T he roar of cannon and musket fire, the rat-a-tat-tat of drums, and the patter of several hundred pairs of soldiers’ feet lining up in formation will echo through the hills of Hubbardton this weekend as re-enactors relive the Battle of Hubbardton.
The Battle of Hubbardton Revolutionary War Encampment will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, July 7, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, at the Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site.
The event relives the battle; the only fought within Vermont during the American Revolution, and will feature living replicas of soldiers’ camps, artillery and tactical demonstrations and a reenactment of the battle.
“It’s an amazing and colorful pageant of history. You truly experience and visualize what happened,” said Elsa Gilbertson, regional site administer for Hubbardton Battlefield Historic site.
Field full of troops
Several hundred re-enactors are poised to participate in this year’s event including a small group who will march from Mount Independence in Orwell to Hubbardton following the same route colonial soldiers took more than two centuries ago.
Throughout the weekend, visitors will have the opportunity to explore authentic military camps populated by re-enactors, portraying American, British and Hessian soldiers.
Visitors will be able to walk through the camp and smell food cooked over an open flame in an iron kettle, watch various goods being made, and experience what life was like in a military camp during the American Revolution. Camps will be open throughout the weekend and tours will be offered at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Many of the re-enactors will be available to answer questions and chat with visitors as they pass through and some will teach visitors the ways American and British troops drilled (11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday). There will also be narrated tactical demonstrations at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday, and guided battlefield tours at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Just for kids
There will be a number of activities geared specifically for children. Children can learn from Mistress Davenport what school was like in the 18th century (2 p.m. on Saturday), and there will be a variety of hands-on craft activities and colonial games offered from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 1 pm. on Sunday.
Other activities include an American court martial at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, a British court martial at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, and a Seth Warner Mt. Independence Fife and Drum Corps concert at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday. “They do some very interesting period music,” Gilbertson said. “Besides entertainment, they served a function in battle. They were the cell phones of the time. The drummers would drum out the beat and the soldiers knew what to do on the field.”
“That’s what lots of people like to come out for. It’s held at about the same time as the actual battle so you can imagine what it felt like,” Gilbertson said.
Visitors will watch as re-enactors converge on the field of battle, and hear musket fire. The battle re-enactment will also be narrated so people can understand what is happening
The site will open at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Admission costs $5 and children under 15 are free. Food and refreshments will be available throughout the weekend.
The Hubbardton Battlefield is located at 5696 Monument Hill Road, six miles off Vt. Route 30 in Hubbardton, and seven miles off U.S. Route 4 Exit 5 in Castleton.
The site is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday through Oct. 8.
For more information, call 759-2412, or 273-2282 (during open hours).