Tag Archives: The First Muster

17th Century Musketeer Drill

While speaking of Colonial-era militias, much emphasis is placed on the use of firelocks with their related “12 Apostles” but to be sure, many 17th Century town militia forces had to fall back on the old staple of the Hundred Years’ War and Burgundian Wars– the pike. There was good reason for this as firearms of any type from this period were expert’s weapons.

And the drill for these weapons was serious, as demonstrated by this superb reenactment video courtesy of the Massachusetts National Guard, featuring the Salem Trayned Band:

Happy B-day, National Guard

Not counting French and Spanish colonial militias, the first muster of what later evolved into the U.S. Army National Guard occurred 13 December 1636, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s General Court ordered the colony’s unorganized militia, consisting of all males between the ages of 16 and 60, organized into three permanent units– the North, South and East Regiments– to better provide for the common defense.

The First Muster By Don Troiani National Guard traces the traditional foundation to the East Regiment in Salem, the regiment formed as part of three organized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636-37

“The First Muster” by Don Troiani, via the U.S. National Guard Bureau. The early colonial militia drilled once a week and provided guard details each evening to sound the alarm in case of attack.

The Guard has evolved much since then, especially in the wake of the Total Force concept after Vietnam. My son-in-law, long a member of the 155th ABCT, has deployed to the sandbox many more times than his family would like to talk about.

Happy 384th!