Monday, October 21, 2019

The Revolutionary War at Vermillion Creek 2019

To many reenactors,  the end of summer signifies the end of the reenacting season.  However,  this wonderful fall month of October found me at another new reenactment,  Vermillion Creek.
Well,  it's not necessarily a new reenactment per se',  rather,  it's a replacement of an older event - Uncle John's Mill.  Due to a series of circumstances beyond anyone's control,  the Uncle John's Mill reenactment is no longer.  However,  as good as that one was - and it was an excellent reenactment - methinks Vermillion Creek was just as good,  and,  considering the rustic atmosphere of this new location,  may be even better.  The fact that it is located off the beaten path,  smack in the middle of rural Michigan,  at a place called Peacock Road Family Farm,  already makes it desirable.  Granted,  there were not as many visitors as the cider mill,  but we did have quite a few come through,  and I believe that the potential for growth here is high as more and more people find out about it.
It always takes a bit of time for an event to grow.
I had my stealth camera with me and took quite a few pictures,  and,  as I have been doing,  I will allow the photographs to tell most of the story whilst I comment historically,  snarkily,  and candidly beneath each.
Scott Mann,  the host and founder of this event,  truly outdid himself.  He did us all proud,  but mostly he can be proud of himself,  for all of his hard work paid off.
Now,  onto the photographs from Muster at Vermillion Creek!
Here you see me,  as Paul Revere,  and my friend,  Susan,  flanking General Washington.  Notice my new coat;  I purchased it off of the Facebook page  Civilian Closet: 18th Century Edition.  It is my first hand-sewn garment,  so I am pretty excited about it.

Me and my son.
Robbie is a member of Michigan's 1st Pennsylvania
Regiment run by Tony Gerring.  

Another father and son team: The Church's.
They both belong to the Queen's Rangers.
There are actually four generations of this family

who now come out in period clothing!

Richard and Mike.
Richard is a member of my Citizens of
the American Colonies group,  while Mike
belongs to the Queen's Rangers.

Dr.  Franklin made an appearance as well.
Here we find him in a deep discussion with the
young lady known as Heather  (my son's girlfriend).

And,  yes,  deep discussions continued on throughout
the camp,  including one between Matthew and Horik.
Most topics tended to be historical,  which is as it

should be,  and the sharing of information is 
always welcomed. 

I learned that Citizens member  (and friend)  Joey does some blacksmithing and made his own candle holder.
I think I may commision him to make me one.

Dave Schmidt portrays a colonial-era commercial fisherman.
According to Dave's own research,  fishing was the number one 
industry in North America at that time and had been since the year 
1500.  Competition was fierce;  cod was shipped all over the globe 
to trade for commodities. 
As you can see,  his display was very well done,  and a few very 
interested folk stopped by.
That's the Ignagnis on the left.

Vermillion Creek was fine indeed,  and there was not one thing I didn't like.  But I think the one thing I enjoyed almost above all else at this event was seeing Natives here - the American Indian.  I spent a bit of time speaking with them and learned quite a bit as well.
Upon seeing a pumpkin patch with a few other plants mixed in as well,  I asked if they wouldn't mind picking a few items for photographic purposes,  and they willingly obliged.
As I spoke with them,  I learned they were Ottawa.
The Ottawa  (or otherwise Odawa or Odaawaa /oʊˈdɑːwə/),  

meaning  "traders,"  primarily inhabited land in the northern 
United States and southern Canada. 
They had long held territory that crossed the current border between the two countries,  and they are federally recognized as a Native American tribe in the United States and have numerous recognized First Nations bands in Canada.
It wasn't just Europeans who had thanksgivings:  Native American groups throughout the Americas,  including the Pueblo,  Cherokee,  Creek,  and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances,  and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.
They are one of the Anishinaabeg,  related to but distinct from the Ojibwe and Potawatomi peoples.  After the 17th century,  the Ottawa settled in what would eventually become the states of  Michigan and Wisconsin,  as well as throughout the Midwest south of the Great Lakes.
My friends here spoke of some of the plants 
growing about and told me which were edible.

I enjoyed seeing their authentic period dress
and knowing they inhabited the general
area in which we were in.

I am not sure of the name of the yellow plants that were
out in the patch,  but they could be used in
accenting the 
fish they were cooking for their meal.

The  fish cooking over the fire in the Indian camp,  with a few sides to boot.
Chief Egushawa  (also spelled Agushawa),  who had a village at the mouth of the Maumee River on Lake Erie where Toledo later developed,  led the Odawa as an ally of the British in the American Revolutionary War.  He hoped to build on their support to exclude the European-American colonists from his territory in northwest Ohio and southern Michigan.  The defeat of the British by the United States had a far-ranging influence on British-allied  Native American/First Nations tribes,  as many were forced to cede their land to the United States.
The Adawa camp.
 I think it would be great to hear the stories of the
men and women who tend to be overlooked in the

history of the American Revolution.
So glad they were there. 

