SJ on the Move

Monday, April 27, 2009

Patriot Games

This past weekend we went to a re-enactment of the Battle of Menotomy Rocks as part of the Patriot's Day festivities. Never having been to a Revolutionay War re-enactment, we weren't really sure what to expect. I tried to prep SJ a bit, letting her know that some men were going to be pretending to fight - there could be lots of yelling, and people pretending to be hurt - but that she shouldn't be afraid, as it was all pretend.

So, we set ourselves up near the British end of the "battlefield" and waited for the excitement to begin. There were nearly a dozen RedCoats, all dressed up in quite elaborate costumes with muskets and bayonets. They were opposed by about 20 Colonials, a little ways down the road.

At about the time the battle was supposed to begin, the RedCoats seemed to be getting a little antsy. An "emissary" from the Colonials approached to discuss how the battle was going to play out. There was a little bit of jovial (at least what we thought) back and forth, and then the RedCoats announced that they were leaving. The Colonials thought they were joking, but then the RedCoats started getting in their cars. Evidently, their feelings were hurt. The Colonials were quite astonished and asked them to stay. The RedCoats asked why it was "necessary to disrespect them that way?" It was really a strange scene.

Eventually, the Colonials and RedCoats mended fences so they could get on with the business of shooting at each other. Nevertheless, it didn't really seem like their heart was in it. My fears of an intense battle scene ended up being unfounded. It was a lot of slow walking around with half-hearted firing of muskets, no yelling, no excitement, and no casualties.

I don't know if they had something similar to the Onion back in 1776. But if they did, it wouldn't surprise me if they had satirical headlines such as "British flee Boston after social snub at tea time" or "British go back to England, tired of uncivilized Bostonians" - or something similar with a lot more thees and thous and the the use of superflous 'e's.


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