Revolutionary War re-enactors camped out over the weekend at the Peter Wentz Farmstead in Worcester for winter tactical training, preparing for another season of events. Tom Vogeley of Bowie, Maryland was there with the First New Jersey Regiment.
He was armed with a long stick that has a sharp-pointed steel blade at the end.
“This is something called a spontoon. It kind of looks like a spear. Officers would carry these. It was generally the weapon that lieutenants and captains would carry. Washington ordered everyone to start carrying these because if the officers carried muskets they had a bad habit of getting involved in the shooting instead of directing the shooting, which is of course what the officers should be doing. This is good for personal defense, but it’s not an offensive weapon. This way I can mind giving the men the orders to fire or march around or whatever else we need them to do.”
Vogeley says the spontoon is a good defensive weapon for an officer because it’s a little bit longer than the bayonet at the end of a soldier’s musket. He says the First New Jersey and Sixth Pennsylvania Regiments were at the Peter Wentz Farmstead, along with a couple of other units, training for re-enactments through the spring, summer and fall up and down the East Coast from New England to the Carolinas and Georgia.