I am not at all sure my ancestors Matthias and Aaron Ogden would have recognized much of themselves in their descendant this weekend as I donned my gay apparel and fell in with Odgen's Ist NJ Continentals for Training Day. It was a fine day nonetheless. Here I stand with a borrowed Brown Bess and early pattern 3rd NJ drab and blue uniform coat, cartridge box and bayonet. I managed to pull together the rest of my clothes myself, though the blue breeches will need a complete overhaul (fortunately I only paid for the buttons and buckles so can afford to have a better seamstress make the replacement pair). The mustache will also have to go for the campaign season, though some of my comrades keep their facial hair however anachronistic it may be.
I found myself wanting to do the manual of arms left handed, but did not utterly disgrace myself in the line, which because I am 5'7" has me sized for front rank, dead center. My firelock misfired about half the time, though whether from a dull flint or my inexpertise in priming the pan I cannot say. I learned a great deal and the other members of the unit were very supportive.
This is a fine group of fellows, good fun and good living historians. I am very much looking forward to the encampment at Monmouth Court House in Freehold, NJ on June 19th-20th. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of the soldiers and distaff of the 1st NJ (Col. Ogden's) for your viewing pleasure.