J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Revolutionary Encampments to Visit in June and July

This weekend, 27-28 June, Minute Man National Historical Park hosts a special encampment of Revolutionary War reenactors (particularly the 10th Massachusetts Regiment, the Ladies of Refined Taste, and the Authentic New England Campaigners) portraying life in the Continental Army camps during the siege of Boston.

The event is titled “Now We Are One,” referring to how the New England provincial militias regiments became the Continental Army with the arrival of the Continental Congress’s endorsement, the new commander-in-chief (shown here), and some companies from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

On Saturday, the scenarios will focus on midsummer when the new general arrived with a different notion of how officers should behave and how an army should be run. Meanwhile, the New England officers were trying to figure out what had gone wrong at Bunker Hill, and the New England militiamen were still adjusting to life as full-time soldiers.

The Sunday scenarios will show the same army a few months later. Riflemen are arriving from the south, troops are leaving for the north, and there are whispers about a high-ranking traitor. And the Crown forces are still in Boston! Visitors will be welcome each day from 9:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

The park’s Hartwell Tavern will be the center of activities, standing in for Gen. Washington’s actual headquarters from late July 1775 through early April 1776. The real building is now Longfellow National Historic Site, an N.P.S. property in Cambridge, and is open for tours all summer.

In addition, I hear that the Braintree Historical Society will host an encampment by the French Regiments Saintonge and Bourbon on the weekend of 18-19 July 2009. This will be on the grounds of the 1785 Sylvanus Thayer House, 786 Washington Street, in Braintree. The schedule includes a farmers’ market, military and civilian demonstrations, games, a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Adams, and candlelit music and dancing with the Wayside Inn Steppers in the evening.

1 comment:

Robert S. Paul said...

There's supposedly some encampment being set up at Strawberry Banke for Independence Day, although my unit will not be there now.

There's also an encampment in Hubbardton, VT on July 11-12, although that may be far for your more local readers.

Sturbridge will have theirs on August 1-2.