10th Massachusetts, authenticity, common soldier, Events, living history, Reenacting, Revolutionary War
It is known that the troops serving as the Army of Observation in the months after Lexington and Concord lacked discipline. General Washington found them sorely wanting when he took command of what became the Continental Army, superseding General Artemus Ward. You can read the measures Washington put in place here, from Artemus Ward’s orderly book in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
When you have this kind of documentation, it makes recreating an event that much easier, and more fun. (We did note that sometimes striving for authenticity makes us behave very seriously; perhaps a little more fun is in order.)
Luckily for us, the Young Mr was assigned to be General Washington’s aide-de-camp. Aide-de-scamp would be more like it. He thoroughly enjoyed carrying the General’s equipment and accouterments, handling the items with obvious care and confusion–he was clearly impressed by what he was carrying, acted (rightly) as if he’d never seen things so fine, and then proceeded to place them carefully on the ground outside the general’s tent…respectful but not quite right, thus a little disappointing, but setting the proper tone.
After lunch, the sergeant standing guard caught the aide-de-camp stealing fruit from the general’s table. This made a fine show with the sergeant yelling at the aide-de-scamp and shaking him by the scruff of his jacket (the sergeant being shorter than the scamp). The scamp continued to eat the peach, but it was ripe, and part of it went flying off the pit, fortunately not into the sergeant’s face. All were pleased by this little scene, no one more than the scamp.
The Lexington Training Band was busted for card playing, and for drying their dirty laundry on the general’s tent. The scamp was accused of stealing stockings, and chased, in another very satisfying scene. Next weekend, he’ll have General Gage to reckon with. I expect to find him in irons.
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