MTA 2010 – Beautiful weather- Great time!

The title says it all. March 20-21 was a great weekend for the annual Military Through the Ages event at Jamestown Settlement. Despite having been out at Newville the previous week and dreading the 7-hour drive, I still felt compelled to attend. I’m glad I did. This was even better than last year. I don’t know if there were more Living History displays this year, but it seemed like it. There were certainly some that I hadn’t seen before. The warm, sunny weather was icing on the cake.

With the recreated Jamestown Settlement as a centerpiece, the living history groups are spread out across the grounds of the museum. Near the Jamestown palisade, there was a substantial Viking encampment. Across the road was their likely nemesis, the Emperor Charlemagne’s troops. I asked one of the guardsmen if the Vikings were a problem and he felt confident that they could handle them.

The Middle Ages encampment included camps from the Hundred Year’s War, the Hussite rebellion and the War of the Roses. It occurred to me that the fifteenth century would have been a miserable time to live. Moving on, there were German mercenaries contemporary with the Jamestown folks and a little later, a couple of groups of privateers. Both crews assured me (tongue in cheek)  that they were not pirates, but honest subjects of the Queen, sailing under letters of marque. A little further down the road were the Sea Rats, who are unabashedly pirates and one of my favorite groups.

Then I came upon a group of Scots who were taking part in the ’45, or the Jacobite Rebellion. While Bonny Prince Charlie was no where to be seen, his loyal followers had a quite nice set-up. Moving into the late 18th century, there were groups representing the British crown and the American colonists. The Continental Army had nice display with a curious field piece which featured a full-sized carriage with a rather small gun. Not being well-versed in the artillery of the period, I was impressed.

The War of 1812 was represented and there was  substantial American Civil War section. As I remember the Union Army engineers won a couple of awards and the Union Navy (USS Aristook) to0k home the reenactor’s choice award. The British army at Roarke’s Drift rounded out the 19th Century.

WWI was represented by the Salvation Army’s Doughnut Dollies as well as the German, American and French armies.  In the postwar period, the Irish-English war of 1920 – 21 was represented by the Irish Republican Army and their opponents, the Black and Tans. Great Display!

WWII saw the Brits at Dunkirk, the German army, our late war Red Army group, British paras of Operation Market Garden and two American GI groups. The Twentieth Century was rounded out by the Vietnam camp which was bigger and more impressive than last year. These guys are mostly Vietnam veterans as well, so this is a particularly poignant display.

The 193rd Rifles won third place for best uniforms in our division, which is an accomplishment given the competition. Being invited to MTA is an honor, so just being here implies that you are good. The final parade of all the units which precedes the honors presentation, serves as the finale of the weekend. This gives everyone a chance to get a good look at the participants in their respective units.

As I have said before, if you haven’t been to this event, you owe it to yourself to go. There are some other timeline events around, but this one is definitely a biggie!


8 responses to “MTA 2010 – Beautiful weather- Great time!”

  1. Mike Momot Avatar
    Mike Momot

    Great piece Jim. Love the Ural motorbike! Unfortunately, I couldn’t make this event due to circumstances I found myself beset with. Actually, I haven’t attended any events since last September for health or other various reasons. Anyway, I thought I’d chime in here and say that it looks like I missed a great event and fine weather…quite unusual for Mud Through The Ages 🙂

    For those that have never attended this event, the standards at MTA are very high and many time periods are well represented. This is an event everyone should get to see at least once. If you are a reenactor and your unit is invited, consider yourself lucky. They only accept the best.

  2. Mike Momot Avatar
    Mike Momot

    Correction…November, Jim. The mind is starting to slip…guess that’s why Volkssturm is so fitting 🙂

  3. Jim Barnes Avatar
    Jim Barnes

    You are right. This event is so good, its addictive!

  4. Michel Avatar

    Seems to be a great Event, Shame is that it´s so far from Germany. Looks a bit like the Military Odyssey in UK. Thats where i go every Year. In Germany we have Events for older and most just one Age. Mine is 17th Century

  5. Jim Barnes Avatar
    Jim Barnes

    Michel, Thanks for your comment. I wish I could attend some of your events in Europe. It would be interesting to compare.

  6. Patch Avatar

    This definitely looks like something I’d be interested in – but at the risk of being a dumbass, just where the hell is Jamestown settlement and when is the next event – Patck

  7. Jim Barnes Avatar
    Jim Barnes

    Jamestown Settlement is just south of Colonial Williamsburg, VA. The next event is March 17-18 2012.

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