Also visit us at our website:

Monday, October 15, 2012

New! Online Event Registration for Members

As of today, the 2nd Regiment has launched a new online event registration form for our members! Beginning with the upcoming Camden event on November 3-4, members will register their attendance via the unit's website. Here's what you do:
  1. Go to the main website,
  2. Click on the "Members Only" dropdown menu near the top of the page; click on the "Event Registration" link in the dropdown menu.
  3. Enter the password (same as for the rest of the Members section)
  4. Another page comes up, with a button that says "Click here to register for CAMDEN, November 3-4"; click on the button.
  5. You will be taken to the main registration page. It will have info about the event, followed by information boxes for you to complete. Once you have filled them in, hit the "Submit" button, and you are done!

It's very simple to do, and will greatly help the Unit Commanders and the Distaff plan for numbers: proper amount of food to buy, loaner gear to bring, etc. And no more email chains and repeated phone calls to figure out who is coming to which event. This system is very similar to one used by the Boy Scouts for all their camping events, and it has really simplified their communications and planning. If they can do it, so can we!

Registrations will close on the Sunday prior to the event. For example, Camden registration will close at the end of the day on Sunday, October 28th. If you cannot register online, or if you need to change your plans after the close of registration, simply call me (Zack) and I will take care of it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Event at Colonial Dorchester

We have an exciting event coming up on September 8th at the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, near Summerville, SC. It's a very historic site, and features the best-preserved fortifications from the French-&-Indian War in the South. It was also an important post in the Revolution. Francis Marion, commanding two companies of the 2nd SC, spent part of the early war there; Thomas Sumter and the 6th SC were posted there later in the war. William Washington, Harry Lee, and other luminaries fought in and around Fort Dorchester as well.

For more info on the site, check out this entry in Steven Steele's great blog,

You can also visit the site's official page: Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site. The site is also very active in French-&-Indian war reenacting. Check out what those folks have been doing at their home unit's page, The Fort at Colonial Dorchester.

Hope to see as many members of the 2nd Regiment as possible at the fort on September 8th!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rockford AAR - A View from the Saddle

