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October 26, 2007

Brothers-in-Arms examines the role of African American patriots, loyalists during the American Revolution

During Veterans Day weekend, Colonial Williamsburg’s 11th annual Brothers-In-Arms program recognizes the challenges, triumphs and contributions of free and enslaved African Americans as soldiers and camp followers of the American Revolution. Programs will highlight the contributions, sacrifices and decisions of 18th-century African Americans in securing their liberty, either with the British or American cause.

Programs include:

Nov. 10

  • Gone to the Enemy, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Peyton Randolph House. In 1781, several of Peyton Randolph’s slaves ran to the British Army. Find out who ran and why they would risk their lives to join the British.
    Guests have the opportunity to drill with the troops during Brothers-in-Arms programs Nov. 10-11. To obtain this image, contact Sharon Rogers at (757) 220-7286 or through e-mail at
  • Musket Firing Demonstration, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Guardhouse Yard. Observe the “Manual of Arms” and the use of the musket in combat.
  • “In the Army,” 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-4 p.m., Guardhouse Yard. Discuss the role of free blacks and former slaves during the Revolutionary War. Why should they join the army and what would they hope the future world bring as a result?
  • “Survival of a Soldier,” 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-4 p.m., Magazine Yard. Learn how to survive as a Continental soldier.
  • Preparing for Yorktown, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-4 p.m., Guardhouse. Speak with officers of the Rhode Island Regiment as they prepare for battle.
  • Determined to Persevere, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-4 p.m., Guardhouse Yard. Discover daily camp life and work of the soldiers and camp followers on the move with the Continental Army. Witness and help with the preparing of food and washing of clothes.
  • Speckled Troops, 2:30-4 p.m., Guardhouse Yard. Learn the military maneuvers necessary to march with the Continental Army. If you “pass muster,” you can march in the end-of-the-day military review that is part of the “Resolved: Free and Independent States” program that begins at the Raleigh Tavern at 4:30.

    Nov. 10-11

  • “Come All You Brave Soldiers,” 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Guardhouse Yard. Join the Rhode Island Regiment and practice the military march and drill.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Pass provides access to 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 tradespeople 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. 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

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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