Any Roger's Rangers Reenactors here?

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HatchetJack95

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Hey y'all, I am looking to join a unit portraying Roger's Rangers. I live 1 mile from Old Fort Niagara, and plan on reenacting F+I for the rest of my life. Anybody here do Roger's Rangers?
 

Belleville

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If Ft. Niagara has their big F&I event this year around July 4th, go to it and see what units you might find that may be close to you. Or contact the Fort to see if they can put you in touch w/any local groups. There always seemed to be lots of little green men looking out across my sights, when I was still able to attend (good luck with ",,,for the rest of my life"). The first F&I event that I attended there had 7 camps total, My Dad stayed in the Castle by himself.

Doc S.
 

griffiga

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Even though I don't re-enact Roger's Rangers, I've always been a fan. Too bad he didn't move over from the dark side during the Revolution. LOL. If you are bored and have nothing to do, here is a story I wrote some 40 + years ago some time after I finished reading "Northwest Passage." I had to write a fictional story based on some true event for an English class assignment during college. As it was based on an actual hunting trip, I'm sure you can tell what I've woven into it. Forgive any spelling or punctuation errors, as I have not edited it since that time.

The Ranger


This story may seem a bit out of the ordinary. It may even be considered strange. I've often heard that the only link that stands between today and yesterday is the element of time.

It began two years ago last November. A very good friend and I had just finished packing the rest of our hunting gear for the annual black powder hunt. Aside from my jeep, everything we had, from leather hunting clothes, to jerked pemmican and camping gear was replicated from the eighteenth century. I'd even bypassed my half-stocked plains rifle for a smoothbore Brown Bess musket. Original plans called for packing horses and riding in the mountains where we'd remain for a whole week. As the forecast predicted bad weather, our wives requested that I take my jeep instead of hauling horses up part way and riding the rest. This eased their minds as they thought we were totally insane anyway. We didn’t object to this being the hunting trip or adventure as it was rapidly changing to, had been carefully planned down to the smallest detail for three months, and we were just glad to go. We bid farewell to our wives and departed civilization for an experience not soon to be forgotten.

Parking the jeep on an abandoned road, we then packed gear into knapsacks and hiked to a place in the dense forest five miles from any known road. After setting up a rudimentary canvas shelter and gathering wood for a fire, we collapsed on our beds of blankets and spruce needles still unable to believe we were here. The surroundings seemed very primitive. It appeared we had turned the calendar back two hundred years. No city traffic, no smog, and no people, just the quietness of the dense forest as far as we could hear or see.

"Looks like it might storm tonight," I said, looking at the gathering thunder clouds.

"Indeed, it might,” replied my buddy rolling over half asleep. The lean-to was set up under the broad canopy of a large spruce tree facing outward with a fire burning at the mouth. In this fashion early settlers, soldiers and mountain men kept relatively cozy on many a cold night.

I must have dozed as it was dark when I awoke. There was moisture in the air as a few snowflakes were falling. Throwing another log on the dying coals, I bundled the wool trade blanket around me with a shiver. "It would be cold tonight," I thought to myself as I chewed the stiff pemmican and stared at the yellow blaze of the fire.

The snow began falling heavy, and I was thankful for the thick shelter provided by the spruce boughs. My constant stirring about soon brought my partner out of his slumber. "Want some supper?” I asked, handing him a piece of the dried meat. "Don't mind if I do,” he said, "besides, I am getting a little gaunt in the ole gut. Boy - O - boy, it's snowing pretty good,” he went on to add. Peering at the sky, I pointed out worriedly, "If it keeps up at this rate, we could be snowed in for quite a spell.”

As we both sat in silence watching the flickering fire and chewing on jerked beef, a cracking branch brought us both quickly to our feet. "What was that?” we blurted out at once. Before either of us could utter another word, a dark figure stepped into the light of our fire. "Hello mates, seen yer fire an’ thought ya might be some of the men.” This personage was dressed as we were, only his leathers had a green tint to them and were well used as if they had been worn constantly for months on end. His long shaggy beard and hair were evidence enough that he hadn't had the benefits of modern home living and a bath for some time. "Miles, Miles Johansson is my name.” He said, "Sorry I sneaked up on ya the way I did, but you might-a-been the bloody French, gotta be a might careful if you want to keep yer hair!” My friend and I looked at each other with faceless expressions. This guy had apparently been out here so long, he'd flipped his lid. Everything about this strange person was authentic, his clothing, his musket, which I could tell was an original first model Brown Bess, and even his broad New England accent.

"Are you hungry?", I asked, not certain if he would answer. The specter was almost unbelievable. He finally muttered,

"If you could spare some vittles, I'd be much obliged. I haven't eaten much but roots and a few small critters, and I am rather weary.”

Reaching for the pemmican bag, I watched him from the corner of my eye not knowing what to expect. He slid almost catlike down beside the fire in a cross-legged fashion, musket over his knees within easy access. His eyes were constantly looking around him as thought he was being hunted like an animal. I noticed he had strapped about him a hatchet and a bayonet scabbard, but the bayonet was missing. On his back was a knapsack much like our own, and I could see there wasn't much left in it. "This here pemmican is sure good, tastes to be fresh, you must have just dried it?” He drooled down his cheek as he gulped at the food like a starving wolf.

