The 1st NJ Regt. (Continental) held its 2012 Training Day to kick off the reenacting season at Washington Crossing State Park. As we will be depicting militia at an event in August, some of us wore our civilian kit instead of our blue uniform coats. Mine is a work in progress. The hat and accouterments are quite different from my normal Continental wear - a brown wool felt fantail, a brown 19 hole belly box and a gray "snapsack" - and a spruce green wool civilian frock coat and brown wool weskit are on order. I will be wearing my fascine knife in place of my bayonet as well.
Several of us had the chance to take the company out for a drive, and suddenly my mind went completely blank when called upon to give my first commands. After a lurching start I found my groove, but it was an abject lesson in knowing what to say as well as what to do. Privates are not meant to think or even to anticipate commands, but it is another matter entirely for those who give them.