10th Massachusetts, Battle of Monmouth 2013, Brigade of the American Revolution, Events, living history, Revolutionary War
Yes, I’m tired, but what a great weekend. Even Cricket seems to have been happy. (Yes, I know pugs don’t smile and I know brachycephalic dogs have a hard time breathing, and Cricket was hot, but he did also seem pretty happy to be out in a field under a tree.) The worst of it was getting there: what should have been a 4-5 hour trip took 7 and a quarter hours, thank you New Jersey Turnpike shore traffic. Even people who left New England at 10 had 6-hour journeys, so leaving earlier would not have helped. Also, we would not have been ready as there were very last-minute gear and food assemblies required. This lengthy journey did allow us the chance to play an extended game of “what the hell is that smell?” The unfortunate winner turned out to be Mr S, who guessed cat pee, but that’s a story for another post, or perhaps for Jackson Galaxy.
After erecting tents in the gloaming, including one we’d not been able to check out at home due to heavy work schedules and slight matter of incessant rain, we crashed in our clothes on straw beds and made it to Saturday. Saturday brought coffee, thank goodness, and thanks to Tew’s Company’s willingness to share their fire. (Fire good.) I finally found the camp kitchens on the map, but never walked out to them—happy trails militia folks, but the earthen kitchens were too far from our part of the Continental camp to be really practical. So we made like light infantry and perched on firewood under a tree, ate cold rations and scammed off the hat regiment.
There were plenty of sutlers, but I did not buy 5 yards of the cross barred white and blue at Burnley & Trowbridge to replicate the oyster seller gown because really, first I have to make the black heart cherry gown. I did buy a new hat and ribbon, and pair of more appropriate shears, and most satisfying of all, shoes. I have Burnley and Trowbridge shoes, and while the width is fine and narrow, the length is not and arch support is absent. By the end of a day, my feet and I are miserable, which reduces my stamina and increases my hip pain. (I have arthritis, and had my right hip replaced 2-and-a-half years ago; I’m not that old, but my femoral heads have high mileage.) On the recommendation of several friends, and despite the rubber heels, I tried Flying Canoe shoes. Though a trifle wide, the length was right and I was sold. They vastly improved my outlook and stamina, so were worth the heel cap compromise, with many thanks to my mother for an early birthday present she doesn’t yet know she bought me.
So, topics for this week in some form and combination:
- 18th century sno-cones
- A sense of belonging
- Future menu plans
- The public and the spectacle
- Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center Design
- Shopping & Visiting
- Bed sacks
- There will be laundry
In the meantime, pictures are on Flickr. Lesson for today: Do not turn your back after giving a man your camera.
Sounds like a great time! DId you get to the Distaff HQ?
It was a great time! I did get to Distaff HQ but only sporadically. There was a lot to see, and people to feed (thankfully only 3 men plus me). The battle field is amazing, and despite the brief showers on Sunday, wow! What amazing and beautiful weather.
It was great weather. I didn’t get to DHQ, I fed 19 (with 1-2 helpers) so I did not leave camp until Sunday.
So grateful I never have to feed more than about 10. Four total was plenty, traveling light. It was a lot of fun, and I hope you had a great weekend too.
Sounds like it was a good event. That’s funny you mentioned making the gown worn by the “oyster seller”. I made a replica of the gown about 2 years ago. It’s one of my favorites and is usually my go to gown for most events.
I have seen your gown, and admire it very much. I don’t want to copy yours, but I really like the oyster seller print. And for Rhode Island, it could be clams…but I’m trying not to get too distracted!
It really was quite fun wasn’t it? Thank goodness it wasn’t too hot.
Where WERE the earthen kitchens? I meant to find them too but never did. I didn’t even get so far as to look for them on the map.
I believe they were on the far side of the Continental parade ground. I flipped the initial map over after we’d already been offered the use of Tew’s Company’s fire, which was handy to our furnished parlor (the wood pile). I could not trouble myself to walk over to them, with fire so handy.
Wow. They were really out there then. It’s almost too bad really.
It is too bad! I felt a little bad about being lazy but with a small group, it’s hard to pack all the food to the earthen kitchen by oneself, mind the tent, forget the knife, go back to fetch it, and get dinner made. You start to realize how much support the army really needed.
Do they have the cross barred linen you bought up online?
No, they don’t. It isn’t among the samples I got in May, either, so you’ll have to call them. Blue and white criss bar, but not even. Much more what we’d call plaid. Good luck!
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