Members of the Quintin Kennedy Detachment in the 21st Century

The QKD comprises a group of veteran reenactors looking to excel in the hobby. We have focused on the French and Indian War although we have occasionally participate in Rev. War events. We are geographically scattered around the Northeast and attend events from Niagara to Old Trenton Barracks to Crown Point to Ligonier. Some of us perform and/or present individually as well for organization such as schools and historical societies.

In addition to many of our members having more than one persona, the group itself has two personas. Our primary persona is a representation of the various detachments Kennedy led out of Fort Edward and Crown Point. Fortunately, history allows us much latitude in this regard and we have representation for the Highlanders, Connecticut Provincials, Gage’s 80th (dressed as a native), Rangers, and the 60th Royal Americans.

There are times, particularly at larger events such as Ticonderoga, where the “mixed bag” appearance of our Detachment doesn’t fit well into the perspective of the event. For those occasions we have chosen to portray the 60th because they were just about everywhere. It also helps these events as the number of redcoats is often lower than ideal.

Bill Filkins

My name is William C. Filkins I have been involved in reenacting since 1988 when I started shooting blackpowder rifles back in Oregon. I now live in upstate New York with my wife and daughter. We enjoy going to a range of events including rondezvous where we can compete with flintlocks, tomahawks, and archery. I also enjoy blacksmithing, and I keep my home and my unit equipped with a variety of useful items to help with cooking over the fire.

I became a member of Rogers Rangers in 2000 but when Wade was talking about creating the QKD, I jumped at the chance to join. I enjoy dressing as a native scout, especially at the Lake George Tactical, and the QKD was a good fit for that.

I have chosen the persona of Private John Humphreys detached to Captain Q. Kennedy.I also serve as Captain Kennedys batman (a Captain would be allowed to hire a private soldier as a butler if you will to see to his chores and keep his camp and equipment up to par).

Bill's persona: Pvt. Humphreys

Jay Feidler

Living in Lexington MA during the bicentennial gave me an early love for colonial American history. A well read copy of The Northwest Passage which I received for Christmas a couple of years later focused that interest on the French and Indian Wars
and Colonial Rangers. Twenty years later, a pre-mid-life crisis started my reenacting with ten years in a group portraying Rogers Rangers. I participated in many exciting and unique events over those years and enjoyed it immensely. During that time I read as much material as I could to help me present a lmore realistic view of life in the British Army during the French and Indian War than my earlier impressions. I found that I wanted to expand my reenacting beyond the company of rangers. The QKD offered me a chance to do just that.

Jay's persona: Hugh MacKenzie

Michael Hagen

Originally from the UK, I’ve been re-enacting since 1985 when I joined Sir Thomas Blackwell’s Regiment of Foot, a Royalist regiment in the English Civil War Society, and continued re-enacting through college with ‘History Alive!’—the Oxford University Living History Society—including a term as its president.

After moving to the USA I took a hiatus from re-enacting for a few years, eventually becoming involved with the same unit of Roger’s Rangers as Sarah, Wade, and Jay, while searching for a local (downstate New York) Revolutionary War British or Loyalist unit to join. I quickly became aware of the French and Indian War re-enactment community, of which I had been previously oblivious, and was soon happily at home in the mid-C18th and a charter member of the QKD.

I’ve been fascinated with this period since reading T. H. White’s The Age of Scandal – a brilliant introduction to the passions and prejudices of the time and a good starting point for anyone looking for insight into the C18th world.

Michael's persona: Lt. Archibald Hamilton

Ryan Ott

A childhood spent growing up in Northeastern OH - and college years spent in Western PA - gave me a deep appreciation for the lore and rich history of our early frontiers, in what was then the Ohio Country.  I can vividly remember reading Cooper’s Leatherstocking tales at night when I was supposed to be doing homework, and of course, acting out those wilderness adventures with my siblings and friends.  I eventually went on to study marine biology and fine art, and lived in San Francisco for several years before life swept me back East, where I lived in Baltimore, and eventually Philadelphia. 

Returning to the fertile roots of our nation allowed me to rediscover my affection for colonial American history.  Having had some theatrical experience in school, I decided I needed to express my growing historical zeal in the form of living history, with my initial experience re-enacting as a Revolutionary War Scottish Highlander beginning in ‘02.  Fortunately, immersing myself in the exploits of 1770’s Highlanders quickly led me to their 1750’s forefathers, whose equally fantastic adventures increased my appetite for a wider and richer understanding of our 18th Century past. 