Speaking of food...
The modern visitors were greatly interested in the food that was being cooked over an open flame throughout the camps.

Dr.  Franklin spoke with many of the visitors as they strolled on 
by.  I was there as well,  as Paul Revere,  and told the true story of 
what happened on the night of April 18,  1775. 

Seeing folks engaging in traditional crafts is always a treat for the visitors.
And it's nice to see the crafts kept alive and passed on to the next generation.

Bethany knitting...

Heather repairing the sleeve on my
new jacket.

Susan spinning on her wheel.

The perfect picture of colonial women.

Tom  (also known as Dr. Bloodsworth).
He portrays a citizen's doctor as well as one who was helping 

on the battlefield as well.

Henry Trippe,  the doctor for the British Army.

When you raise a child to use tools,
you do not fear your child using tools.

Over the last two years or so,  Tony gerring has really built up his 1st Pennsylvania military.
And it continues to grow...
Looking sharp, guys!

"October 5, 1779. We rose early this morning as last night was very cold and we slept poorly. Many of us are lacking shirts and blankets and our clothes are tattered and worn. Still, we are in good spirits and committed to the Cause. And we need you to join with us to resist the enemy."

My son loves to cook over an open fire.

The 1st Pennsylvania prepares for a battle

The 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot will be fighting 
side by side with the...

...Queen's Rangers

Massachusetts Provincial Battalion.

Michigan's version of the 1st Pennsylvania & 
the Massachusetts Provincial Battalion will be fighting side by 
side this day as well.

Stacked muskets

The battle held here at Vermillion Creek were a basic overview of battles during the Revolutionary War:
The children were out harvesting vegetables when soldiers from 
both sides appeared,  seemingly out of nowhere.

The units here who do the mock battles do a fine job and 
definitely give the public their money's worth.

The smell of gun powder and the sight of smoke throughout the 
trees was pretty awesome to see.

Within the browns and tans of fall,  one could hardly see 
the men of the 1st Pennsylvania.

We see a Voyageur taking part in the fight as he runs to take cover.
From a Voyageur reenactor:
"The voyageurs were atypical soldiers,  to say the least.  Their independence made them very poor at parade ground tactics,  and they were not amenable to uniformity.  Moreover,  there were numerous infractions of discipline owing to their ceaseless pranks,  drunkenness and constant cheerfulness.  British officers charged with instilling discipline in the corps were understandably aghast when the voyageurs appeared on the parade grounds with pipes in their mouths,  unshaven for days or weeks,   and with their rations of pork and bread stuck on their bayonets.  ‘In this condition,’  wrote Ross Cox,  a contemporary observer,  ‘they presented a curious contrast to…the British soldiery with whom they occasionally did duty.’ "
Here we see a few of the British during the skirmish..

That's my son with his musket there.

October 5, 1779
 "About half past Three O'Clock today,  our Sgt and several of our Men were Dispatched to Scout for the Enemy near Vermillion Creek.  We were forced to Cross a flooded Field and finally hit upon dryer Ground after about a half Mile.  We saw the Enemy in a Pine Woods and Fired upon Them - hitting several.  After a Brief Skirmish they fell back and We Returned to our Camp.  None of our Men were Harmed but one was slightly wounded."

Marching back to camp...

...where Heather awaits with a hot stew to feed the men.

Yes,  here is my son and his other half. 
The war stories begin...

Just in case you think the flint-locks used at reenactments
are toys,  this should prove just how real they are.  This is what 

happened to a fresh pumpkin when a replicated period black 
powder musket was fired at it from 12 inches away - no bullet.
Do not ever put your hand over the barrel.

So,  now,  the major Revolutionary War reenactments are done and over for 2019,  though you will see one more from my Civil War group coming up.  But that does not mean you will not see me wearing my "short clothes" - Tony is hosting a colonial dance,  Autumn and Christmas events will be had,  and then the new year begins with more smaller events.
Of course,  stay tuned for updates for Patriot's Day coming up in April  (click HERE to see how it went last April).
The one thing I am very happy about is the fact that we continue to have these wonderful opportunities to time travel,  to share our historical knowledge,  and to entice others to study our nation's past.

Thank you to Peacock Road Family Farm for their hospitality.  Next year I would like to explore the area a bit more.

Stay tuned: our 1860s fall harvest presentation is coming up - - and so is enjoying the fall in the 18th century.

Until next time,  see you in time.

 ~   ~

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