It's always extra special to camp and fight on historic ground and imagine what it was like for those that were there 240 years ago.
It's also always fun to attend the national events because of the scale. There were tons of great images all around, from the dragoons exercising in the field to the artillery firing battery barrages, to the infantry of both sides marching to their positions.
We in the 7th Virginia turned out over 30 participants split among the rifles (10) line (10) artillery (6) and distaff (7). The 7th Virginia actually fought at Brandywine (in Woodford's brigade on Birmingham Heights) so this made it extra important to us. Unlike most regiments in the army, the Virginia regiments of the early war years consisted of line and rifle companies, hence our tendency to field two infantry units and at least one cannon at national events (we actually brought two cannon for Brandywine).
I thought the event itself was very well organized and it looked like it was well supported by the community. Yes, the heat on Saturday caught all of us by surprise, even we warm blooded southerners, but there is nothing to be done about that and though there were some heat incidents, folks were fast to offer assistance.
As a rifleman, I always enjoy a fight in the woods and Saturday's battle involved a lot of woods fighting for us. As a result, I really can't offer much commentary about the battle on the main field as my attention was focused in the woods. I will say though that I enjoyed the intensity of the battle (and all of the shouting and cheering/yelling), which to me made it seem like a real battle was taking place.
On Sunday I had the honor of taking a detachment of mostly riflemen into the woods to pick a fight, and thankfully, a detachment of British responded. It was a brief encounter, but the unscripted nature of it made it exciting and in the end I think / hope we all had fun.... I did.
Sunday's battle found the riflemen back in the woods, but alas, the enemy didn't really push us, so most of the battle for us was anticipating the possibility that they might try to flank us and the army. We were able to get a few shots off into the flank of the enemy, but for the most part we stayed on the edge of the battle (and enjoyed the view of the fight).
One of the best things about large events like this one are the visuals you see thanks to the good turnout, and it looked to me that we had a good turnout on both sides, so I really enjoyed all of the action and the views.
So thanks again to everyone who organized this event, it was most definitely worth the long drive in Friday afternoon traffic to get there.
All the Best,
Mike Cecere 7th VA