Friday, September 29, 2017

Featured Sponsor: Judy DeJonge

The fourth sponsor we are pleased to feature is Judy DeJonge.  Judy has generously donated a made-to-order custom bonnet again for 2018.

Judy DeJonge's bonnets are known for thier durability, weather tightness and comfort.  This will be the fourth prize drawn.

The winner will be contacted by Judy shortly after the event to coordinate bonnet details, including color and size, and will receive the bonnet by mail upon completion.

Pictured at top is Rick Seidemann wearing the bonnet he won in the 2017 SOTR raffle. Below is Mike DeJonge wearing a bonnet with a contrasting red band.

For information & pricing, or to order one, send inquiries to:

For prize raffle details or to enter click here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Band of Rugged Foresters...

Captain Rogers, possessing a bold and adventurous spirit, soon mustered a band of rugged foresters, every man of whom, as a hunter, could hit the size of a dollar at a hundred yards distance; could follow the trail of man or beast; endure the fatigues of long marches, the pangs of hunger, and the colds of winter nights, often passed without fire, shelter, or covering, other than their common clothing, a blanket, perhaps a bearskin, and the boughs of the pine or hemlock.
         -Memoir and Official Correspondence of General John Stark.


A Scouting Party of my Militia consisting of a Lieutt & 12 excellent Woodsmen, all disquised like Indians….
       - Ourry to Amherst: Fort Bedford, June 10, 1763.  Bouquet, Vol. IV. 

My orders were to inlist none but such as were used to travelling and hunting...
...nor any but what are able-bodied, well acquainted with the woods, used to hunting, and every way qualified for the Rangeing service...
         - Excerpts from different sets of recruiting instructions recorded in Rogers' Journal

Winchester Advertisement, 22 April, 1756

I do promise and engage to all good Woodsmen, &c. who will enter into the Service of their Country now, for a month or longer; if they will subject themselves to Military discipline, for the time they engage and undertake to do Soldiers Duty, and obey my Orders; That they shall receive Soldiers' pay, ammunition and Provision; and be discharged at the time agreed on. 


Woodsmanship was the foundational skill set of ranging, but tactics and techniques had to be developed to counter an equally skilled adversary.  School of the Ranger participants will explore this adapatation of woodsmanship into partisan tactics & techniques through a guided analysis of numerous period sources online, and via immersive training excercise during the event.  For more information select the Event tab above. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Cloaths talkt of for Rangers

Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "[Rogers, Robert]. To Captain Robert Rogers"The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1755.

Primary sources indicate ranger clothing & equipment of the F&I period varied greatly between ranging companies, and often within a single company over time. Generally speaking, personally supplied civilian clothing & equipment (including hunting coats) were more prevelent at the onset of the conflict, transitioning to military issued items as the war progressed. Context is critical for a representative ranger interpretation as this transition was implemented erratically between units.  Drastic differentiation in issue and resupply are documented and regional availability, cost constraints and logistical considerations were significant limiting factors to true uniformity during this era.  With that being said, evidence indicates certain items necessary for winter woodland service saw widespread adoption and use.

A January 1759 order in the Thomas Gage Papers instructs “Commanders at Several posts along the Hudson River” that  "A third of your garrison is to be trained to go into the Woods when necessary, on which account snowshoes, leggins, moccasins, socks, waistcoats, woolen gloves and caps will be sent them.”  (1)

A stellar overview of these ranging adaptations can be found in the critical material culture study by Artist / Historian Gary Zaboly entitled, Rogers' Rangers and Their Uniforms: Fact to Legend, Legend to Misconceptions in the book, The Annottated and Illustrated Journals of Major Robert Rogers by Timothy J.Todish.  Among the significant variety of collated sources, Mr. Zaboly highlights the correspondece and private notes of Lord Loudoun and other military leaders reagrding "Cloaths talkt of for Rangers," a preliminary list dated November 23, 1757 which includes, "a Match coat Different color from those the French get, Woolen Wastcoat, Britches, Shirt & Roller, Stockings, Shoes, Indian Stockings, For Accoutremnets; Horn & Bag for Bullets, Tomahock and Blanket"  (2)

