Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Old Sturbridge Village “Redcoats & Rebels” Aug. 6-7

New England’s largest military reenactment
Two-day event for the price of one

The Tenth Regiment of Foot prepares for battle during
Redcoats & Rebels at Old Sturbridge Village.
Photo courtesy Old Sturbridge Village.
(Sturbridge, Mass.) July 18, 2011 – Old Sturbridge Village’s “Redcoats & Rebels” is New England’s largest Revolutionary War reenactment, and this year’s event will be the largest to date. Nearly 1,000 soldier reenactors from eight states who will participate in the August 6 - 7 event, which features mock battles, drilling, musket and cannon demonstrations, fife and drum music, and the chance to see military life up close.  Mr. Butler is the Commander of the Yarmouth Minutemen.

Since Old Sturbridge Village offers a free return visit within 10 days, visitors can attend both days of the event for the price of one. Admission also includes extended hours on Saturday, Aug. 6, when the Village will remain open until 8:00 p.m. for the Twilight Encampment, where visitors can mingle with the soldiers around their campfires. For details, visit or call 800-SEE-1830.

More than 40 units from eight states will participate in the reenactment, including six companies attending for the first time. More soldiers will participate in Redcoats & Rebels this year than in any of the previous eight years of the event. Reenactors portray British and Colonial soldiers, as well as their allies from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, and France. This wide range of companies is an accurate representation of the nations and soldiers who fought in the war for American independence.

Following a parade of British troops through the town, the Village fields will become the site of a mock battle each afternoon. Troops will reenact a battle scenario where Americans and their allies attack a British-occupied town. Visitors can see surgeons “treat the wounded” and see the American troops get their smallpox inoculations. Throughout the day they can tour behind-the-scenes in both the British and American camps to learn what life was really like for these 18th-century soldiers -- how they ate, slept, and even how they did laundry.

Other events designed to provide a look into the lives of soldiers include reconnoitering with a Ranger from Peter’s Corps, and a prisoner exchange between the Americans and British (Saturday only). Special events on Sunday include a Sunday Service for the troops, the arrival of American soldier’s pay and uniforms, and a court martial trial with the HMS Somerset. Young visitors will enjoy learning the real words to “Yankee Doodle,” making tri-cornered hats, and drilling with the Second Massachusetts Regiment.

In addition, visitors can learn about the fashions and customs of the time during programs like “Mrs. Peabody’s Levee” – a look at 18th-century foundation garments presented by the group “Ladies of Refined Taste,” which will also present “Runaway Runway” – a look at civilian clothes in the late 1700s. Military fashions through the years will be presented by the Tenth Massachusetts Light Infantry.  On Saturday, music, dancing, and ball games will be featured. A complete schedule of activities can be found at

Reenactors choose to portray either British or Colonial units for a variety of reasons. Andrew Fredericks, of Rochester, Mass., commander of Tew’s Company, a Colonial unit based in Rhode Island, says the reenactors in his unit want the public to know that “a group of common men from the tiny colony (of Rhode Island) had the perseverance, fortitude, and willpower to become one of Washington’s premiere fighting units.”

Another new unit, Butler’s Rangers, led by David Sorek, of Monroe, Conn., portrays a group of Loyalist soldiers fighting for England – a unit largely forgotten by history. According to Sorek, the original members of Butler’s Rangers were average Americans working hard to build a good life for their families. When faced with the prospect of war, they chose the status quo and loyalty to the Crown, and were persecuted for these beliefs and stripped of their belongings. Joining Butler’s Rangers gave them an opportunity to take back what was theirs.

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates life in early New England from 1790 – 1840. Located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike and Routes I-84 and 20 in Sturbridge, Mass., OSV is open year-round, but hours vary seasonally. Currently, the Village is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission is: $20 for adults; $18 for seniors; $7 for children ages 3-17; children under 3 are admitted free. Each admission includes free parking and a free second-day visit within 10 days. Woo Card subscribers get 25% of adult daytime admission; college Woo cardholders receive 50% off adult daytime admission. For details, visit or call 800-SEE-1830.

# # #
Redcoats & Rebels at Old Sturbridge Village – Participating Units by State

Billerica Colonial Minute Men
Crane’s Battery
Danvers Alarm List Company
Eighth Regiment (Kings)
Eighty Fifth Regiment de Saintonge
First Foot Guards
Fourth Regiment of Foot
HMS Somerset
Lexington Training Band
Regiment Bourbonnais
Royal Irish Artillery
Second Massachusetts Regiment 
Second New Hampshire Regiment (Cherry’s Company)   
Second Rhode Island Regiment
Sixteenth Queens Light Dragoons
Sixty Fourth Regiment of Foot
Stow Minutemen
Tenth Massachusetts Regiment
Tenth Regiment of Foot
Tew’s Company
Twenty Fifth Continental
Twenty Third Regiment: Royal Welch Fusiliers
Yarmouth Minute Men

Butler’s Rangers
Fifth Connecticut Regiment
Great Quinnehtukqut Company of Artificers and Traders
Lebanon Towne Militia
Ninth Regiment of Foot
Peter’s Corps
Stafford Springs
Prichard’s Company: King Rangers 2nd Co.
Sixth Connecticut Regiment

Eames Rangers
North Berwick

New Hampshire
First New Hampshire Regiment  
Kings Rangers
Regiment von Riedesel
Twenty Ninth Regiment of Foot

New York
Alden’s Sixth Massachusetts Regiment
Second Regiment, Albany County Militia
Third Ulster County Militia
Twenty Fourth Regiment of Foot
Balston Spa

Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiment
Twenty Fourth Connecticut Regiment

Rhode Island
Fortieth Regiment of Foot
Smith Castle Museum
Peace Dale
United Train of Artillery
North Providence

Warner’s Regiment
Whitcomb’s Rangers

1 comment:

  1. I am a Sturbridge resident who is a member of the United Train of Artillery out of Rhode Island. This is, by far, our favorite event of the year. It is fantastic! I hope lots of Sturbridge Residents come out to see the Village in a whole new way.


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