HM Sloop Otter Inc
Fort Norfolk Garrison Fort Norfolk Garrison

Fort Norfolk Garrison

One of the more neglected conflicts in American history is the War of 1812. In an attempt to help educate the public about this important era in or nations past, we in the crew of HM Sloop OTTER participate in various War of 1812 events in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, as well as at other sites around the country.

We have two primary impressions; The 20th U.S. Regiment, and the 2nd Virginia Regiment of Militia, as the Fort Norfolk Garrison, 1812-1815 A company of the 20th U.S. saw duty at old Fort Norfolk during the Chesapeake campaign. The 20th also saw action in the northern theater. The 2nd Va. Regiment of Militia was formed at Fort Norfolk, and saw action in the Battle of Craney Island.

The Fort Norfolk Garrison considers itself a family friendly unit, while at the same time abiding by a set of uniform and conduct standards that will assure a high level of authenticity. Our uniforms are constructed with appropriate period-correct fabrics, by hand when seams are visible. Through research and documentation the accouterments and weapons we use are as close as possible to that actually used during the War of 1812. Our desire to recreate the troops stationed at Fort Norfolk accurately is such that these standards will be upheld. And when you think about it, if this is done to the best of our ability, we can step back and take pride that we are doing our best.

Levels of participation

There are two levels of participation in the Fort Norfolk Garrison, 1812-1815. Entry level is that of a Militiaman in the 2nd Virginia Regiment of Militia. The new member will be required to obtain / assemble a basic militia kit based on the regulations set forth by Governor Barber in January 1812 for Virginia Militia forces.

The next level of progression in the Fort Norfolk Garrison is that of Regular as a private in the 20th U.S. regular infantry. Our 20th U.S. impression is intended to be much more "progressive" in nature in that we require an elevated level of authenticity in uniforming and equipment. Because of this, unit members are not required to advance to this level to participate in the Fort Norfolk Garrison, it is strictly voluntary, though encouraged.

So, if you are willing to abide by our standards of authenticity and would like join us, welcome! Contact us at for a membership form and a copy of the Soldier's Manual.

Historical Impressions

HM Sloop Otter sailor - Royal Navy Sailor during the American Revolutionary War.

Isle of Wight County Militia - a militiaman from southeastern Virginia during the American Revolution

Fort Norfolk Garrison, 1812 - 1815 - A soldier in the 20th U.S. Regiment, or a militiaman in the 2nd Virginia Regiment of Militia.

Members can be involved in all of these impressions or just one of them.

For further information we can be contacted at