Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Louisiana Purchase and Code Napoleon

Last week my son and I completed our study of the Louisiana Purchase. This has been a great amount of fun at an exceedingly busy time (Prelude to Victory, 2 family birthdays, PSAT testing,, CW EFT, etc, etc, etc) so we have spent 3 weeks on it! To prepare for discussion we read some great resources: Revolutionary America: A Political History by Frank Cogliano, the Louisiana Purchase document, and the journals of Lewis and Clark in a modern book full of stunning modern photography of the sites they saw!

We learned about the Louisiana Purchase from a new perspective, by comparing Thomas Jefferson's massive land aquisition to that of Napoleon's! I like this author immensely, who excels at American history, but we have a difference of opinion regarding Napoleon, whom he regards as a tyrant. My son and I have learned, from reading Vincent Cronin's biography on Napoleon based on primary source documents, that Napoleon was quite the opposite. Case in point: liberty.

One of the questions I assigned to my son in preparation for discussion was based on a quote from Revolutionary America. I had him evaluate the statement, "Unlike the Napoleonic empire that of Jefferson would be an empire of liberty: liberty, that is for white men who owned the land, not for slaves who might work that land or the Native Americans whose displacement was necessary if the agrarian republic were to grow and prosper." (RA, p 167)

I thought that quote from the book was quite interesting. I like Thomas Jefferson a lot and in truth it was not in his sole power to free all people groups. He tried with the Declaration of Independence to free the slaves, but tenacious Southern states held their ground on that point. The early abolitionists at the Continental Congress conceded on liberty for some, hoping that in time it would become liberty for all. Yet in the end, no matter the reason, America's beginnings had limited liberty.

Napoleon however made freedom for all in the European lands he ruled a reality. He brought to them Code Napoleon, under which even Louisiana still governs by, in part. All people had freedom for religion whether they were Catholic, Protestant or Jew, which was unheard of in any other European country at that time. Have you ever read Code Napoleon? It's quite interesting and many countries today continue to use remnants of Code Napoleon. Whether they are countries who were formerly under his reign, or countries far away from his immediate influence who adopted aspects of his Code for their own government years after his death, his ideas of liberty for all social classes continue to spread around the world today.

Apart from all this heavy, but fascinating thinking, we enjoyed reading the journals of Lewis and Clark and their journey into a new land. Further, we never before focused on the little details that they broke the law by going beyond the Louisiana Purchase into Spanish territory (were they spies?). In fact the Louisiana Purchase itself, how it was obtained, Jefferson's methods for obtaining it, and the expedition, are all called to question in many of the books we read making for a fascinating discussion. Was any of it Constitutonal? Didn't Jefferson violate his own principles of strong states/weak federal government? Yet the "issues" are today dampened by the success, hope and continued fascination of the Louisiana Purchase.

We watched a DVD on Zebulun Pike who explored Colorado in about the same time frame and was arrested by the Mexicans for alleged espionage. He discovered a blue mountain, which is today called Pike's Peak in Colorado Springs. In the late 19th century Katherine Lee Bates took a wagon to the top of the 14,000'+ mountain to gaze upon the purple mountain majesties in her distant view and fruited plains below. The first time my family visited the top of Pikes Peak, we stood in amazement at the view and sang the song for which she is famous, "America the Beautiful."

If you'd like to explore the Louisiana Purchase on your own try these links:

Lewis and Clark PBS

National Geographic: Lewis and Clark

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Autumn's Tenacious Hold in the Midst of Hurricane Sandy

This is the oddest hurricane I've ever experienced. Usually when the storm passes, we walk outside to survey the damage in hot and humid temperatures, wearing shorts and going barefoot. With this hurricane I put on my winter coat and felt quite frozen while surveying the damage. Hardier types would go out barefoot I'm sure, but for a gal raised in Louisiana, Hawaii and Texas, 30some degrees is frigid! Nothing like a roaring fireplace to cozy up to during a hurricane.

My son's weather station stayed quite secure during the entire storm! The official statistics are: +3.5" rain, peak wind speed 70mph

Thankfully our worst damage is a series of leaks in our dining room window and the storage room underneath, in the basement. Some boxes were damaged. My husband wasn't able to work on it Tuesday because it rained all day. He'll have to tear off the siding to locate the source of the leak.

Speaking of siding, that was my greatest fear going into this storm, losing the siding. My husband did find a small gap but the neighbor behind us suffered far worse. Much of his siding blew off and a large piece is still dangling from the side of the very tall 3 story side of the colonial house.

