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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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United States citizens in the early 19th century took pride in the fact that their country did not depend upon a standing professional army. The nation instead entrusted its military safety to the patriotism and skill of volunteer militias composed of local farmers, craftsmen and tradesmen. Towns held militia, or "training days" two or three times a year, usually in the fall and spring. Many men bitterly resented having to come out for training days. Militia companies consequently were generally poorly trained and often rowdy. Some men, however, enjoyed military drill and martial exercises. This is a uniform of the Franklin Cadets which were a crack volunteer company of militia from Deerfield, Massachusetts, organized in 1823. It belonged to Charles Jones who wore it in 1845. The Cadets cut dashing figures and enlivened many gatherings with their precision marching and firing.
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