Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Baggage Tent-The First Oval Office

Sunday we went to Colonial Williamsburg. We barely recognized the town due to all the changes. We hadn't been able to visit since a quick stop last September. The first stop I wanted to make was to the First Oval Office.  I've posted about previous opportunities to visit the tailors and their work at the below links.

They are back in business for the summer, this time to sew a baggage tent as well as a dining tent to companion with General Washington's marquee tent, which has been nicknamed "The First Oval Office." This day they were working on the baggage tent. When that is completed, they will begin work on the dining tent.


It was so nice to be able to listen to professional history story telling once again.


They talked about how they research sewing techniques of extent tents, which led to a talk specifically on extent tents. We learned that General Washington had at least two tents made. The second one continues to exist today in grand condition. We do not know what happened to the first one that had been made earlier. It is thought that it might have been captured by the Brtish when Washington and his troops fled Long Island, New York. In fact, from the entire American Revolution, the lone surviving tent that we know of today belonged to General Washington! (I seem to recall the tailor told us something else of Washington's that is related to the tent also survived but now I forget what. I left my daybook at home. =/) However it is quite amazing that of the extent tents available to view today from the American Revolution, they belonged to Washington!

In fact we were also told that the enlisted troops were provided with everything they needed. However the officers provided their own regimentals, equipment and tents.  It has been fascinating following this tent project. The more we learn about the tents, the more we learn about General Washington!

1 comment:

  1. I'll be interested to see any changes there too. We haven't been back for about 2 years, although I don't know how much time we'll even have to walk around town yet. Since I'll be tied up with the conference, visiting with friends we haven't seen in awhile, and a shorter visit than usual, we may only get one day to walk around. :(