October 3, 2012
“Prelude to Victory” Transforms the Revolutionary City Oct. 6-7
Hundreds of Continental Army re-enactors encamp in the Revolutionary City as they re-create the city’s vital role as a staging area for the last decisive battle of the American Revolution during “Prelude To Victory” Oct. 6-7 — a busy weekend of programs and demonstrations to entertain, inform and amaze Colonial Williamsburg guests.
Reveille in the camps on Palace Green and Market Square at 9 a.m. Saturday signals the start of camp activities as soldiers and camp followers prepare meals, roll bandages, assemble musket cartridges, chop wood, sew clothing and perform other duties while the infantry patrols the town.
The entire army forms at the Courthouse at 10 a.m. to await the arrival of Gen. Washington and his dragoons — cavalry units — and hear the general orders read. Afterward, the soldiers return to their camps and resume their duties.
Ticketed guests are invited to visit a military field hospital 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the East Advance at the Governor’s Palace and the Brush-Everard grounds to learn how surgeons cared for the wounded and smallpox victims.
Guests also may meet with Gen. Washington and his staff officers at the George Wythe House to discover the myriad challenges as they plan the siege of Gen. Cornwallis and his British Army encamped at nearby Yorktown. “George Washington’s Headquarters: A Proper Plan” is presented 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday.
Guests explore the plight of the army’s quartermaster as a supply sergeant describes the difficulty of providing for the soldiers with little or no supplies and even less money. “Quartermaster’s Woes” is presented 10:45 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the military encampment at the corner of Botetourt and Nicholson Streets.
The military units demonstrate artillery and rifle tactics on Market Square during the early and mid-afternoon Saturday and Sunday, while the dragoons demonstrate proper cavalry warfare at 4 p.m. both days on the south lawn of the Capitol.
Guests also will notice the presence of several Iroquois allies of the Continental Army during select occasions throughout the weekend. “The Revolution in Indian Country” explores the impact of the war on Native peoples at 2 p.m. Saturday on the stage in the Governor’s Palace garden.
Guests are invited to participate in special “Prelude to Victory” editions of Revolutionary City®, Colonial Williamsburg’s daily interactive outdoor dramatic presentations at 3:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The “Prelude to Victory” weekend concludes late Sunday afternoon with an infantry demonstration and Gen. Washington addressing the army on Market Square. After hearing their marching orders, the army marches out of town towards Yorktown.
A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Pass affords guests maximum opportunities to enjoy the full range of experiences available during the special “Prelude to Victory” re-enactor weekend. For more information, telephone toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Web at www.history.org.