INTERESTED IN JOINING?
Looking for a new hobby? Napoleonic re enactment is a brilliant hobby for all, whether it's something to do on your own, or for you to bring the family along!
No need to worry that you don't have the kit, we can fully kit you out to start with, and you'll be very welcome around our campfire. The French are a fascinating bunch to portray in this period of history!
Interested? Contact us here or on our social media for more information and feel free to ask any questions! Vive l'Empereur!
What roles are there?
Fusilier - The most important part of an infantry regiment is the men that make up the rank and file. Fusiliers are standard line infantrymen that make up the majority of an infantry regiment in the Napoleonic French army. In the 21eme, we do welcome women to join the ranks as a Fusilier so long as they can try their best to look like a bloke!
Tambour - The Tambour, or drummer, was a vitally important role in the armies of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. In the French army, the drummers dictated the military day through drum beats and calls that were ordained in the Ordonnances of 1754. These calls were used right through the latter half of the 18th Century and throughout the Napoleonic Wars. The tambours' job included beating to assemble the troops, call the troops for meals and, in battle, the drummers beat "La Charge" when the battalion was advancing into combat
Camp Followers - The regiments of Napoleon's French army had women authorised to provide services as sutlers or canteen keepers. Their actual historic function included selling wine and other items to the troops and working in canteens. These ladies were typically called Vivandieres during the First Empire. Other women attached to regiments were washer women, and were called Blanchisseuse.
"Good infantry is without doubt the sinews of an army..." - Napoleon Bonaparte
The fusilier is the rank and file of the infantry battalion. Dressed in the blue military uniform of the army, equipped with a backpack containing all his belongings, uniform and tools. He is armed with a flintlock musket, the Model 1777 corrected in the year IX (1800).
"The drums beat a charge loud enough to break their drumheads in. The drums and music mingled together. It was enough to make a paralytic move forward!" - Jean-Roch Coignet on the advance of the Old Guard up the Pratzen Heights at the Battle of Austerlitz.
The role of a tambour isn't as simple as beating a drum to a marching rhythm. It requires the will to learn the drum calls and dedication to put the practice in. We welcome anyone wishing to join as a tambour that is willing to take the role seriously and put in the work to make their drumming truly impressive! We have the documents and expertise to help train new tambours!
"In camp, the canteen tent serves as the company salon, tavern, coffee house' it is the central meeting point. We play, we drink, we smoke..." Elzear Blaze
For anyone wishing to join as a camp follower, there are two named roles, Vivandiere (also known as cantiniere), and Blanchisseuse. The former were sutlers, selling goods to the troops in the regiment, while the latter were washerwomen that washed the dirty linens of the soldiers for a price.
We have all the documentation to help anyone wishing to join as one of these roles create an authentic impression as one of the many intrepid women that followed the Grande Armee on its campaigns!