distance down each shoulder and center
of back, and cutting the extra that is below those marks.
If you find the sleeves or armpit too tight, you can open some of the seam and add a small piece to give you some room.
George, Matt and Julie walked across the bridge into downtown Clinton to eat lunch at the Red Mill event.
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