The street sign on the corner was laying in the street yesterday. The neighborhood street signs have suffered much damage since the derecho of last June. They were finally all repaired in time for Hurricane Sandy. Funny thing is that when our street sign was replaced, they gave our street a new name! So the signs on each side of our street had two different names. It was fixed a few days before the storm.

Apart from that our area of NoVA seems to have held tenaciously on to existence during the 70mph winds that battered us Monday. At one point I think the house shook. Either that or fear from that wind continually pounding on us was working on my imagination. We were all a little too scared to go to bed that night. Today, Wednesday, was my first day to drive out, since colleges and Washington DC are for the most part open for business again. A few signs and and trees down, but not too bad. I am quite suprised considering that storm, but perhaps so many of the old trees have gone down from the multiple blizzards and derecho in the last three years, that the hardier trees remain.

We lost our power briefly but others in Washington DC have yet to have their power restored. I just returned from the grocery store next to ours and they are ripping out all the cold and frozen items to replace, since their generator failed when they lost power.

We even continue to have autumn! I was certain that all the colorful leaves would be stripped from the trees in the fierce winds. Of course many did end up in our yard and deck, but autumn splendour continues to reign, with many green leaves just beginning their tinge of red.

During the hurricane, in the wild winds, it was fun to watch our two pesky squirrels fall off some of the tall tree tops just to catch themselves on lower limbs and chase each other in carefree abandon through the tree tops. I always wondered what the wild animals did during storms such as this.

Everything seems to be returning to normal. Even the holiday house around the corner has their Halloween decorations up again. It took him 3 weekends to put all that stuff out. The kids and I speculated he would go through all that work to put them up again, though we wouldn't blame him if he didn't.

I'm sure my husband will come more with more damage reports, since Washington DC got the brunt of the storm in Virginia.

We've seen the devastation on the news to our north and are praying for all in their recovery. I can only imagine what the storm was like for them.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Last of Autumn Before the Hybrid Storm

My husband drove to our Northern Virginia home after a week in upstate New York last Thursday. That evening he suggested a drive retracing his route, to visit all the farm markets along the way and leave the kids at home since they had so much schoolwork to do. Friday and Saturday morning was spent battening down the hatches before the onslought of the hybrid storm's (aka Sandy) pending arrival. Saturday after lunch we drove in the last of autumnal splendor on a warm and sunny afternoon.

Here is a farm market in a town called Haymarket. This pig was quite cute happily wagging his little tail! There was another one whose extreme shyness kept him in the crate.
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I was trying to capture the autumn color of the mountains behind the white pumpkins. I should have taken another shot angling down to capture the yellow mums.

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Then my husband surprised me by pulling into to Oatlands Plantation! This plantation is the home of George Carter in the early 19th century, descendant (I think son or grandson) of Robert Carter III, who I think is the grandson of King Carter, all of Virginia. I have been higher intrigued by this family and have been promising a major blog post about them, after having read The First Emancipator a couple of summers ago. Alas school studies always take precedence and I start to forget some of the specific details. There are a huge family of Carters but Robert Carter III lived in my favorite Colonial Williamburg house, the one with the long porch next to the Palace. My kids and I portrayed his family in our most recent history presentation. It is so easy to confuse Robert Carter III with his cousin, Robert Carter Nicholas, both of whom are portrayed in CW. Robert Carter III carries the distinction of having emancipated all of his slaves! I'm going to have to reread the book and take this house tour and walk the gorgeous grounds...then a massive blog post (or two or three or more!) Anyway I've been wanting to visit here for years but I didn't think my husband ever heard me, so I've been planning to visit one day alone with the kids. However he was hopeful we'd get here in time before they closed, because he remembered I always wanted to go here. Alas no history tour this time. He was only interested in doing the gift shop so I reveled in the scenery! We got to drive by the mansion, because we took the wrong road which allowed us to see more! We'll come back with the kids one day. He took all the brochures I grabbed and he looked at them and said he could surprise me with lots of stuff from there (like a tea or a Christmas tour???)

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Then another farm market to the north of Loudon which had their produce beautifully staged.

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We stopped at a few other places but these were our favorites. But the further north we went, everything became twice as expensive but had only half the quality. Our favorite farm markets for scope for the imagination and value are right near us! That's nice to know, but it was a lovely drive, and definitely the last we'll see the colors.

