Hello. My name is Will Vanderburg. My Great-great Grandfathers fought in the Confederate Army, the 4th NC, 42nd NC, and the 57th NC respectively. I began reenacting in 1990 with the 26th NCT, but my early fascination with this period of history began in Junior High school, while watching The Blue and the Gray miniseries on CBS, reading every book I could get my hands on about this subject. Admittedly, far more books have been written since then, but you get the idea.
Working as a Librarian's Assistant and then later as a Historical Interpreter, gave me the skills necessary to research and discover more facts about our past than was available in books. I do not profess to know everything; in fact, I'm still learning. Everyday.
Studying period photographs, maps, and documents has given me a deeper understanding of the sacrifices and hardships our fore-fathers came face to face with on the battlefield.
Leesburg Arsenal was created in 2005 after having moved to New Jersey and joining the 14th NJ. I was starting to feel the wear of battlefield jaunts and thought a sutlery would be a way to keep me in the hobby. Using my middle name and the last four letters of my last name, I came up with "Leesburg" although the arsenal part is a misnomer. I'm a small but growing venture, trying to cater to the common soldier as well as being practical about his needs in the hobby. While no sutler is a "one-stop" shop, I would like to strive in the direction of totally "period".
Within my tent, I sell a variety of goods: some made by me, others from my suppliers. Some, have a sense of jocularity behind them; others are really close to accurate. Very few are of the souvenir variety. There are other sutlers who fill that space. However, a visit with me will open your mind and you will learn a little in the process.
My products might carry a label of some description. The labels are either my direct creation, a re-typesetting or copy of an original, or borrowed from the Library of Congress (with permission). Unless the labels are original, the only place you will find them is on our products. They are intellectual and proprietary and cannot be used without my consent.
Stop in, say "hello", look around. Hopefully, you'll keep coming back.
Photo: John Bernaski