The English Civil War Society of America is a non-profit organization dedicated to the researching and accurate portrayal of the Royalist and Parliamentary armies, which fought between 1639 and 1651. The society is run and organized in a military fashion by volunteers based upon the historical structure of the seventeenth century armies of the English Civil Wars and the twentieth century requirements of the society. The governing body of the organization is the Inner Council, which is also its Board of Directors.
The Society consists of two armies which are based on the actual sides that fought in the conflict - "the King's Army" (Cavaliers) who fought for King Charles I and "The Army of Parliament" (Roundheads) that rebelled against the monarchy.
The 'armies' consist of regiments, some locally based while others have a wider distribution. Each regiment has a distinct identity based on an original English Civil War regiment. These regiments would have been funded gentlemen of some substance. The modern counterpart relies upon the skills, ingenuity and self-sufficiency of its members for its economic stability.
This is a society in which the commitment of the member determines the degree of enjoyment gained. Basically, you get out what you put in!
Membership in the English Civil War Society is not as costly as you might suppose and compares to other living history re-enactment organizations. The uniform of the English Civil War soldier was basically simple and most items can be easily made or purchased at moderate prices within the society. The society handbook that members receive upon joining contains everything about the English Civil War as it pertains to them, form rules and background to drill and patterns for the uniform and accoutrements. Each regiment has developed its own system of assisting the new member and advice is always forthcoming.
The armies are organized in true seventeenth century fashion, but all officers are promoted from the ranks, and opportunity presents itself to a keen recruit! Those who provide for the needs of the soldiers and indulge in the non-military aspects of the seventeenth century are as welcome as those who could trail a pike, ride with the cavalry, carry a musket beat a drum or service a piece of ordinance.
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