My World Tuesday: Connecticut's Valley Forge Comes to Life

patriot_putnam_park

putnam_park





My daughter and her cousins visited Putnam Memorial State Park in Redding/Bethel, Connecticut, on Saturday to take in a reenactment of a skirmish for food on the 232nd anniversary of the Revolutionary War camps on this site. The reenactors enlisted two of the three children to participate in a children's muster and drill. Before they knew it, they were taking orders to march, fire on the enemy, and then run away as fast as they could in proper military style. Many of the kids fell right into the spirit of the thing and fell in action right on Company Street, which marks the road on which enlisted soldiers built huts where they wintered more than two centuries ago.

In addition to the great information from the fabulous men and women reenactors, the brochure tells us: "In November of 1778, the main part of Washington's Continental Army was ordered to winter quarters. The winter encampments formed a crescent around the British Army in New York City, from Middlebrook, NJ, to Redding on the east. Major General Israel Putnam was given command of three bridages which camped in Redding." Severe weather left the men without food or other supplies, though they were only in nearby Danbury. Conditions were tough and left the men cranky and irritable; by February two men were executed on Gallows Hill--one for being a spy and the other, for being a deserter. The quality of the experience won the camp the name Connecticut's Valley Forge.

We spent three hours walking around the park, talking to the reenactors, studying the displays, and visiting the museum before the half-hour reenactment of a skirmish. We were cold and tired by choice; being aware of this made the mock battle to the death over food all the more dramatic. Just as most baseball games are lost rather than won, so are most wars. How does the struggle for bread make or break a nation?

I'm very grateful to the men and women who brought our history to life and raised a lot of difficult questions. Time has not answered those questions but suggested an unfolding of an answer. We live to learn, learn to live. (More photos are here.)

My World Tuesday

Comments

  1. Oh, that's fantastic, Sandy! I've always wanted to go to one of these, really see the history come alive and it does raise lots of difficult questions -- like, when do we learn? Terrific post for the day! Hope you have a great day and a lovely week!

    Sylvia

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wil we ever learn? I hope so. It's nice to see how you enrich children's lives - yours and your students... and mine (still a child in many ways).

    Thank you for the pictures and your words.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How cool! I would love to see something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. fascinating when history is reacted...makes it more real for all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great informative and learning trip.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh reenactments are always such fun. That setting is just marvelous for one. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and am grateful that you shared. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Sandy How meaningful it must have made the the history lesson. The young people will never forget. What a great Mom!

    ReplyDelete
  8. A wonderful way for children to experience and learn history, adults too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Living History. Excellent!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous1:17 PM

    Such a poignant first photo... horrible how history repeats itself in every era.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It looks like you all had a great outing. It is good to remember the hard work and life that brought us to this point. This weekend must be a good weekend for reenactments because there was one here too called Muster on the Wabash.

    ReplyDelete
  12. An amazing story. These reenactors really bring the past to life and help us see things the way a textbook never can.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That must have been really interesting. Other than "living villages", I can't think of a single time I've attended a reenactment of a military event. Could be we don't hear of them often here in western Mass. Not sure.

    Time to stop blathering and check out your other posts!

    Peace,
    Gina

    ReplyDelete
  14. I truly love history and these reinactments are favorites of mine. Better than a movie, almost like being there. Thanks for sharing this one.
    hugs
    Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have never been to an reenactment and would love to go to one.
    Sounds and looks fascinating!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

    ReplyDelete
  16. I grew up visiting Valley Forge and Washington's Crossing (place on the Delaware) as a child. But I knew nothing of these Ct sites. Great images and story, Sandy :)


    Aloha from Waikiki :)

    Comfort Spiral

    ><}}(°>


    <°)}}><

    ReplyDelete
  17. These shots and post are most interesting. Thanks for sharing this.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is terrific, thank you for sharing it. I love these living history events and wish I could go to them. Fantastic that you took us along with you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've always wanted to see reenactments in person. I think this is a great learning tool.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wonderful event. Great shots of the event.

    ReplyDelete
  21. That looks like a fun and educational even to attend. Great shots.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Re-enactors are hard-core. We've seen settler reenactors here in Oklahoma and Texas war of independence re-enactors at the Alamo in San Antonio. The guys at the Alamo enlisted bystander kids and had them marching and taking orders in no time.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Boy, does this take me back! I worked at Putnam park for a summer. The reenactment was staged during the summer then. I got work with the reenactors. I schlepped stuff around and kept the generator running for the announcer. I'm glad they are keeping up the tradition. Putnam Park and nearby Huntington park are both local treasures. It is always good to hear about people enjoying them.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I enjoy reenactments -- the re-enactors are usually very knowledgable about the historical events they are portraying. I think its a great way to learn history.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Really interesting, very nice images of the event.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love re-enactment shows and festivals.;)
    We have a medieval festival taking place every august and it is the largest one in Europe, I enjoy it so much.;)
    Lovely images of handsome soldiers.;)
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  27. Interesting to read about Connecticut's Valley Forge. Must be quite a learning experience.
    d

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am aware of how wonderful these kind of re-enactments are since we have Fort Vancouver here and we have special candlelight tours besides the regular tours of Fort Vancouver in the daytime. It is fun to live in a town where these re-enactments take place. I only wish I had been more exploring when I lived in Connecticut when I first got married.

    ReplyDelete
  29. We have one reenactment not too far from us that my boys have gone to and really enjoyed. It is a great time of year for that!

    ReplyDelete
  30. All of life is about learning. One never stops. lol
    I just hate it when they make you pass the same tests over and over again for no apparent reason other than to have it cost you more money.
    Like doctors, require upgrades every so often years and one thinks doesn't he get info while he is working, to keep him updated?He would need to be, to help his patients.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for being here.