Revolutionary War Encampment
Sunday, February 14, 2016 at Fort Ward Park
The Revolutionary War Encampment is a very special one- day event held at Fort Ward Park in Alexandria. It is part of the City-sponsored George Washington Birthday Celebration and will be held on Sunday, February 14, 2016, from 10 a. m. until 3 p.m. at Ft. Ward Park, Alexandria, Virginia (4301 West Braddock Road. near the intersection of N. Howard Street). For the forty-first time, this event will bring together more than 250 troops from reenactment units along the Atlantic Coast. They represent authentic regiments that fought in the Revolutionary War on both the American and British sides.
Each regiment gives camp and tactical demonstrations, participates in battle reenactments, and has a comprehensive educational program. These recreated units are composed of men and women who portray the Revolutionary War soldier and his military camp as "living history." Participants are from eight to eighty years old. They are historians, business executives, students, government employees, teachers, professionals, and artisans...and now, 18th Century citizen-soldiers and their families.
The First Virginia Regiment, the host of this event, is typical of these reenactment units. It maintains a dual mission of educating the public at large in addition to re-enacting. To this end, members frequently appear before local schools, scout troops, and at community and civic events to demonstrate what it was like to live and fight in George Washington's Army. The Regiment has appeared at programs for many foreign embassies and dignitaries, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities and The National Archives. Several members are published authors in the fields of Colonial and Military History while others serve in the Washington D.C. Revolutionary War Roundtable, an educational forum and discussion group about the period. The First Virginia Regiment acted as honor guard for Queen Elizabeth II during Her Majesty's visit to the United States in 1976 and has marched in review before the President at Concord and Yorktown. Members participated in trips to England and France where demonstrations of Revolutionary War tactics were given in conjunction with participating in ceremonies and parades. Its members have appeared in many feature films and documentaries about the period. The First Virginia regularly takes part in events at such historic sites as Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall, Ashlawn, Scotchtown, Yorktown and Williamsburg. The First Virginia is a regularly relied-upon source of historical and safety information for the National Park Service and the State of Virginia.To show how the American Revolution was fought, these reenactment units field companies armed with smoothbore muskets and platoons of men who fire the more accurate, slower loading long rifle. Since Continental regiments often had cannon accompanying infantry, a light field piece will be demonstrated. This is a three-pound brass battalion gun, built for portage and copied by the Americans from British guns captured at Saratoga. The units attending this event can demonstrate almost all the arms used in the Revolutionary War. Based on extensive research, including review of contemporary records at Williamsburg, soldiers will wear the principal uniforms of the War.
The demonstrations will also include a company-sized 18th century military camp with tents for men, officers, dining and arms. Women in 18th century dress, using reproductions of the iron pots, tripods, trammels and other cooking gear of Washington’s army, will demonstrate preparation of meals appropriate to the period. Vignettes of camp life such as sewing, repair of gear, drill, gaming, and other activities will demonstrate how the Revolutionary War soldier lived. Medical care of the period is also featured. More than one ton of gear is used in this living history display.
A featured activity will be a skirmish between American and British forces, which will demonstrate battle tactics in use during the Revolutionary War. This will occur at approximately 2 p.m. with the hours leading up to this devoted to showing how soldiers prepare for battle. Saratoga. The units attending this event can demonstrate almost all the arms used in the Revolutionary War. Based on extensive research, including review of contemporary records at Williamsburg, soldiers will wear the principal uniforms of the War.