Civilians

Who We Are

The Civilian impression includes all camp personnel such as farriers, sutlers, craftsmen, wagoners, carpenters, wives, kids and loved ones of the soldiers. They sewed and washed clothes, nursed wounded, prepared meals, transported goods, built and repaired equipment. They also fought in several battles of the war.

The War Effort

The efforts to win the Revolutionary War were not just those of soldiers, but also a hearty group of civilians.  Called camp followers, distaff or civilians, these men, women and children were the loved ones of the soldiers, and played an important part of American’s victory.  Beyond cooking, mending and washing clothes, these civilians were blacksmiths, carpenters, cobblers, coopers, farriers,  sutlers, tailors, and wagoners. Boys and girls were messengers and scout.  Women and children defended their homes and their camps against the British. They brought water to the soldiers in battle, repaired equipment, nursed the wounded and more. Without civilians, America’s victory might have been hard to achieve.

At Reenactments

During events, civilians will play an active role. Men, women and children can support the cause either on the battlefield or in camp.  We may bring water to the solders during battle, defend our homes, or have kangaroo courts.  In camp cooking, mending, and laundry are common activities, but an impromptu sewing or stocking knitting lesson may pop up, or the opportunity to teach soldiers to read.   Tradesmen may mend the cooperage, shoe a lame horse, or build a shelter. All the while, our civilians will educate and entertain the public.  

Contact Us

Drop us a line!

Better Yet! Come Join Us!

We can bring history to your classroom. Invite us to your next reenactment or historic event.


We welcome newcomers.  Together, we can learn more about your character, develop the associated skills, and round out the kit.  Civilians will be able to tap the expertise of others in the group.  We have cooks, knitters, seamstresses, spinners, laundry women, and others willing to share their trades. The civilian group strives to be inclusive, welcoming, sharing, and caring. 

HIA Foundation, Inc