Revolutionary War encampment planned

Posted July 25, 2011, at 5:47 p.m.

THOMASTON, Maine — The General Henry Knox Museum will hold a Revolutionary War Encampment 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, and Sunday, Aug. 7, on the grounds of Montpelier, the big white mansion at the turn off Route 1 to St. George in Thomaston. Several units from New England will attend. Fifty re-enactors will pitch their tents, chop wood, light campfires and load and shoot muskets just as people did in a typical military camp of the late 1700s. Admission to the encampment grounds is free, and the public — especially families — is encouraged to attend.

The Montpelier encampment is led by the re-created 25th Continental-3rd Massachusetts Regiment, formed in 1983 by a small group of people interested in preserving Revolutionary-era heritage. They started up as a small fife and drum corps unit with a small militia corps, then soon gravitated to the Continental Regiment they are today.

“Our emphasis is on the lifestyles and everyday arts of the period. Our regiment consists of families, men, women and children of all ages — all dedicating themselves to keeping our heritage alive. We are very proud of the fact that entire families are associated with us. In fact the regiment itself is more of a family unit then a military one,” said Maj. Gen. David H. Bernier Sr. who leads the 25th.

The original 25th Regiment was formed January 1776 from militia companies surrounding Boston. Most of the men in the 25th had been serving since April, 1775, with many of them seeing action on Breed’s Hill, known as the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Visitors entering the encampment at Montpelier will discover many authentic details of 18th century life. The men, in full military uniform, will perform musket and marching drills. Their children, also in period dress, go about their assigned chores and play 18th century games. Meanwhile, the women are busy about the campfires, peeling vegetables, stirring a savory stew, sewing, weaving, quilting and making candles for the night to come.

In the weekdays leading up to Encampment Weekend, workshops will be offered for children and families at Montpelier, including candle making at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, and butter making at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3. The cost for each workshop is $5 per child for materials, with children under 8 requiring an accompanying adult.

A workshop tracing family trees will be offered at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. There will be a workshop for all ages to learn and play Colonial games at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug, 5. These workshops are free of charge and open to all.

Admission to the encampment grounds at Montpelier is free. Admission to the mansion 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and for Sunday Encampment Day, Aug. 7, for guided tours is $7, $6 seniors, $4 children, $18 family.

For more information, call 354-8062 or visit http://www.knoxmuseum.org/.

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