The Napoleonic Wars took place over a 12-year span and involved most of Europe. Napoleonic reenactments take place all over the world in countries such as Russia, United States, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and others. There are numerous battles that are reenacted every year. Most reenactors focus on a certain time period or battle since there are so many!
Napoleonic Reenactments Organizations
For over 30 years the Napoleonic Association has been organizing reenactments that focus on the time span of the French Revolution to the 1815 Battle of Waterloo. The association organizes reenactments that take place in England, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, France and Malta. The association is made up of three sections, research, re-enactment or war gaming. For war gaming there are the French forces and the British forces. The French Brigade is made up of three elements, which are cavalry, infantry and artillery. The British forces are called “The King's Brigade.” The subdivisions of The King's Brigade are the Guards division, the County, the Reserves, the Cavalry, and the Artillery Battery.
One of the largest Napoleonic reenactment organizations in North America is Brigade Napoleon. The organization is open to troops of all nations and the members consider themselves like-minded friends. They have eleven active units with over 120 members. In order to be a member you have to be part of a unit with at least two paid members. You have to portray a unit from 1792 to 1815. In order to take the field at an event, Brigade Napoleon requires the unit to have reenactors insurance coverage, which is available through the organization.
Women are allowed to participate mostly as wives or camp followers. Some clubs allow women to wear a uniform and participate in battle and combat reenactments. Many clubs offer training that includes infantry drills, shooting muskets and the use of other weaponry. Understanding muskets are a requirement to participate in a reenactment to ensure the safety of participations. In the UK a shotgun license and a black powder license are required.
To be a part of these Napoleonic reenactments the main requirement is an interest in Napoleonic Wars. Many people find the Napoleonic Wars as a great place to start exploring their reenactment hobby. With so many diverse groups and battles there is something for everyone! Look online to find a group near you!