"Actually, I said, “I just picked it up at Walmart, its already pressure packed and sealed, so all I have to do was break open the package.”

Miles looked at me very strangely and went on chewing. When he finished eating, he licked his fingers and wiped them on already greasy buckskin trousers.

"Where's your hunting party?” I questioned after feeling more comfortable with his presence.

"I was with Rogers until the Indians jumped us, then we split up, he muttered, but I don't recall seeing you two, who ya with? Schuller or Worinski most likely."

"No, we’re all by ourselves,” I responded.

"By yourselves! By Jove how did you ever make it alive?” The stranger looked at us in awe.

"We drove most the way in our Jeep, then walked the rest of the way afoot.”

"Jeep? I don't recall ever hearing of him.”

"This man is really whacko,” my partner whispered to me, leaning over so the stranger couldn’t hear.

For the next several hours the three of us set around the fire and talked. From what we could gather, Miles believed he was with Robert Rogers and his green clad rangers. One thing was for certain, this man was a real whiz on history. He accounted to us a vivid picture of Rogers Rangers and their raid on the Indian village of St. Frances clearer than any book or account I've ever read. What was even more unbelievable was the way he talked, as if he were at the very side of Rogers.

All too soon the sky grew light and the snow stopped falling. Our mysterious guest stood, thanked us for our kindness and turned to depart. It was then he noticed my Brown Bess musket. "Could you spare some ball and powder?” he asked, still very much aware of anything going on around us.

"Sure!” I responded dropping a hand full of the large lead balls into his worn pouch. I reached in my bag and gave him my spare powder horn.

"Thanks again, not too wise to stay in one spot long. Be sure to watch your topknots."

I looked down to where the mysterious visitor had been sitting and noticed his hat on the ground beside the fire where he had sat. Upon further examination, I found it to be a blue Scot’s bonnet worn expressly by rangers, especially Roger’s Rangers during the French and Indian War.

"Miles!” I called, but he had vanished even more quickly than he had come. We both starred at the ground and then at the worn, dirty hat unable to make any sense of what just happened.

"I don't know if I'm been dreaming or have just flipped,” he responded, "let's eat some breakfast and go hunting, looks like the snow has stopped.”

I thought about Miles a lot over the next several days. It was very strange that we never saw him or even his tracks leaving our camp. The blue cap really wasn't worth much, but I thought he might have come back for it. Part of me was wanting him to return. I had so many questions I wanted to ask him. His presence left an unexplainable sense of longing for the past, one which I had never felt before. “Could he have been?”

The third morning out I shot a large three-point buck with my musket at about fifty yards, and my friend shot one even larger. The time spent out in the wild sure beat city living, even though I craved a Snickers candy bar. All too soon the time to face reality arrived and we left our primitive abode until next season. The reality of our adventure didn't hit home until three days later as I was thumbing through a book about Rogers Rangers and the French and Indian War. Toward the end of the book, there was a casualty list for the raid on St. Francis. I quickly glanced through the list and stopped when my eyes rested on the name of Miles Johansson. Somehow, I knew I would find the name. Miles was killed after the raid as they were escaping. The rangers split into small parties for foraging purposes and the group Miles was with was attacked by the French, all were captured or killed. I slowly closed the book.

By some unexplained phenomenon, through our primitiveness, we somehow were permitted temporary access to a window of time. Clutching the worn, blue cap in my hand, I brushed it to my face, and then hung it on the wall over my Brown Bess musket.
 
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deermanct

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I'm not a re-enactor. Being born and raised in Connecticut, I've always been very interested in Colonial history. My family heritage is French Canadian. One of my ancestors fought on the French side during the war. He and other men lived to escape capture by the British. I often wonder how my own life would have been or even if I would be here if things had turned out differently for him.
 
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History has a reason, un-explained but is a precursor of the future and future events, A time line of the future if you will, although happening in the past, but to repeat itself only with different actors. We attempt to replicate it with our hobby and craft but can only go so far. Was those times any better than now maybe maybe not depends on the individual and their concepts. So the quest and flame burns bright in some of us who long for the shall we say old ways. Go forth into the cathedral of the wilderness, long rifle and powder with shot and ball, find the solitude that has been lost too so many, relish the experiences that await you for we are here only a fleeting moment in time.
 

griffiga

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History has a reason, un-explained but is a precursor of the future and future events, A time line of the future if you will, although happening in the past, but to repeat itself only with different actors. We attempt to replicate it with our hobby and craft but can only go so far. Was those times any better than now maybe maybe not depends on the individual and their concepts. So the quest and flame burns bright in some of us who long for the shall we say old ways. Go forth into the cathedral of the wilderness, long rifle and powder with shot and ball, find the solitude that has been lost too so many, relish the experiences that await you for we are here only a fleeting moment in time.
So beautifully put.
 

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