Today I spent the morning and afternoon in Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania; as I wrote about a few days ago, this was the location of a huge Revolutionary War reenactment. Overall, I had a great time. Getting to the site was easy and there was enough parking (and parking only cost about $5). The scenic landscape only reminded me that, over 230 years ago, this was heavily contested land between the Pennamites, the Yankees, and the natives whose land it once had been.
(UPDATE 7/15/14: The images in this first gallery are newly edited. Enjoy!)
Planning ahead, the event coordinators were wise to include a bus that ran a loop between the parking area and the various camps (British and Continental) and for those who had trouble getting around (like older individuals or the physically impaired) it was a blessing (and I heard many people say so).
The sutlers area was rather large (though I couldn’t find some of the sutlers who were supposed to be there) and that was a good way to kill some time between checking out the encampments and watching the battles.
And it turns out that there was an extra skirmish in the morning that was cool to watch–it got everyone engaged with the event and interested in what was to come.
But by the time the first major battle rolled around, it got a little hairy for both reenactors and spectators alike. My complaints aren’t as lighthearted as they were for Brandywine. I was very upset with how this large engagement was organized. And by that, I mean it was disorganized, and worse yet the scattered groups of spectators were constantly being yelled at by various organizers who were giving mixed information. It was a pretty crappy situation for everyone.
Apparently, the reenatcment was supposed to start at 1:30 (though the schedules were INSANELY inaccurate or flat out were missing information about what was happening when and where) but the event started in the wrong area. And so spectators could hear the sounds of musket fire and, of course, everyone moved to see the happenings and so forth. Skirmishing was going on in one field but it also sounded like it was also in another. However nobody could get to the other field to find out what was happening and no one was telling us what to do about it.
So between 1:30 and 1:45, the 1st Pennsylvania/Continental Regiment and various other skirmishing troops, and British Light Infantry were exchanging volleys in the field between the camps; but we were being told that no battle was going on (huh? We were watching it happen). Then we were told not to watch (‘Move along people, nothing to see here’, etc…) and that we had to clear the area (seriously) and then we were told to get back off to the side of the road. Which we all did. Then we were told NOT to stand on the side of the road. Then we were told to move along the stone path to the second battlefield. But along the way one person would tell us to stop (because reenactors were crossing in front of us–on horseback no less) while another was shouting at us from behind to keep moving. Sound confusing? Oh it was. It was a complete disaster.
I was not pleased and I heard plenty of grumbles from around me about how asinine it all was; I don’t know what happened but it fell apart rather quickly and I don’t think anyone knew where they were supposed to be or what they were meant to be doing. As a reenactor myself, I imagine the units were just as frustrated with it as we were behind the white lines.
Thankfully, once we got to the larger battlefield, everyone was able to get it together. After that it all seemed to go smoothly. Below are the photos from that battle (edited–raw photos are at the end of the article):
Like I said, despite that brief period of disorganized chaos, I had a great time at this event. I could have used a little less “hurry up and wait” attitude from the individuals shoving us all around, but despite these hiccups it was a fun time.
Anyway, here are the raw images from the reenactment. While you can view them here, I have to leave one caveat:
THESE ARE ALL MY IMAGES–I TOOK THEM, I OWN THEM. IF YOU WANT TO USE THEM, YOU MUST ASK ME PERMISSION FIRST, AND THEN YOU MUST CITE ME AND THIS BLOG SITE AS THE SOURCE. IF YOU POST THEM TO YOUR SITE WITHOUT PERMISSION, AND WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION TO THIS BLOG POST, AND I DISCOVER IT, I WILL FILE A NOTICE WITH YOUR HOST SERVER. AND WILL HAVE YOUR CONTENT REMOVED.
Understand that I have to be this strict about it because some people have used my Brandywine images for their own agendas and purposes and I can’t have content I produce used for nefarious purposes or to have people claim them as their own.
That said, I hope you enjoy them!