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September 30, 2008

"Prelude to Victory" prepares for Battle of Yorktown

Revolutionary War military re-enactors -- representing the Allied Armies of 1781 -- reclaim Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area for a special weekend – “Prelude to Victory” – Oct. 10-12.

The re-enactment weekend chronicles preparations in late September 1781 by the Continental Army, under the command of General George Washington, for the siege of Yorktown, the final battle of the American Revolution.

These engaging programs will take place throughout the “Prelude to Victory” weekend.

Friday, Oct. 10

  • Vive Le Washington, 5 p.m., Courthouse. Gather in front of the Courthouse to hear an address regarding the arrival of Generals Washington and Rochambeau with their combined American and French Allied forces. No ticket required.

    Saturday, Oct. 11

  • General Orders Are Read, 9:30 a.m., Courthouse. The entire army forms on the street before the Courthouse to receive General Washington and his staff. No ticket required.
  • “A Proper Plan,” 10 a.m., Wythe House backyard. Meet with General Washington’s staff and discuss the many challenges faced in planning for the upcoming siege. From surveying to supplies, learn what it takes to keep the army working.
  • An Audience with the Commander-in-Chief, 10, 10:20, 10:40 and 11 a.m., Courthouse. General Washington meets with local citizens to discuss the prospect of war in Virginia. What will be the fate of Williamsburg?
  • Quartermaster’s Woes, 10:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m., Magazine. Speak with the army’s supply sergeant and discover the travail of supplying an army with little or no supplies and even less money.
  • Military Music, 12:30 p.m., Capitol circle. The music of Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums was not merely to stir the blood. The beats are instructions to the army. Experience the sounds that ordered the soldiers’ days. No ticket required.
  • Artillery Demonstration, 12:45 p.m., behind the Courthouse on Market Square. Artillery crews practice firing various pieces of ordnance. No ticket required.
    Assemble Musket Cartridges, 1-1:45 p.m., Magazine. Help followers of the army prepare musket ammunition by rolling paper cartridges and filling them with powder and lead shot.
  • The General’s Music on the March, 1 p.m., Capitol to Palace Green. Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums are joined by visiting military music as they march from the Capitol to Palace Green. No ticket required.
  • Firing Demonstration, 2 p.m., behind the Courthouse on Market Square. A demonstration of the Manual of Arms and the use of the musket in combat by the entire Carolina Battalion. No ticket required.
  • Not Until Your Chores Are Done! 2:15-3:15 p.m., Market Square. Children of the camps, assisted by Colonial Williamsburg’s guests, stack wood and haul water so they will have time for a game of trap ball or nine pins. No ticket required.
  • March and Review, 5 p.m., Market Square. The infantry battalion arrives on Market Square to display its proficiency before General Washington and the public with a firing demonstration. Officers address the battalion concerning the upcoming siege and then retire to the Courthouse. No ticket required.

    Sunday, Oct. 12

  • Drumhead Church Service, 9:30 a.m., behind the Courthouse on Market Square. Troops assemble for a church service and the Articles of War are read. No ticket required.
  • Preparing for a Siege, 10, 10:20 and 10:40 a.m., Courthouse. The generals discuss contingencies for Yorktown.
  • Under House Arrest! 12:30-2:15 p.m., Mary Stith House. Two British officers who are prisoners of war discuss their treatment and fates.
  • Military Music, 1 p.m., Magazine. The music of Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums was not merely to stir the blood. The beats are instructions to the army. Experience the sounds that ordered the soldiers’ days. No ticket required.
  • Use of the Rifle on the Battlefield, 1:30 p.m., behind the Courthouse on Market Square. Riflemen demonstrate their battlefield tactics. No ticket required.
  • Artillery Demonstration, 2:30 p.m., behind the Courthouse on Market Square. Artillery crews practice firing various pieces of ordnance. No ticket required.

    Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11-12

  • Military Field Hospital, 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m., Palace East Advance building. Surgeons care for wounded patients and smallpox victims.
  • Secrets of Siege Warfare, 11 and 11:30 a.m., noon and 12:30 p.m., Robert Carter House backyard. As a soldier, practice the skills necessary in conducting a successful siege as you build fortifications.

    Unless indicated, a Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket or Good Neighbor Card is required to attend these programs.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®,” a dramatic live street theater presentation, is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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