Saturday, June 9th: I think we had a total of 17 dragoons in our camp, including the 3dLD led by yours truly, the 4thLD led by Capt. Nick Serafino and the Belsunce Dragoons led by Bob Alegretto and Sergeant Bill Rose, plus, 4 troopers with the 17thLD riding British under Jess Philips.. The Belsance Dragoons decided to galvanize in the interest of balancing the forces and graciously rode British. The scenario was for the Brits to take the low field between 11:00 and 1:00. At 12:45 we were supposed to attack and drive them off. Only problem there was there were no Brits in the low field at 12:45. We waited and waited some more and then went up the first of three defiles into an upper field where gunplay wasn’t allowed but sabre play was. The event started off with the lamest sabre charge ever in the history of reenacting! All my fault of course but I was just trying to make something happen. Overly embarrassed, I retreated down to the main field behind an artillery piece. Then as Bert said, “Someone flipped the switch” and it was on. I saw a few Indians running through the trees on the hill side of the field, three deer popped up out of nowhere and went running, Ed’s horse decided this was a bad place to be and then the sh*t hit the fan! Brit Infantry came streaming down the hill through the brush and trees like someone had opened a flood gate. They wisely stayed in the tree line so charging them was out of the question. I was feeling a lot like Swiss cheese when Col. Healy rode up to me and asked me if I could hold the position….. “Uh no,” was the reply, or something to that effect , “Not without infantry or some guns.” Col Healy rode off and I thought I was going to get some serious help. Problem was Col. Healy was guarding three defiles. Most of his available infantry was already posted. The Americans were also supposed to lose the battle and no one can ever say Col. Healy can’t follow a script! We did get one, maybe two, I can’t really remember, companies of lights and another gun which I threw on what had quickly become our left flank. The Brits continued to press. I was just seeing the first opportunity for a charge on the enemy Infantry when Lt. Alegretto showed up with the King;’s Horse - all of it. We were smoked, stewed and screwed. More infantry came pouring in from both sides. There were a series of charges and counter charges by the dragoons on both sides but there really wasn’t a chance for the Americans to recover in the face of the British infantry. Well done Brits. Col. Healy made repeated requests for me to stop the onslaught but there just weren’t many openings. We did make one successful charge against a company of British Infantry and forced them to retire but what we really needed were flame throwers. Lacking that, we fell back and I felt a very, very small victory in not letting our left flank get rolled up. Truth be told, the 3dLD hadn’t seen that many casualties since Eutaw Springs! It turned into an infantry fight and we fell back to the barn. We did manage to make a successful charge on the British high command and lucked into routing another Brit infantry company but by then it was pretty much over and we lit out as our Infantry made a final stand that basically got them all killed - I’m not really sure about that… I may have been back in camp drinking a beverage by that point. The weight of command is simply unbearable at times. Saturday night: I’ll just say that our regimental attorney has advised that I don’t say anything…. BUT… the Vienna Boys Choir… they don’t need to worry about a 3dLD album being released anytime soon. Sunday, June 10th: After getting whipped on Saturday we gallant 3dLDs decided to switch sides. The 3dLDs galvanized and fell in with the 17th LD. I know, I know, some ancestors are spinning in their graves. The battle started out with us trying to hold that same first defile against the American horse. There was a series of charges and we had some infantry support which was a great help. We also had a guidon bearer for the first time. It’s wicked cool to be able to fall back on your own colors, well done Dale! After a series of charges back and forth we saw American infantry coming through the trees on our left and fell back to the lower field. We lost Col. Vogley by design. With the 17th’s help we were able to make a charge against the 4th Legionary corps infantry which ended in a sort of draw but stopped their advance and then the infantry came up in numbers and we fell back to support the second defile leading to the barn. The American foot and horse was there in force and it seemed like we made ten charges in as many minutes. The King’s artillery and infantry played a large part in these fights and the American cavalry was eventually forced to retire. Then the battle shifted again and we fell back to the far side of the barn to support our native provincials. These “injuns” could really move and they set a trap for some American rifleman and we were able to make a successful charge. After that the battle was about over, our horses were spent, the size of the field had shrunk, and the weight of command was weighing heavily again. With my trooper’s welfare foremost in my mind, I grew thirsty and ordered a retreat for beverages rather than watch the demise of the Crown forces. I’d like to thank everyone for a great weekend, the scenario planners and site hosts did a great job and I enjoyed riding for both Bob Healy and Mike Grenier. We 3dLDs had a great time and would come back anytime. To everyone in the saddle, well done boys, it was a privilege to lead and a pleasure to ride with every single one of you. Your Ready Servant, Cpt. Daniel Murphy 3dLD / Brvt Major of Cavalry Rockford campaign

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Guilford Court House AAR

The 2012 edition of the Guilford event was held last weekend in Greensboro Country Park in Greensboro, NC. As with most Guilford events, the weather was dicey. Friday and Saturday evening rains turned the ground into mud, but most of us stayed dry, and the temperature was thankfully mild.

We had a big turnout: approximately 12 infantry (including 3 recruits), 7 horsemen, several musicians and a bunch of distaff. We set up just about all the canvas we own to house the horde. A BIG thank you to the Pucketts and Hoskins for hauling all our regimental equipment. What a pain that is, especially when you get back home only to have to set up 30 wet tents in your backyard. Without your efforts, there ain't no camp, no fun, and no 2nd Regiment.

The foot soldiers spent a good deal of time training Saturday and Sunday. Having several recruits or short-time members present, most of the time was spent on the basics: position of a soldier, prime-&-load sequence, marching, etc. Based on our performance in the battles, much of the training stuck. We managed to crack several tight volleys, especially on Sunday. Hopefully we'll have a print and video version of the drill on our website soon, so folks can work on it at home. And we'll need it: we have a drill competition coming up next January at Cowpens. Keep drilling lads! It was also really cool to see the progress most of the soldiers are making on their kit. Little by little, piece by piece, our impression is becoming more uniform and more authentic. Thanks for all the hard work and money you've been investing on our appearance. Now to get the coats...

