Historic Reenactor Clothing, Accoutrements, Gear & Other Supplies
Your Reenactor HQ for Authentic Period Shirts, Pants, Moccasins, Hats, Apparel & Gear!
Crazy Crow offers a line of historically authentic ready-made early American clothing and accessories that generally spans the overall muzzleloader era (1740 - 1865). Our shirts, frocks, vests, ponchos, pants, hats, and accessories will have you strutin' your stuff in style at the next rondy or other reenactment!
Our period clothing is based on historical research and is made from authentic fabrics that match the era. From our Longhunter Pull Over Hunting Shirt to our Mountain Man Work Shirt, Drop Sleeve Shirt(or other muzzleloading era pants, shirts, hats, etc.), you can count on looking the part.
What is a historical "Reenactment"?
A typical "reenactment" takes place over a one to three-day period, usually over a weekend (folks have real jobs). Reenactors gather and set up an encampment, using reproductions of tents, cooking equipment and camping gear from the period they represent. Each day of the reenactment, you can visit the encampment, talk with the reenactors and watch demonstrations of everything from open-fire cooking to tomahawk and knife throwing. You can learn to dance or listen to musical performances. You can also shop at a reenactment in a special area called the "sutlers' camp." Here you'll find all kinds of items related to reenacting – everything from swords to tents to hand-sewn dresses.
The highlight of a reenactment is usually a particular battle or historic event on which it is based. Spectators head to a field or viewing area to watch the reenactors gather and fight "the" battle. Everything is as authentic as participants can make it, from uniforms and weapons to the battle formations. Of course, the reenactors don't fire real bullets, but they do fire their weapons, using black powder, so things can get loud and smoky.
Reenactments aren't just for men, of course. At a typical reenactment, you'll also see women and children in period costume. You might attend a Civil War fashion show or a colonial sewing circle. Ladies' teas and other demonstration social events are very popular.
The "History" of Historic Reenactments
Historic "reenactment" have a long history. The Romans staged recreations of famous battles within their amphitheaters as a form of public spectacle. In the Middle Ages, tournaments often reenacted historical themes from Ancient Rome or elsewhere. Military displays and mock battles and reenactments first became popular in 17th century England. In the nineteenth century, historical reenactments became widespread, reflecting the romantic interest in the Middle Ages of the times. Medieval culture was widely admired as an antidote to the modern enlightenment and industrial age that was beginning to spread.
Reenactments of battles became more commonplace in the late 19th century, both in Britain, and in America. Within a year of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, survivors of U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment reenacted the scene as a series of still photographic poses. In America, modern reenacting is thought to have begun during the 1961–1965 Civil War Centennial commemorations. Reenacting grew in popularity during the 1980s and 1990s, due in large part to the success of the 125th Anniversary reenactment near the original Manassas battlefield, which was attended by more than 6,000 reenactors.
Many cottage industries have sprung up to provide not only the materials but also the finished product for use by reenactors. Uniforms and clothing made of hand woven, natural dyed materials are sewn by hand or machine using the sartorial techniques of the period portrayed. Crazy Crow Trading Post has developed and manufactured many of these products and accortrements. Detailed attention to authenticity in design and construction is given equally as well to headgear, footwear, eyewear, camp gear, accoutrements, military equipment, weapons and so on. These items provide the participant a realistic experience in the use of materials, tailoring and manufacturing techniques that are as close to authentic as possible.
Popular US Reenactment Periods
The French and Indian War
The French and Indian War (1754-1763) was the North American chapter of the Seven Years' War. The name refers to the two main enemies of the British: the royal French forces and the various American Indian forces allied with them. The conflict, the fourth such colonial war between the kingdoms of France and Great Britain, resulted in the British conquest of all of New France east of the Mississippi River, as well as Spanish Florida.
The American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), was the culmination of the political American Revolution, whereby the colonists overthrew British rule. In 1775, Revolutionaries seized control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up the Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. The following year, they formally declared their independence as a new nation, the United States of America. In early 1778, shortly after an American victory at Saratoga resulting in the surrender of an entire British army, France signed treaties of alliance with the new nation, and declared war on Britain that summer; Spain and the Dutch Republic also went to war with Britain over the next two years.
The War of 1812
The War of 1812 lasted for two-and-a-half years, between the United States and the United Kingdom, its North American colonies and its American Indian allies. The war resolved many issues which remained from the American Revolutionary War but involved no boundary changes. The United States declared war for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by the British war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honor after humiliations on the high seas and possible American interest in annexing British North American territory (part of modern-day Canada).
Mountain Man Fur Trade Era, Frontiersmen, Longhunters & Trekkers
Early North America history centers around the trade for animal skins. North of present day Mexico, the vast territory of the United States and Canada was explored, wars were fought, and Indian cultures destroyed in the pursuit of the Mountain Man Indian Fur Trade. Despite the European fur trade encompassing a wide variety of fur bearing animals and a much wider time line, mountain men and the mountain man rendezvous are often synonymous with beaver and the Rocky Mountain rendezvous held between 1825 and 1840.
A Longhunter was an 18th-century explorer and hunter who made expeditions into the American frontier wilderness for as much as six months at a time. Parties of two or three men (rarely more) usually started their hunts in October and ended toward the end of March or early in April. Information gathered by longhunters in the 1760s and 1770s proved critical to the early settlement of Tennessee and Kentucky. Many longhunters were employed by land surveyors seeking to take advantage of the departure of the French from the Ohio Valley at the end of the Seven Years War. Some later helped guide settlers to Middle Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky.
Period trekking is a phrase recently coined to describe the act of a person going into the woods on a camping-like adventure using only items that would have been available to their specific time period. No group required!
The American Civil War
Reenacting the Civil War began in earnest during the 1961-1965 Civil War centennial commemorations. These battles and events found a receptive audience, but public interest in reenactments faded by the late 1960s. Living history reenacting later grew due to the popularity of the 125th Anniversary Battles series (1986-1990) and the 130th Anniversary Battles series (1991-1995). Many historic battles and events were re-created during the 140th Anniversary Battles series (2001-2005), as well as the (2006-2010) 145th Battles Anniversary series which included more realistic reenactments of major battles such as Antietam and Gettysburg. Now, of course, things are ramping up for the 150th Anniversary series.