Lord Loudoun's list was based on input from officers experienced in North American wooded terrain in several theatres between Nova Scotia and Virginia.  Most prominently reccomended indian stockings (woolen leggings) and matchcoats while additional sources often added winter moccasins, woolen caps & mitts or gloves.  Mr. Zaboly's comparative analysis clearly supports the prevelence of these items and the transition to the capot among those British engaged in Woods Service, and illuatrates the vagueness of terms concerning matchcoats, blanketcoats and watchcoats (3).  

Not mentioned by Loudoun but prominent in many ranging sources are tumplines.  These items and others will be examined in greater detail in future posts.

To access the clothing & equipment guidelines for the event click here.

(1). Thomas Gage Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan. Series III: Letter Books and Account Books. Box 1 Volume 1 Letter #2

(2).  Todish, Timothy J.  The Annotated and Illustrated Journals of Major Robert Rogers.  Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns. New York, 2002. pp 302

(3).    pp  297 - 302

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Featured Sponsor: Matt Wulff

Author / Historian Matt Wulff has generously donated autographed copies of his three volume Ranger series, Robert Rogers' Rules for the Ranging Service, and Ranger North American Frontier Soldier volumes 1 & 2, as well as his newest book, Henry Bouquet's Destiny. 

The four books will constitute one prize and be the third item drawn during the raffle.

For information about the raffle; how to enter, or the nonprofit it is supporting, click here.  Tickets are available now.

To follow Matt Wulff, visit the Cumberland County Ranging Company Facebook Group here.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Featured Sponsor: Lawrence Fiorillo; Black Powder Pouches

The second sponsor we are pleased to feature is Lawrence Fiorillo of Black Powder Pouches .

Lawrence describes his donation as a " Backwoods, no-frills hunting pouch, very tightly saddle stitched, fully welted with a 1 1/4" gusset and a small inside flint pocket.  The pouch measures 6.5" wide by 8.5 deep, is considerably aged and conditioned with Catskill Mountain bear grease."

 To see more photos of this bag or other examples of Lawrence's awesome work, please visit his Facebook page at:  Black Powder Pouches
This hunting pouch will be the second prize drawn in the Prize Raffle.  For More details or to enter the raffle, click here:

2018 Prize Raffle


Fort Edward June 20, 1757

The Allowance for one Person for Seven Days Going on a Scout In Lieu of ye three Pintes of Pees 6 oz. of Butter for ye 1/2 lb of Rice they are to Have 1 lb 3 oz of Pork, which Makes their Weeks allowance to be 7 lb of Bread 5 lb 3oz of Pork.

- General Orders of 1757 issued by the Earl of Loudoun & Phineas Lyman in the Campaign Against the French.   

They, as well as the Indians, go out every now & then about six men together, upon a scout to shoot men,... ...& carry their provisions & blankets upon their backs."

- Captain Henry Pringle, 1757.

Contemporary sources indicate 18th C scouting parties were typically issued provisions or rations and alotted time to prepare them prior to heading out.  Reconnoitering parties deployed with foodstuffs "already dressed " to minimize signs of their presence while scouting.

During the pre-event Participant Forum, participants will have the opportunity to review and discuss a broad selection of F&I "scouting-provisions" related Orderly Book, Account Book, & Journal entries from various campaigns to gain a familiarity with the normative practices of the period.

At the Event, participants will be issued an allowance of provisions by mess groups, that they will prepare in period fashion for consumption indoors and while on scouts. Participants are required to furnish thier own rudimentary cookware and will cook in the barracks fireplaces as seen in the photograph above.

For more information, select "the Event" in the drop down menu above.