This afternoon we are already getting winds (14mph with 20+mph gusts) and it's cold! I'll try to post ahead before we lose power. This is a massive hybrid storm. The hurricane from the South is merging with a storm system from the west which is merging with a cold front from Canada. We are right in the middle. Never has there been a storm of this magnitude.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Surprise in the Mail from Colonial Williamsburg

Last July the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation contacted me about using one of my photographs for their soon to be published calendar that is mailed to donors every year! Of course I most eagerly consented!

A few weeks ago a friend of mine from Florida contacted me to say she found my picture in the calendar she had received! We were laughing that she got hers long before I got mine. Yet one day the Pony Express finally delivered my calendar to me! Some of the other photographs in there are from other CW guests too! I posted this picture to my facebook page for all my homeschool friends to see. I created a little contest of sorts, asking them which photo they thought was mine. Those ladies know me well! Most of them chose the correct picture! Then they asked, in their own eager anticipation, if I would send an extra copy to my Secret Sister, a gift exchange we participate in each year. You see, I am getting a few more in the mail from CW to give to friends and family! More people want them than I have calendars to give away! When my husband came home from New York the other night, he put his dibs in for one of them to hang in his office! He asked if he could have this one and I told him, "No way!" He gets one from the package that's on its way to me now. Although my extras are on the way, they didn't arrive in today's mail. Perhaps Monday, before the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy's wrath.

One of my friends who really, really, really wants one of these calendars said she'd just buy it but it's not available for purchase. Other lovely calendars are indeed available for purchase from CW but this specific calendar, with my picture in it, is specifically for donors. But anyone can become a donor! Many of us do not have the budget of the Rockefellers to put millions of dollars into keeping history alive. Yet all of us who are on more middling sort incomes can pool together a little money here, and a little money there, for our own little part in preserving history by becoming donors too.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mamma and Baby Devons in Colonial Williamsburg

When my family was visiting Colonial Williamsburg last August, we met some new arrivals and their mamas in the pasture.
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We got to meet them again during Prelude to Victory, when General Hand led us to them. Their little nubs of horns are beginning to grow. Aww. They were quite sweet to pet, even though one of them tried to eat my petticoat!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Summer Memories

A day or so after I got my smart phone, I was at the pool with my kids and decided to see how well it would take pictures. For the life of me I could not figure out how to zoom in. My son showed me that later. How in the world did he know how to do that? He always volunteers to take photos for the elderly at CW who can't figure out how to make the touch screen work. Now I know those slimline cameras are smart phones. For one elderly man in particular that I recall last winter, my son volunteered to take his picture for him. It was my son's first time to handle a smart phone and he took the picture, in a snap! How does he do that???? Anyway I had no trouble actually taking pictures and they seemed to look pretty good, as best as I could tell on that little screen.

The next test was to download them onto the computer, which I just now figured out! Ta da!

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The kids are in these photos, though it's a bit like "Where's Waldo?" since I didn't know where the zoom was at the time.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Out and About in Amish Country

Finally finishing our August 2012 visit to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
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This was the gorgeously serene view from our hotel.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Prelude to Victory at Colonial Williamsburg 2012

Prelude to Victory is a grand yearly event which commemorates the September 1781 arrival of Generals Washington and Rochambeau with the Continental and French Forces, with an estimated 17,600 soldiers. General Lafayette had over the summer engaged British General Cornwallis in numerous "cat and mouse campaigns," ultimately cornering him, with an estimated 8,300 soldiers, on a southern Virginia peninsula at the deep sea port of Yorktown, 13 miles east of Williamsburg, the former capital of Virginia. Victory was certain. French General Rochambeau recommended that this was the perfect situation for a siege.

We have been to many Prelude to Victory programs, which like Under the Redcoat, are unique programs in that Colonial Williamsburg invites reenactors from across America to represent the soldiers to occupy the town for the weekend. They arrive on Friday night to build their encampments. Saturday morning shows a very different historic area from the norm, with a massive array of tents, soldiers in drill, smoking campfires preparing dinner...immersing a CW visitor into a more complete 18th century experience. Part of the fun is engaging with the reenactors. In June Under the Redcoat portrays the actual dreaded and difficult British occupation of the town in June 1781 where the Redcoats provide much fun opportunity to the visitors for angst. Redocoats have been known to try to arrest me and my children because we do not have passes nor do we swear allegiance to the king which sets up for many fun scenarios. My children and I live for these opportunities at this event and enjoy scheming our way out of British difficulties! During Prelude to Victory the encounter with the soldiers are much different. They are more gentlemanly because they are the Continental forces, our brothers, neighbors and friends! Yet part of the fun of it is that quite often they are the same reenactors wearing different colored coats! Many thanks to all the reenactors for their sacrifice of time and money to make history LIVE. As a degreed teacher I love this and highly recommend that if you can only come to one event, come to either UTR or PTV! They are the best of any immersion living history program! Thank you, thank you, thank you reenactors! And thank you Colonial Williamsburg for providing the venue and opportunity! In fact I have some friends in one of the regiments and one of them made sure we hid our season passes so we'd look more like them!

