Since 1963, the recreated 3rd New Jersey has been bringing the history of The American War for Independence to life for children and adults. We help to create interest in the American Revolution by presenting a variety of period military and civilian demonstrations. Visitors to our events become part of a living 18th century scene. They may look at, touch and talk to soldiers and camp followers of the Regiment, thus creating a living history in three dimensions and full color, an experience that can’t be had by watching television or a movie. Our Revolutionary War era comes alive with all of the historically accurate sights, sounds and smells. It’s exciting, authentic education for all ages, something to be long remembered!
The Third New Jersey Regiment was reactivated in 1963 by a small group of dedicated people interested in accurately presenting the New Jersey common soldier during the War of Independence. With its founding, the Regiment became the first member regiment accepted by the Brigade of the American Revolution (BAR). Over the past forty years, the Regiment has grown and expanded, not only in numbers, but also in depth and variety of historical activities. Today, the “Jersey Blues” is one of the most respected living history organizations.
The Third New Jersey Regiment emphasizes the importance of the family with many activities geared toward that goal. Men participate in military drills and exercises, but are also involved in camp crafts. Women accurately present 18th Century cooking and sewing while both men and women are involved in live shooting competitions. Of course, children are involved in many camp activities.
The first organized militia regiment in the Western World was formed in 1673 at Piscataway, New Jersey. It later became part of the British Crown Provincial forces and was known as the “Jersey Blues” as their coats were blue with red lapels. The Third New Jersey Regiment was mustered during the American Revolution and has a claim to be part of the longest history of any U.S. military unit as the name, “Jersey Blues”, continues today with elements of the New Jersey National Guard.
The Third New Jersey Regiment was first established in March of 1776, under Colonel Elias Dayton of Elizabethtown, New Jersey who served with the earlier “Jersey Blues”. Colonel Dayton and a majority of the officers came from Elizabethtown in East Jersey. Most of the rank and file troops were recruited in the southern and western counties.