Was there a real Thompson's Company in the War of 1812?
Yup! Thompson's Company was part of the 2nd York Militia during the war... representing current day West End Toronto through to the border area of Oakville, Ontario. You can read more about them at this link (click here) and on the PDF found by clicking here.
Can I join in on the fun?
Yup! Click on the "Join the 2nd" link at the top of this page. Provided you can attend meetings in Mississauaga, are 18 years of age or older (or have parently consent/supervision,) and have a love of history, we'd be happy to have you!
Do you only do military stuff?
Right now, mostly... We do welcome camp followers (civilians in camp with the soldiers) and may branch into some Regency civilian interpretations in the future, but nothing is planned currently.
What War of 1812 events can you take part in?
As well as local (small displays) in and around the 905/416 (Toronto through to Oakville area,) members of The 2nd York (re-enactment regiment) have participated at events at Stoney Creek, Fort George, Fort York, Lundy's Lane, Chippawa, Fort Erie, Fort Niagara, Dunvegan, Fort Wellington, Crysler's Farm, Backus Mill, Fanshawe, Longwoods, and a host of other events and re-enactments.
How much does it cost to join?
Details are available at the "Join the 2nd" link at the top of this page... but the initial cost is somewhere between nothing (zero dollars... we'll help you out initially) and about $500 and up depending on what you wish to do with us. (Again, as of October 2016 and should this change, this page will be updated.)
Can women join?
OF COURSE... and more than just in one capacity! Usually, when this question is asked, it's about women "in the field" or joining in the firing. If you are falling in to a re-enactment, you will need to dress as a male (sorry, history dictated this and we do strive to the appearance of the time, so you need to appear male to join the line in a battle,) but as a camp follower or civilian, you can dress as you wish (period correct to the very early 19th century, of course!) but when dressed as a female civilian, any firing of weapons would be for interpretation or demonstration purposes only.
What's the company's official libation?
What's the company's march?
None historically, but we've adopted Brandywine. (See above...)
What's the difference between the colours of the tunics?
Between 1812 and 1813, men of the York Militia would be issued, when available, green tunics with red facings... or in plainer English, green with red cuffs and collars. In late mid-1814, the standard of tunic given to all militia in Upper Canada started was the inverse... a red tunics with green facings, but you'd still see both in the field with militia units... only officers were ordered to switch to the red coats by 1814. Lower ranks (privates and NCO's - or sergeants and corporals,) were also issued (again, when they were available,) white barracks jackets with red facings which could be used as a spare emergency tunic and work-wear. To make things a tiny bit more problematic is that as militia, not everyone had any uniforms... seeing civilians in the line was not at all that odd.
What's the difference between the colours of those pom-pom things on the hats?
The tall hats with the brass plates were called shakos... which can be pronounced "Shake-Oh" or "Shack-oh" depending on which you prefer... and the pom-pom thing is called a tuft. A red-and-white tuft indicates a soldier in the normal line... or one of the guys in the long line-up that fires. The all white tuft indicates a grenadier... which was usually just a tall fellow who'd be in his group in the centre of the big line or close to the flanks (the sides of the big line). Grenadiers are big scary guys singled out in companies to intimidate. The green tuft is for the light companies... the flankers (guys at the side of the line) or the poor guys made to run out in front of the lines.
I don't know much about this war. How can I find out more?
There are MANY good books on the subject... Anything written by Donald E. Graves is trustworthy as are the excellent books by Richard Feltoe. Although contentious in terms of historical guesswork, I still recommend the two books by the late Pierre Berton which are fun reads and a good basis to build on. There are so many to recommend... perhaps an article in the future will lay them ALL out!
As for film or television, again, there's a lot of stuff out there... from the Gala Films 1812 documentary (and follow up materials) up to and including a comedic doc from CBC...
The BEST advice I can give anyone is to attend a reenactment and tour the encampment and don't be afraid to chat up people on what their favourite sources for information are.
Can I join and use a Taurus Judge for my weapon?
No. We do try to stay as period correct as humanly (and safely) possible.
What's the atomic weight of cobalt?
58.933195 ± 0.000005 u