For the weekend I gave my son the schedule and he chose all the programming we attended. There were so many we couldn't attend them all. Also for all the time I spent with the regiments, I never got a picture of the camps. Nor did we get pictures of everyone we met. However I did try to vary it from my past posts on PTV. The weekend was wonderfully busy.

Our costumes were most carefully planned for the setting of the occasion. My son wore the hunting frock for the first time. He had implored me for one of these, though I had no pattern so I looked at lots of pictures to design and handsew it. While waiting for various events, he passed away the time in his favorite 18th century hobby...playaing his fife. He is self-taught with a few kindly expert tips from one of the wonderful CW drum majors!
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Meanwhile I chose my handsewn chintz jacket, based on the one in Costume Close-Up, with petticoat. Many patriot ladies put aside their silks and gowns to support the troops, as I chose to do for this occasion. Many ladies, even reenactors and interpreters, delight in the floral trim on my hat and ask where I got it. I got it as part of a hat trimming class I took at the Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center a few years ago. While I waited for various programs I partook of my favorite 18th century hobby, sewing by hand with period accurate materials! Here I am sewing boning channels on my stays, that were patterned specifically to me in a recent Burnley and Trowbridge workshop with the amazing CW tailor!
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This attracted the attention of a few photographers. Hmmm, any photos floating around the internet? It's happened before! One of the reenactors came over to strike up an interesting conversation about historical fibers! When he introduced himself we were delighted to hear that he was part of our friends' regiment!

Ah! Then the moment that we've all been waiting for! The generals have finally arrived in Williamsburg after their long, long trek from New York!
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The Continental troops have arrived as well!

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There were even some British prisoners of war who made the weekend interesting. Stay tuned for more of them!

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The generals had much to say about their arrival and the manner of their time in the city of Williamsburg, assuring us that we'd be safe.

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After the announcements to the town, the generals left in haste to Washington's headquarters at the Wythe House where there was much planning to be done. My son and I were thrilled that despite their most urgent task, Generals Washington and Lafayette paused to specially greet us with kind words while tipping their hats!

Then my son and I searched for my friends at their regiment on the Palace Green. We renewed aquaintences with members of their regiment and met new friends, including the kindly gent who had discussed fibers with us earlier that morning! As we chatted some guests came and asked terrific questions about our costumes and specifically our stays. Funny coincidence how many ladies asked me about my stays that I was wearing that weekend. Yes they are comfortable. In fact I prefer to wear them since they help my back which sustained injuries during a traffic accident when I was in college. Stays are completely different from corsets, which most people are familiar with. We even met some guests from Texas who are reenactors themselves.

After a bite of lunch my son and I went to the Wythe House where we were privileged to peek into the strategic planning of the generals.

Here we met with General "Mad" Anthony Wayne of Pennsylvania (seated)! I don't think I'd dare call him "mad" to his face though! He had a most forceful yet positive personality, and discussed the extreme value of bayonets over muskets! This was great because my son and I have done extensive research into the matter ourselves and we had to concur with his every word! My mom's family immigrated from Europe and settled in Pennsylvania in the early 18th century, so I've often wondered if any family members fought under Wayne. My family was quite poor country folk so I don't think we have any papers documenting the possibility of this. Too sad because I'd love to join the DAR. If I recall correctly, the man standing is Colonel Cortland, He rarely got a word in edgewise due to the verbosity of the audacious General Wayne. =)

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Then we got to listen to General Washington himself strategize with many of his officers as they analyzed maps of Yorktown! Quite often we heard that there was to be a seige, which was a new idea to the Americans. The French were siege experts and they were indeed sharing all their secrets to General Washington to combat their age old enemy.

