(Photo credit: T. Leodari) If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Talya and I between us have five hundred thousand things to say about the extraordinary Revolutionary War weekend we and hundreds of die-hard reenactors pulled off at Mount Harmon Plantation on Maryland's Eastern Shore on September 23-25th. The weather was appalling to start with and yet the weekend itself was free of rain until we all had packed and gone. The downpours of Friday made a morass of the roads and caused many of those we expected to join us to turn around or stay at home. We got our tent set up during a brief lull in the rain, but as we retreated under canvas that night it was not at all clear that there would be a reenactment at all come morning.
What joy to awake to an overcast, humid but rain free sunrise and a sea of tents that appeared to have mushroomed overnight! I would guess that between the Whig and Royalist forces we fielded about 500 men at arms in all branches of service with another 100 or so distaff besides, or about a third fewer than expected for this national event for the Continental Line and British Brigade. Still, it was enough to make a fine show of things. Our Spanish co-belligerents from Puerto Rico even made the trip! The dragoons on the American side numbered about 20, and both troops were heavily engaged. I would hazard a guess that none of those who stood up to their massed charges will ever feel smug and secure in their squares in future. (Photo credit: T. Leodari).
The site itself is a stunner, and most of the encampment was on well drained sandy soil out on a Peninsula on the Sassafras River. Notable exceptions to this were the Crown cooking area and the Continental command marquis, which were located on compacted soil and took on the aspect of swamps. On the other hand, the soil in our own kitchen area was easy to dig, and we had several dug ovens going in a slit trench before long, under the masterful oversight of Pve. Adam Young of the 2nd NJ, who is admirably committed to authenticity as perhaps the raggediest soldier in the Continental Line.
(Photo credit (T. Abbott) This event was co-hosted by our unit, the 1st NJ Continentals, and we had a strong turn out. Our Captain, Tom Vogeley was in overall command as Lt. Col. of the Americans, while his wife Heather gave a first person impression of Mary George Loutit, the 18th century owner of the Plantation, dressed in a handmade confection of a dress that looked good enough to eat. This was also the first event that Talya attended with me as a fully dressed member of the unit, and to her everlasting credit she found in my hobby something that she could make her own and enjoy in her own right as well as for us to share together. We made some terrific purchases from the "blanket sale" of used items as well as a few well chosen investments from the sutlers, and she went so far as to get measured for stays so it looks like this will be a part of our lives together for some time to come.
This was also the event where I made good on my offer of Maryland Blue-Crabs to the good natured 35th regiment of foot who were also immortalized in balladry after our escape from Wyoming in July. David Skorka, with the rank of brevet Captain, joined me and our comrade in mirth George Valenta of the 6th PA in serenading the die-hards in orange facings at their own kitchen fly, and made full amends for the sausage incident. It was the start of an evening of such bonhomie that it was almost a shame to march over a carpet of slain grenadiers the next day. Almost, but not quite, as the remaining photographs in this post shall attend (both mine and Talya's can be viewed on Facebook through these links).
If you weren't there, you missed a great one. See for yourselves.