The 3rd Light Dragoons had a good turnout as well (temperamental mounts notwithstanding). And they did their usual great work on the field, portraying both sides in the New Market meeting engagement scenario at the start of the battles. That scenario is not possible without our mounted brothers-in-arms, and we are very fortunate to have these fine fellows under the umbrella of our unit. Well done!

And of course the 2nd SC musician had a good turnout. Once again, Ron, Anne, Sheri and Hunter were a big chunk of total American Musick Corps. And we have more on the way, with several young musicians working their way toward the field in the next year or so.

Finally, as usual, the distaff did an outstanding job of feeding the masses. Outstanding Scotch eggs, perlo, monkey bread, pineapple upside-down cake and more. And all done over a campfire in the rain! A big thank you to Chris, Sarah, Veronica, Anna and everyone who helped in the kitchen. And a shoutout to Scottie for displaying his woodworking prowess and knowledge to the public; kids really enjoy your tools, instruction and stories.

Next up is the optional "Armies Through Time" event at Camden next month, then the big regimental event at Middleton Plantation in Charleston on Memorial Day weekend. Stay tuned for more info on these events!

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Neatly Roaled & Fastnd at Their Backs": The Use of Blanket Slings by the South Carolina Continentals

OK, a little background info on blanket slings, prior to our making them at the 2nd SC regimental workshop this coming weekend:

Blankets were an indispensable item for the men of the 2nd Regiment. They were regimental property, like muskets, and considered just as essential. They were also chronically in short supply. Proper heavy blankets were not widely made in South Carolina, and were thus usually imported from Europe. As the war ground on, supplies from overseas dwindled, and inflation skyrocketed. By 1780, blankets were the single most expensive item issued to the soldiers. For these reasons, each soldier was expected to personally carry his blanket when on the march, whether on campaign or simply transferring posts.

Native Americans are well documented to have used leather or web straps to carry large loads. These went by many names: tumpline, tompline, trumpline, topline, burden straps, hoppis, hoppees, hoppess, etc.; all of which mean roughly the same thing: a strap for carrying things. These could be slung over their shoulder, around the chest or over the forehead. When carrying blankets, the blankets were well-documented to have rolled the blanket around the strap, tying it up with the long ends of the strap or with separate straps, forming a bedroll.

During the French & Indian War, British troops frequently abandoned their clunky knapsacks in favor of the tumpline, especially Light Infantry. At one point, General Lord Howe actually had his entire army use tumplines: "Their haversacks were rolled up in a blanket, which they carried as did the Indians and Canadians." 1

At this point, I refer you to an excellent blog dealing with F&I and Revwar research entitled "Of Sorts for Provincials". The author has a well-researched post on the tumpline:

Note that about halfway through the post, there is a quote from the Journals of Henry Laurens; this documents that uniformed South Carolina Provincial troops used "tomplines" in 1763, at the close of the French & Indian War, only 12 years before the Revolution.

By the Revolution, the British were familiar with the use of straps to carry their blankets. As documented in the "Of Sorts" blog post, there are numerous references to British troops using what are called "blanket slings." These were made of hemp or linen webbing, and were sewn into some form of carriage to better or more efficiently secure the blanket than the tumplines used in the earlier war. In effect, the blanket sling was a military, European-ized version of the tumpline.

Other quotes in the "Of Sorts" blog post attribute tumplines to Continentals in Virginia and other states. Further documentation exists, including paintings: Xavier Della Gatta's painting of the Battle of Paoli [2] clearly shows Continental troops wearing their blankets rolled up on their backs; these are worn quite horizontally, suggesting a strap across the chest, rather than one worn over the shoulder (note Continentals casualties in the foreground). And Della Gatta's painting of the Battle of Germantown [3] shows the entire light infantry of the British 40th Foot wearing white blankets on their back in similar fashion to the Continentals at Paoli.