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After General Washington stepped aside, he again most kindly noted us, tipped his hat in grand greeting, then asked another lady's pardon, explaining that my son and I are old friends of his! (Indeed, we are neighbors and anticipating dinner again at Mount Vernon soon after the war!) Oh, the interpreters are great at making the guests feel special! He also answered some of our questions, including mine about why the Oneida Confederation was there. The Oneidas, being allies of the French, became our allies when the French allied with the Americans. When French General Rochambeau traveled south to Virginia with the allied forces to attack Yorktown, the Oneida Confederation wanted to follow him in his support, meet General Washington and see the action! Washington was most definitely supportive of this, in part because they needed all the Indian allies they could get, since many allied with the British. Also the Indians were amazed with all the French weaponry and seige plans. You can read more about them and see grand pictures of the occasion if you have a facebook account here. I was to meet the Oneida Confederation again later in a most unexpected place, which told more of the story in the above link....so stay tuned for that!

After General Washington left we eavesdropped on more planning with Colonel Tench Tilghman, Colonel Ennis, Colonel James Monroe and the minister whose name I forgot. Being in costume I didn't take notes and now I can't remember but he had a great story! He led the drumhead church service the next morning.

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Col Ennis was hilarious. He told us in private (shh!) that Washington's stepson, Jackie Custis, wasn't a great asset because he had zero experience, zero knowledge base and zero streetsmarts (to put his words into modern day words)... so Ennis kept finding busy work for him. At that moment Custis arrived and quite gullibly accepted a mission to scout the possibility of digging a tunnel under Yorktown! Ennis said that should keep him busy for a few hours.

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Here is the famed General Knox who is self-taught in artillery. We read a biography on him last spring and learned that before the war he worked in a bookstore and in his free time he read books on artillery. (Many of the generals lacked battle experience but incredibly made up for it in self-education and street smarts.) He is famed for the ingenious idea to gather the cannons from Fort Ticonderoga and haul them to Boston to chase out the British. It was a risky idea in that he hauled 62 tons of artillery over 300 miles from Lake George, New York to Boston Massachusetts (and we understand the distance because we've been to both places) in the midst of winter, but there was nothing to lose. One morning the British awoke to a barrage of artillery staring down at them from the heights, resulting in their hasty departure from Boston.

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We also got to meet General Hand who engaged my son in theorizing possible scenarios for the seige!

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In the midst of our discussion with him, a British prisoner of war was marched in by guards for interrogation. My son immediately whispered to me, "Mom, he is part of the Coldstream Guard!" There was much bantering back and forth as to the terms and conditions of the prisoners. The prisoner did not like the arrangements but General Hand assured him that they were being treated as prisoners of war and not as common prisoners. However after much persistence, General Hand worked on improving conditions. I don't think the prisoner helped matters when he passed his regards to General Washington, casually mentioning that he had served with him under Braddock "at that unfortunate escapade." Washington doesn't like to be reminded of that incident! More on this prisoner of war later!

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Then we went into the Wythe house where we got to visit with Generals George Washington and Benjamin Lincoln for a brief time when Mrs. Wythe entered to invite the generals to dinner! As the generals went to their delicious meal, my son and I went to the Palace Green where I got to visit with my regimental friends while my son visited and played colonial games, like trapball, with some of his CW friends.

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When my son went to the artillery demonstration, one of my regimental friends and I went to the milliner shop for Silk Saturday, which is so grand it got its own post! Meanwhile at the artillery demonstration, one of the cannons failed to fire the gunpowder, so cautionary procedures were executed to safely take out the charges.

Afterwards my son and I joined up again to attend a brand new PTV event! My son got to help build earthwork fortifications!!! These beautiful fortifications can be seen today at Yorktown, left behind from both the American Revolution and the Civil War.

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These are one type of earthwork structure, called a gabion. They are vine wrapped cylinders (the shell of which is comprised entirely of wood) which are then filled with dirt, hence the dirt pile in the above picture.

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Inside is a layer of dirt in the bottom...

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He's dumping in a bucket of dirt...he recruited my son and other boys to help with this job!

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He's layering leaves around the edges to keep the dirt from seeping through...

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More dirt...

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In the back you can see three men wrapping vines around sticks for the shell of another gabion...

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Close-up of the vine wrapping for another gabion.

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Layering more leaves...

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My son dumping in dirt...

