In June of 1995 Pete and I visited our first Revolutionary War encampment at Grant Park in South Milwaukee. We were so impressed we decided to get more information. Pete talked with Bill Burke and he introduced us to Frank and Judy Wicker. Frank and Judy were extremely helpful and invited us to camp with them at Pioneer Village in Fredonia. They supplied us with clothing and gave us some useful advise. Pete and I had so much fun, we decided to join as LIV for one summer and see if our enthusiasm continued.
With Judy's assistance I made some basic women's clothing and we made plans to attend Vincennes in May of 1996 with Hamilton's Artillery. Bill and Marilyn Hess supplied a uniform for Pete and we were trained in the safety and operation of the "Big Gun." Pete and I are both prior 20th -century military people and therefore found the battlefield very exciting. Bill and Marilyn were happy to help us maintain our enthusiasm in the Rev. War and made us feel welcome.
After our experience at Vincennes, we camped with the Brunswickers at Chiwaukee in Kenosha. I had to work on Saturday, so Pete camped without me for the first day. The weather did not cooperate and the event was cancelled on Sunday. Gary Weigel felt bad about this and invited us to join them for another event in the future.
We camped with the Brigade of Guards in June at Grant Park, and in July we went to Vernon Hills with Bowman's Company. During these events we talked with as many people as we could and gathered a lot of information and advise. Some was useful, some was not. But by this time we had decided to join one of the units, the question was which one.
In July we were invited to camp with the Brunswickers again at Cantigny. It was a beautiful weekend. I helped cook and Pete had fun on the battlefield with the troops.
By Labor Day we had gone full circle, and were back at Fredonia camping with the 2nd Light Dragoons. Kathy and Clayton Tollefson are wonderful people and we had a great time. Fortunately, most units we Camped with supplied Pete with a uniform and by this time I had nearly finished sewing my own outfit. At Feast of the Hunter's Moon we camped with Hamilton's Artillery again. What a great way to end a wonderful summer! We appreciate the LIV program and want to thank everyone for their assistance. Through this program we met many people in the NWTA who enriched our experience and helped us make a decision about which unit we wanted to join.
The LIV program is an excellent opportunity for people who are interested in re-enacting to experience the events before they make a final decision. Marilyn Hess and I will be working hard to keep the LIV program alive. We encourage you to assist prospective new members by offering information, answering questions, and sharing knowledge.
We look forward to seeing all of you this summer as we have joined Braunschweig Regiment Von Riedesel.