What is a Campfollower?

Most people assume that a "Campfollower" means something disreputable.  But during the 18th century, a campfollower was not a slang term for a woman of "questionable character."

During the American War for Independence, a campfollower was anyone -- male or female -- who Followed the Continental Army. Some followed because they had family members enlisted, and perhaps had no other place else to go.

Some were hired to follow and served in the capacity of laundresses, seamstresses, and cooks. Some served as Sutlers (merchants selling goods). And yes, there were "those" ladies as well. But keep in mind that some of the officers had their wives with them, and they, too, fall into the category of campfollower, including Martha Washington.
Campfollower Activities:
* Cooking * Sewing and Mending uniforms * Churning butter * Knitting * Making thread buttons * Weep, tell tales of woe * Gaming * Bathing small children * Simple basketry * Drop Spinning * Lucetting * Tape Weaving * Singing, playing period instrument * Making Candles * Foraging * Writing letters for illiterate soldiers * Checking each other for vermin * Gathering kindling & wood * Fetching Water
* Teaching children to sew, knit. lucet, etc. * Attending to the sick

Battle Re-enactments

Duties of a soldier include participation in the battle tactics and firing of weapons, shouting insults at the enemy, assisting a wounded comrade, and falling down wounded or dead.

Some of our Unit's events are reenactments of battles that occurred during the Revolutionary War, often on the very site of the historic battle. Some battles are "Tacticals" where no battle took place, so the commanders improvise a battle based on 18th Century military tactics. Adult campfollowers may be allowed to bandage the wounded and remove them from the field, retrieve dropped accoutrements, offer the men water or wet compresses, stand behind the lines assisting as the wounded are removed, and act agitated and concerned. Soldier Activities: * Marching and Drilling * Mending uniforms and accoutrements * Leatherwork * Laundry * Cleaning firearms
* Marching and Drilling * Guard Duty * Fetching Water * Sharpening knives
* Starting a fire with flint and steel
​* Making Char-cloth * Shaving
* Marching and Drilling * Carving a spoon * Gathering kindling, chopping wood * Gaming -- Cards, dice, and puzzles * Brush & air clothing * Repairing camp equipment * Write a letter if "literate" * Dictating a letter if "illiterate" * Telling stories
​* Marching and Drilling

* Grumble, grumble, grumble 


Experience 18th century life non-stop! Encampments include the setting up of tents and camp gear, laying out personal equipment and portraying life in an 18th century camp as authentically as possible. There is no shortage of activities at this type of event.

Camp Life during a Reenactment or Encampment

The 6th Pennsylvania Regiment