After meeting most of the current QKD membership during several outings as an F&I ranger, I was fortunate to be invited to join the QKD in ’07, and I am absolutely delighted to be reenacting alongside a fine group of dedicated friends, who are equally passionate about recreating an exciting, colorful and deeply stirring past.

Ryan's persona:  Johann Christian Ott

Sarah Melcher

I have been reeancting since 1999, when I saw my first French and Indian War reenactment at Fort Ticonderoga. I was led to that event, through a strong desire to learn about the history showing in the movie Last of the Mohicans (I'm definitely not unique there) . Part way through that event at Fort Ti, I found myself sinking in the reenacting quicksand. I originally joined a group of Rogers Rangers but after 6 years with that group, several of us split off to start doing something different, forming the QKD.

I was intrigued by the concept of doing a detachment because that is something completely missing in the reenactment community, where thre is a strong need to identify with a single group and to be identified as a uniform group. A detachment would consist of people from multiple military groups and soldiers would therefore be wearing different clothing from each other. I found the idea of teaching the public (as well as reenactors) about detachments to be very compelling, somehow getting it accross that that the big battles were rare while the detachments were the day-to-day events.

I have been on the Lake George Tactical several years and was the British Cmmmander for four years (2008-2010).  Additionally, I have been in the video documentaries: "Then Again" (2000, PBS); "When the Forest Ran Red" (2001, Paladin Communications); "Battle on Snowshoes" (2002, Mind Lab Films); and "Road of Necessity" (2004, Northern Light Productions for the National Park Service).

Much of the time now, I am the Sgt. of the QKD, although we believe in rotating the positions so that multiple people get exposure. Once in awhile, I am able to bring out the female persona (the real me) and I enjoy doing that too, of course. I also enjoy occassionally firing some of my flintlocks in competitive shooting matches. I don't often do well (sometimes I do!) but I enjoy it nevertheless.

Since being with the QKD, the quality my reenacting experience has skyrocketed, as we all, together, continue to expand our knowledge, our level of quality, and our FUN!!

Sarah's persona: Chauncey Goodrich

Wade Stoner

I began my reenacting career the day after I saw a presentation by a couple members of the Quoketaug Rangers in Connecticut some 18 years ago. I had been hiking, camping, and backpacking essentially all of my life (mostly with Scouting) but seeing it all being done without the Gortex, goose down, and Vibram soles totally fascinated me. My initial focus after joining the Quoketaug Rangers was on developing my skills with competitive shooting, trail walks, and rendezvous. A small subset of the club, however, would occasionally head out for clandestine activities as part of Shirley’s Fifth. For several years I would hear mysterious tails of scouts on Lake George, winter treks to Queechee Gorge, and something called Hardwick. After working for a couple of years to prove myself, I was finally allowed to see behind the curtain and, as they say, “the rest is history.”

I spent more than ten years as first a generic ranger/woodsman and then a member of Rogers Rangers before stumbling across a very interesting historical figure seemingly perfect for me to portray – Quintin Kennedy. In 2007 we formed the QK Detachment and the 250th commemoration at Fort William Henry was our first official event.

Being an instructor for a large part of life, I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with others as well as learning from those who have had opportunities that I have yet explore (be sure to check out the animated evolutions in our Library section). Having recently moved “back home” to Ligonier, PA I have the good fortune of a tremendous resource merely three miles away – Fort Ligonier.

In addition to reenacting, I have enjoyed participating in several small historical movie shoots including films for the Fort Necessity ("Road of Necessity" in 2004, by Northern Light Productions for the National Park Service) and Mount Vernon Visitors Center; "Gentleman Warrior: George Washington 1759-1775", and "The Forgotten War".

Wade's persona: Capt. Quintin Kennedy

Mike Alicea

I have been involved in Living History since I was a kid around 5 yrs old going to rendezvous and other events learning skills such as black powder shooting, archery, tomahawk & knife throwing, outdoor cooking and other necessary skills to survive.  I've been actively involved in the Sharon Mountain Muzzleloaders (CT) since its inception, with the annual Frozen Toe winter rendezvous and the Burnt Toe summer rendezvous. I was Booshway for Frozen Toe in '11, and for Burnt Toe in '12 and '13.

In 2010 I decided to make the jump to reenacting the French and Indian War. My first year in the hobby I attended Ft Ticonderoga with Rogers Rangers. I heard many stories of other higher caliber events such as the Lake George Tactical and was introduced to some of the members of the QKD. After attending a few events as a guest of my new found unit I decided to join them as a Stockbridge (Mohican) scout who you can learn more about in my detachment persona.

Mike's persona: Wnaumpos



Annual Meeting 2009