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Women And the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada (IMUC)
“Campfollowers” are the women, children and men who did not fight, who were part of the military and militia life of the War of 1812.
We portray a militia unit and by the nature of that we do have more women and children than some other units. The role of Campfollower is to support the men and the camp life of the unit. Just as during the war, the Campfollowers cook, mend, sew, nurse wounds, launder and live an existence in a field camp. The Campfollowers with IMUC do all of these and more.
Campfollowers were not usually high in social standing and our clothing and lifestyle aim to portray this social position. During this time period women wore Empire Regency style dresses. The style of clothing in camp is usually suited to campaign life and cooking over an open fire all day. It was also appropriate for women to wear skirt and vest options with a Shortcoat. Women in this time period were modest in attire and attitude. Women were also in the background of many well run camps and our unit is not any different. Our Campfollowers take an active role in cooking historic, period receipts (recipes) using traditional open fire field methods. We have other members who demonstrate needlework, quilting, laundry, calligraphy, child rearing, and everyday camp life. We provide opportunities to learn and develop these skills. We attempt to portray the women of the time including period footwear, outerwear, jewelry selection, and head coverings. At some events where we portray women of a higher social station, such as at a Ladies Tea, and we dress accordingly.
Our Campfollowers today come from diverse backgrounds, professions and interests. Please enjoy the attached photos of our members in camp life.
Camp Life photos can be found at:
Or as a slideshow at:
Do not hesitate to contact us via “Sign Up” or “Contact us” on our site.
Darlene Kingstone Camp Coordinator, 2014