Thursday, June 30, 2011

Under the Redcoat 2011

I know many people from the history/costume blogging world attended Under the Redcoat this year and it was so wonderful to meet in person those of you we've had the pleasure of "meeting" online over the course of the weekend!  It will be fun to hear everyone's different perspectives of the weekend and to see pictures of things we may have missed, as we were busy in camp for the majority of the weekend.

We arrived on Thursday night and got settled in.  Friday morning, we strolled the streets of Colonial Williamsburg and reunited with our friends from Teacups in the Garden to watch some Rev City scenes and to share a peaceful lunch together.  Later in the afternoon, we were spectators for the first event of UTR as the Provost Guard marched into town to begin setting up on Market Square.  The crowd was smaller and certainly less vocal than last year, but the arrival of the British in town still drew an appropriately dismayed and angry reaction from the onlookers.

British troops march into Williamsburg with camp followers.

Saturday morning, we were up early to join our unit in their camp on Market Square.  A few of us ventured over to the CW Costume Design Center to explore their tag sale.  There was already quite a crowd gathered, but there were a few nice pieces still waiting to be discovered on the racks; we each made a small purchase and were happy to help some of our friends find some new things as well.  After our shopping excursion, we headed back to camp to help prepare the day's meals and aid with some necessary mending of uniforms.  It was great fun meeting so many new people and interacting with the eager and inquisitive visitors.  We had several curious young ones who were, for the most part, enthusiastic about learning about camp chores and what life was like in a military camp.  In the afternoon, we took one of the gents in our unit for a quick tour of some CW sites, as it was his first visit to the town.  It's always a treat introducing someone new to the wonders of CW.  Once evening descended, we all dressed in our best and gathered in a private room at King's Arms for a rousing evening of wonderful food and song.  Our apologies if our hearty eighteenth-century voices disturbed anyone belowstairs!  To cap off the day's events, a few of us ended the night by joining the large group gathered behind Chowning's, where we admired many others who had similarly donned their finest in honor of this unique yearly gathering.

A few of our followers in camp.

On the second full day of UTR, the men of our regiment were kept busy with guard duty and patrolling the streets of the town. Many of them were successful in making arrests of suspicious persons and searching out secret camps.  We all anxiously awaited their intriguing stories when they returned to camp!  We distaff were busy again with camp duties, preparing meals, keeping water buckets full and everything tidy, and such.  Luckily, there was again some time to visit around town, which was spent stopping in to see some CW friends and to make plans for the coming week.  After a couple of afternoon firing demonstrations, we all began breaking down camp and preparing to depart.  With a long drive ahead back to CT for most of our members, our group thinned out early in the afternoon; the rest of us enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in camp before finally packing up and saying goodbye until our next event.

Redcoat firing demonstration.

We had another great year at UTR, this time made even more enjoyable and memorable by the company of our unit, and we're looking forward to reading more accounts of the weekend.  There are always so many stories and threads to this event, which is what makes it so unique each and every year.  Don't forget to look at our flickr set to see some more of our pictures from this weekend, and be sure to check back here as we continue to update about our upcoming week in Williamsburg!

No comments: