HM Sloop Otter Inc
 Isle of Wight County Militia

Isle of Wight County Militia

On occasion, the OTTER crew opts to alter its impression to that of militia in order to participate in events that originally did not have a naval presence. When asked to do so, we attend as the Isle of Wight County (Virginia) militia. The purpose of the Isle of Wight County Militia is primarily to educate the public about the actions and events involving the men of Isle Wight and its surrounding counties during the American War of Independence in the lower counties of Virginia. We attempt to honor the memory of these patriots, as well as their families, who endured their absence from their homes, shops, and farms during their service to defend them from invasion. The clothing worn by members is not specific to sailors. Period documentation indicates that it was also worn by the laborer classes as well. In light of this, our impression requires very little alteration to make the jump from sailor to militiaman. Any change to our sailor kit when portraying militia is minimul, and may only entail the use of a tricorn or round "floppy" hat in lieu of the "tarred" round sailor's hat. However, members are encourged to alter their wordrobe (on an optional basis) to include a variety of typical 18th century clothing when portraying militia.

As for arms and equipment, we only carry onto the field those items that would have been used by militia troops: musket with bayonet and cartridge box. For our militia impression only, haversacks are allowed on an event by event basis. And as always, a canteen is required before anyone can take the field.

If you share our interest in the militia during the American Revolution, and think you would like to give reenacting a try, contact us at for a membership form and Soldier's Manual.

"...By the express directions of the Honorable Major General, the Baron de Stueben, Colonel Josiah Parker is authorized to collect the militia of the counties of Isle of Wight, Nansemond, Princess Ann and such proportions as he may see cause, and to arrange, officer and regiment them as he may think proper..."

Gen. Robert Lawson to Col. Josiah Parker, January 1781

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