Reecreating the Snowshoemen

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The Recreated Harmon’s Company of Snowshoemen

Welcome! We are an Mid-18th century military reenactment group based in New England. We draw members from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York. Harmon's Company of Snowshoemen was formed in 1994 in preparation of the Grand Encampment at Fortress Louisbourg in 1995. Most members were veteran revolutionary war reenactors, but had hung up their redcoats in favor of the uniform of Billy Yank and the American Civil War in the mid 1980's. However, we never lost our affinity for the 18th Century and we didn't want to see our flintlocks collect any more dust hanging on the wall. By 1994, the long rumored Louisbourg event looked like it would finally become a reality and we were not going to miss it for the world. We welcomed the opportunity to become involved in an earlier time period and to make the trip to Cape Breton.

In his research, our founder, a historian and fellow reenactor, discovered a group on men who took part in the Louisbourg expedition from York, Maine. These men were lead by John Harmon and the company consisted of veteran snowshoemen. These snowshoe soldiers patrolled the harsh New England frontier and protected the settlements from the almost constant fighting and incursions by the French and their Indian allies. You can learn more about these men on our Historical Background Page. The skills and style of fighting employed by the snowshoemen was that of their Indian enemies. They had to be ready to fight at a moment's notice and in all types of weather and conditions. This included winter campaigns, which were conducted on snowshoes, and the name stuck.

The Snowshoemen often conducted raids and scouts deep into the New England interior. New Englanders, under the leadership of men like Benjamin Church, Samuel Willard and Charles Frost had learned to adopt Indian fighting skills after the hard lessons of King Philip's War, 1675-76. This war witnessed the near destruction of the New England colony. King Philip's war set the military tone in New England for the next 100 years. New Englanders were to become more vigilant against Indian raids, and on constant guard. The fighting and raids did not stop as England and France battled for control over the new world in a series of 18th century wars. During each of these French Wars snowshoemen and snowshoe companies were employed.
In our recreated unit we strive to portray these men as accurately as possible. This includes the attitude, material culture and knowledge of 18th Century New England life. To us, the recreated unit is a journey...we constantly look to improve our impressions, and research the life of the snowshoemen. If you are interested in our unit, we would like to meet you, we have included our event schedule on this web-site. Stop by and visit us. While, we are not a unit that actively recruits new members, on occasion we have met folks along the way that have shown an interest in joining our group. We would love to chat about it

Please feel free to contact Paul or Steve for more info.