Revolutionary War buffs relive 1777 campaign
It's worth standing still to reflect on America's independence and take in all that has happened. Ask Mike Gerrard, who stood still, looking back over the rolling hills of Brandywine Creek State Park on Sunday as troops marched off the battlefield and clouds of black-powder smoke hung in the air.
"This was interesting, to have this number of committed individuals to re-enact something that happened 230 years back in our history. It's not a trivial undertaking from what you can see," said Gerrard, of Newark. "A lot of people died who are nameless. Families lost fathers, sons, brothers, and we owe a debt of gratitude," he said.
Gerrard and his 9-year-old son Jonathan were two of hundreds who came out to witness the re-enactment of the Philadelphia Campaign of 1777. Brandywine Creek State Park, along with the 2nd Virginia Regiment, hosted the event Saturday and Sunday, which portrayed a battlefield from the Revolutionary War.
Re-enactors from New Hampshire to South Carolina participated in the event, as well as aficionados who set up tents and sold replicas of Colonial-era goods.
Soldiers representing the opposing forces dressed in traditional Revolutionary War garb and performed drills, played field music and did cavalry demonstrations and artillery drills both days. Mike Pukatsch, 23, of Wilmingham, came to the event with his wife and friends. "I'm a big history buff," he said. "I like how close you can get to how it really was for them, how you can be right there," said Pukatsch, who has been a re-enactor in Civil War demonstrations. Mike Deadorff, 23, of Bellefonte, said he thinks life was better in Colonial days.
"It was more simple and easier for them. Now you get everything given to you these days," Deadorff said. In one of the dozens of tents set up for selling goods, Charlotte Carpentier explained the use of bone creases, turnscrews, musket flints and rifle flints as they were used in 1777. She also sold books on the culture of life then and explained the attire that people wore. She traveled from Tiffin, Ohio, where she works for Smoke & Fire News, which publishes re-enactment events.
"There are lots of people out there who love this stuff," said Carpentier, who was dressed in a cap, gown and a cape, traditional Colonial-era garb.
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