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And yet more dirt dumped in by my son. These structures are obviously built and filled quite quickly. When the sappers and miners of the Continental forces began building these earthwork fortifications on Septemeber 30, 1781, the work went quite speedily. Some of you may be familiar with Joseph Plumb Martin who wrote his memoirs in Private Yankee Doodle. He was one of the Yorktown sappers and miners.

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Whereas Saturday was warm and sunny, Sunday was cold, windy and rainy. The morning began with a drumhead church service. Because of the rain, they couldn't stack the drums like they normally do.

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Afterwards we revisited the regiments. This time we visited the tent that supported the medical staff at the Palace. There was a beautifully dressed woman in a lovely red and black riding habit with her delightful daughter, about age 4, who stole my heart. Her daughter was reveling in her role as a reenactor. She sat at her period accurate little table with her quills, ink and paper and charmingly asked all who came by, "Would you like to see me write?" My son went over and sharpened her nibs for her, after receiving permission from the mother. I think that little girl is hooked on history and reenacting for life!

Then we went to the Courthouse where we planned to listen in on the generals' secret plans. As we arrived we saw the British prisoners of war taken inside. Oooo, this interaction should be great! In the course of time we entered the courthouse and eavesdropped on all the generals' plans. We completely forgot all about the prisoners. Where did they go? Stay tuned for...the rest of the story later!

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After the program we went to see the tailor, hoping for a bit of advice about my stays. When we arrived, the Orientation Interpreter told us the Oneida Confederation was inside! Oh! Were we allowed in? Yes, we could go in too! When we entered we found a room full of members of the Oneida Confederation, including their French speaking interpreter. A few of them were engaging the tailor in a fascinating discourse on clothing, one of which I do believe was the blue "Bavarian" hunting suit. I was fascinated by their array of clothing, a mix of English and Indian components, which you can see at the link. Meanwhile I tried subvertly to admire the attire of the Indian standing closest to me, who wore a sort of chain mail on his English shirt. At one point this Indian sat on the stool nearby with his hands clasped upon the table as he looked upon the action on the Duke of Gloucester Street. I wondered what the guests might think, those who would take a peak into the milliner shop to see an Indian looking at them! This was truely a grand and unique moment in all my numerous visits to the Mary Dickenson Shop!

Later that day my son watched rifle tactics. When he saw that on the program he was wondering if the program writer meant "musket" instead of "rifle" so he had to see this program to verify the information. He was delighted to learn it was indeed about rifle tactics, as used by sharpshooters like the famed Daniel Morgan. We learned all about their strategy, technique and form.

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Later, we checked upon the progress of the earthworks. These gabions had been quite quickly completed the afternoon before and had survived the rainy, rainy day! The sides were layered with large leaves from the trees above, which effectively did their job in keeping the dirt from sifting out.

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Tired soldiers were sitting upon fascines, another type of earthwork fortification. Here is more information on the earthworks at Yorktown (including renderings, diagrams, glossary, etc) from the US Army.

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The British prisoners of war walked by and stopped to chat with the American soldiers! They were free to walk about town because they were gentlemen of honor. They told the story of how they had been taken to the Courthouse and stuck in the backroom where they got to overhear all the generals' plans for Yorktown. They knew they wouldn't be permitted to leave the town any time soon! Their word of honor that they would not seek to escape granted them the privilege to walk freely about town. My son was fascinated with the Coldstream Guard!

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Later we watched a few Revolutionary City scenes but I wasn't able to get many pictures.

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The dragoons grandly showing off!

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Preacher Gowan Pamphlet giving us hope!



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My son has lived for this moment for years! He's finally old enough to be recruited to go to Yorktown! He's still waiting for a Brown Bess Musket though!

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They gave their oath!

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They practiced their drills!

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Meanwhile William Lee, General Washington's man servant, rode by!

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More drill...

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Obviously the new recruits were a source of teasing...

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The troops moving out to begin the seige on Yorktown!

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This two day action filled reenactment portrays Washington's and Rochambeau's arrival on September 14, 1781, to their departure for Yorktown on September 28, 1781. Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781. Britain began peace negogiations which culminated in American victory in September 1783. During peace negotiations there were some smaller battles, but Yorktown was the last major engagement of the American Revolution. Last summer we were watching the DVD, Drummers' Call, where a funny story was shared. In the early days of the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps, some CW representatives were driving some British corps members passed Yorktown. One of the Brits looked at the other and asked, "Who was it that lost that battle?"

(Note: The last story is from memory and now we can't find it anywhere on the DVD. If anyone can point me to it I'll fix my mistakes!)