One of the awesome upsides to living in upstate New York is how historic so much of our area is. New York was instrumental during the beginning of our Revolution, and so much of our area has marks left behind from years long ago. As you drive through-out our area you'll find historic markers labeling houses that generals lived in, creeks that were once roadways for Indian tribes and valleys that were the scenes of some major battles of the Revolutionary War. We live just 30 minutes from Saratoga, the scene of the very important Battle of Saratoga. The Saratoga National Park is a beautiful area made up of acres of scrolling hills and fields. The park contains a 10 mile long self-guided tour with stops along the way, each which showcase important points in the battle. One sunny weekend this Summer my family enjoyed a picnic lunch and some history at the battlefield, and we promised we would come back this fall to take in some more history during the Re-encampment.
One important fact I learned? There is a difference between Re-encampments and Re-enactments. I thought I was going to see men ( and women) dressed as solider's playing out the battles, that would have been a Re-enactment. Instead we saw men and women in their full authentic uniforms who were living as they would have during the Revolutionary War. They showed us how they cooked and how they fought, but there would be no full battle scenes played out here. It is actually a federal law that no battle scenes are to be role played on any ground in which American Solider's have died.
( Plaid Shirt: Delia's via Peter Harris $6 - Black Tee: Target $4 - Necklace: gift - Jeans: Pacsun $20 - Belt: old - Bag: Cambridge Satchel via Modcloth, giveaway item -
Moccassins: Minnetonka new via Ebay $12)
I wasn't upset about my misunderstanding of what to expect, I love a great day of history in any form. Seeing the set-up, and understanding a bit about the difficulties these young American's faced was both exciting and heartbreaking.
We were such a young country with so much to loose. We kept asking, what would my family be facing had we been alive during the Revolutionary war of 1777? At the age of 25, it would be likely that I would already have a handful of children. My husband would be off to war while I would be at home tending to the children. My younger sister who is now 24 would likely also be a mother to a small pile of youngsters. It would most likely be our mother, she and I to fend for ourselves against any British solider's who tried to take over our home while our husbands were off at war. Our youngest sister who is 18 would likely have followed my father and brother to. Being without a husband or children, she would have gone to help with first aid,the cooking and caring for the solider's. My brother who turned 14 just yesterday would have been expected to fight for our freedom. While he would have most likely played drums at the age of 13, by 14 he would have been ready to fight.
My how different we live now? They gave warnings to the crowd as they fired off the cannons and guns and yet still I shook with surprise each time. The echo of the valleys was almost deafening and to think the barely trained solider's could re-load a cannon 10 times in a minute. We fought a war with smaller numbers and with untrained men and we won. It was the Battle of Saratoga that served as a turning point during the Revolutionary War. It allowed us to win the fight for our freedom, and it has allowed hundreds of people in 2011 to decide that they want to stand against Wall Street together in 'The Occupation'. I'm not stating whether I agree with their cause or not, but I will state that it is a pretty amazing thing that Americans have the ability to do even this. In 1777 they were their guns would shoot straight. They wanted to function as a society free from the restraints of England. Even now in 2011 we still may not have all of the details worked out, but how thankful we should be that we have the ability to discuss details at all.