Although no descriptions of either British or American blanket slings exists from the American Revolution, by 1800 a very similar item was standard among British troops. They were now called "greatcoat slings"; by this time British soldiers were issued greatcoats for cold weather use. During summer campaigning, however, the coats were ditched, as frequently was the knapsack, and the soldiers used the greatcoat slings to carry the blankets on their back, either over the shoulder or across the chest. The following pics show how they were worn (respectively) by the 3rd Foot Guards in 1800[4], and at the Embarkation for Corunna in 1808 (also note the serjeant's valise)[5]; the third pic is a modern photo of what is reputed to be the only known extant British blanket sling from the Napoleonic Wars (dated 1804) [6].




So, back to the original question: how did the South Carolina Continentals carry their blankets without knapsacks? Let's refer to two key pieces of evidence from the 1st S.C. Regiment:

January 6 1778
"…The whole Reg.t are to be Powdered clean Shaved & in a Soldier like Dress in Order to Make a proper appearance in their march Throught the Town, their Blankets are to be neatly Roaled & fastned at their Backs, the Reg.t will land at Ropers wharf…" 7

March 1 1779
Camp at Purysburg
"…We rise here a little before Day break, the Men turning out with their Haversacks and Blankets on the Backs…" 8

These two records suggest that the men had their blankets rolled and strapped on their backs, not horse collar-style over their shoulder. This means that the men were provided with some sort of carrying strap. There is nothing in the records showing that the men were issued this sort of item. All expensive items, including leather shoulder carriages for bayonets and cartridge pouches, were carefully recorded, and soldiers were held accountable for their loss. Many necessary items, however, were provided to the men and not recorded at all: plates, cups, musket tools, etc. This suggests that, whatever the design of blanket straps, they were relatively inexpensive and fairly disposable. This eliminates the possibility of leather tumplines in favor of linen or hemp webbing and rope. Both materials were relatively plentiful in South Carolina throughout the war; the only notable clothing shortage shortages always revolved around the scarcity of wool, especially broadcloth.

With all this in mind, here is the arrangement we are adopting for blanket slings in the re-created 2nd Regiment:

The shoulder carriage is a strip of 1.25" hemp webbing, 5 feet long, adjusted by a brass slider buckle. The blanket is rolled around the sling, in tompline fashion, and is secured by a 5-foot piece of 1/4" hemp rope. Again, this piece of equipment is pure conjecture, as we have no hard documentation for its use or construction. The balance of available evidence simply suggests that this is the best educated guess we can make for a piece of equipment they clearly had, but did not consider significant enough to comment upon.


1. The Journal of Captain John Knox: An Historical Journal of the Campaigns in N. America For Years 1757, 1758, 1759, and 1760. 3 Vols. (Toronto: The Champlain Society, 1914), vol. 1, p. 185.

2. della Gatta, Xavier. The Battle of Paoli. 1782. Reproduction from Accessed February 21, 2012.

3. _____________. The Battle of Germantown. 1782. Reproduction from 4oth Regiment of Foot (American Revolutionary War reenactment organization). Accessed February 21, 2012.

4. Atkinson, John. Private, 3rd Foot Guards, c. 1800 (Rear View). Watercolor on canvas. Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University. Accessed February 21, 2012.

5. de Loutherbourg, Phillip James. Embarkation to Corunna, 1808. Reproduction from Second Battalion, 95th Rifles Forum (Napoleonic War reenactment organization). Post 44. Accessed February 21, 2012.

6. Private photo. Second Battalion, 95th Rifles (Napoleonic War reenactment organization). Posts 83-84, 89-90. Accessed February 21, 2012.

7. Salley, A.S., ed. “An Order Book of the First Regiment, South Carolina Line, Continental Establishment.” The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 7-8 (1906-1907), p. 136.

8. Cross, Jack L. “Letters of Thomas Pinckney, 1775-1780.” South Carolina Historical Magazine, 58 (1957), p. 229.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Moultrie's "Lost" Fort Found in S.C.?

Local archeologists and living historians believe they have located the location of a long-lost Revolutionary War fort on the Ashley River near Bacon's Bridge, S.C. The site matches the descriptions left by William Moultrie and Francis Marion of earthworks and a campsite guarding one of Charleston's inland approaches.

