Civil War Top 100

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Recruiting Office

The recreated 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry is actively recruiting new members to its ranks and with the Civil War Sesquicentennial observance now upon us, there couldn't be a better time than now to learn about this defining period in American history by living it. 

Image of Lt. WoodsOurs is one of the largest and longest serving Civil War living history units in the Northeast, currently numbering more than 70 military members from all six New England states, other parts of the country, and even one Canadian province.

We accurately portray Union infantrymen by outfitting ourselves with authentic reproduction uniforms, weapons and accoutrements, maintaining a military bearing at all times, excelling in drill and battlefield tactics, and avoiding 21st century anachronisms.

The Web site you are visiting now provides a good deal of information about the original regiment, the unit today, and reenacting in general. Our recruiting video is a good starting point.  Next, you'll want to review the following pages:  

You might also want to read "The Little Book of Civil War Reenacting" (download the PDF here) by William J. Watson of Broken Lance Enterprises, who has authored and edited several books to help people with an interest in living history get the most out of it, including "Seize the (Reenacting) Day."

Perhaps after all of this reading, you'll have decided to enlist in the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, in which case, all you'll need to do is:

  • Demonstrate sincere interest in Civil War history and a desire to portray the period accurately. Although our impression is of an Irish unit, you do not need to be of Irish ancestry to field with us.

  • Be 16 years of age or older to field as an infantryman, at least 12 to serve as a functional musician, and join along with an adult sponsor, meaning a parent or guardian, if under 18.  Membership in the Irish Soldiers Relief Society is available for those wishing to portray wartime civilians.

  • Complete an enlistment form and send it to the unit with $35 (annual dues of $25 and a recruit fee of $10).
Once you join the 28th Massachusetts, a couple of things will happen.  First, we'll set you up to receive all regimental communications and introduce you to other members of the unit.  Then, we'll assign you a mentor: a veteran from our ranks who will be your "go-to guy" for whatever advice and assistance you might need as you prepare to take the field with us and participate in your first several events.

Next, it's time to "kit up."  We like to see new members acquire their basic uniform and equipment within one year of enlistment. This shows us their commitment. We do have limited items available for loan, to help recruits through their early events, but certain items, such as brogans (shoes) and trousers, should really be purchased from the get-go.

I have fielded with the 28th Massachusetts for a decade and can honestly tell you that serving in the regiment is not only one of the best things I have ever done, but also has introduced me to most of my closest friends.

As with anything else, you get out of Civil War living history what you put into it. The men of the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry hope that if you decide to join our ranks, you will put your all into learning the drill, looking the part, and honoring the memory of the original regiment.

Please send me a telegram if you cannot find the answers to your questions on this Web site, or want to begin a conversation about reenacting with the 28th Massachusetts.

Your servant, &c.,

  Lt. Woods Signature
Lt. John Woods
Recruiting Officer
28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

P.S. You can help us add to our ranks by distributing our recruiting posters in your community.

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