Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Revolution Comes to Jerusalem Mill Village

Historic Jerusalem Mill Village, in Maryland, hosted hundreds of re-enactors in a battle between Continental soldiers and the British Redcoats on Oct 10-11, 2009. The battle pitted over a hundred soldiers against each other in a mock attack, with cavalry, cannon and rifles, in a battle that never happened. This part of Maryland didn't see any battles during the revolution but the village is a historic area dating back to the revolution era. The Jerusalem gristmill opened in 1772 and operated continuously until 1961, the oldest, most intact mill village in Maryland.

The participants arrived as early as Thursday to set up camp and begin living, like the people they portray, did over 230 years ago. Most of the participants, from neighboring states and some even further, joined reenactment groups to recreate the life and times of either the Crown or the Patriots. They strive to demonstrate the correct behavior and bearing of the soldiers, officers, wives and camp followers, of a time long ago. The participants research the individuals they portray, study the battles, the dress and weapons that were used. Also at the camp were many artisans selling material and wares that are recreations or actual historic pieces.

With colorful and historic names like "His Majesty's 40th Regiment of Foot", "The 17th Light Dragoons" or the "Royal Highland Emigrants", the assembled groups came together to give visitors a glimpse of what life might have been like during the founding of the country. The participants are members of either The Continental Line, Inc. or The British Brigade, Inc., both national volunteer organizations dedicated to the memories of the soldiers they portray.

The host for "The Redcoats are Coming" weekend are the Friends of Jerusalem Mill, in cooperation with the staff of Gunpowder Falls State Park, and is made possible, in part, by grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Harford County Government through the Harford County Cultural Arts Board.

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