Check out the full article from the Charleston Post and Courier at this link:

Seeking Forgotten Fort on the Ashley

Steven Steele, a local F&I/RevWar reenactor and historian in the Summerville area, is involved in the research, and is quoted extensively in the article. Check out his terrific blog:

Swamp Fox Brigade

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Musket Vendor for the 2nd SC

We are pleased to announce a partnership between the 2nd Regiment and Veteran Arms, LLC. Based in Georgia, Veteran Arms has a reputation for selling high-quality, affordable reproduction arms and accessories. They have been actively involved in reenacting for over 20 years, and as such are dedicated to making their muskets among the most authentic in the hobby.

Veteran Arms has recently introduced a French model 1768 Charleville musket, and the reviews have been very good. Under our new exclusivity agreement, all 2nd SC members who purchase a new musket should purchase this particular musket from Veteran Arms. In exchange, our members will receive a significant discount, making this easily your best bet amongst companies selling similarly priced muskets.

Of course, members can certainly buy used muskets at their discretion; hey, if you find a bargain, take it. And if you want a $1200 Pedersoli, well, go for it. But if you want a great new mid-priced musket (like most of us use), you will want to take advantage of this new arrangement with Veteran Arms. Contact me (Zack) before you order; I'll give you the info needed to receive our discount.

Check out the 1768 Charleville and all the other Veteran Arms products at

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cowpens After Action Report (AAR)

The 231st Anniversary of Cowpens is in the books, and it was a very successful event in general. There was a large turnout of reenactors this year, and a very large number of spectators, especially on Saturday.

It was also a successful event for our unit. Over the course of the weekend, the regiment fielded nine muskets. Most of us had over 10 years of experience in the line, and it showed. We really cracked some rapid volleys at the firing demos, and the new tweeks we put in to the Steuben drill this past year are starting to gel with the boys. We even drew crowds just practing marching in an empty field.

The troopers from the 3rd CLD looked great, as usual, and drew massive crowds for their demos. Check out the website for awesome action shots of Bob and Bert playing samurai chef with their sabers and some heads of cabbage.

Chris, Sarah and all the distaff did their usual outstanding job of providing for the boys; they also showed the ropes to two new distaff recruits. And Scott Bester did his usual great job showing his carpentry kit and skills to the public.

We also had a preliminary discussion with the folks at Cowpens NPS about preparing for the 235th reenactment of the battle in 2016. I know that is a long way off, but preparations have already begun for us to host this event. Stay tuned...

Thanks and "well done" to everyone who participated. Look for an email in the next couple of days concerning the upcoming February 25-26 regimental workshop, and a discussion of plans for the August (coatee!).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Annual Meeting Report

The Annual Meeting of the 2nd SC Regiment was held Sunday, Jan. 15 at Cowpens. Highlights of the meeting included the election of Board members, approval of the event calendar for 2012, and a discussion of dues/fees collected for various activities and memberships. The new calendar is posted on the website; more info will be sent as each event approaches. The Board members for this year are:

President - Zack Pace
V-P for Events - Bob Hoskins
V-P for Finance - Jeff Fowler
Secretary - Chris Puckett
Treasurer - Sarah Hoskins
Regimental Commander - Erick Nason
Horse Commander - Daniel Murphy

A big thank you to Henry McMillan, Bert Puckett, Jonathan Nutter and Stephanie Nutter for your service on the Board this past year.

From a fee standpoint, bowl inspection was set at $15 per adult per full event; it will be adjusted as usual by Chris Puckett for single day attendees and kids. Annual dues are $25, but will probably be raised a bit, again pending a vote at the Guilford event. Feel free to send in your $25 now (and pay a bit more after Guilford), or you can wait until the final amount is set that weekend.

The Bylaws are undergoing a revision, and discussion/approval was tabled until Guilford. Copies of the old and new versions will be sent to the membership shortly. Minutes of the meeting will be posted on the website shortly.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Annual Meeting

The annual business meeting of the 2nd SC Regiment will be held Sunday, January 15th, 2012, at 9:00 AM at the Cowpens event. If you are a member or prospective member of the Regiment, an email should have been sent to you yesterday with full details. If you did not receive it, please contact me ASAP (

More info on the event itself will be posted/emailed over the weekend.