Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Under the Redcoat, 24-26 June

The British Marines participated in the Under The Redcoat Event at Colonial Williamsburg by Sergeant Tim Wilson.
Saturday, June 25.
     After what the Sergeant thought was an early arrival on Saturday morning at the site, he quickly had to hustle to a previously unannounced early formation to drill with the 43d Regiment of Foot—for the first time, the Connecticut Marines were present in force and practiced the open file tactics that have stood us in such fine stead in the past, much to the consternation of the Doodles.
     All went well, though the Marine platoon was split, half for the Guard, half for patrolling. As Sergeant, I went with the Guard detachment where we spent the morning screening, interrogating and occasionally incarcerating wretched rebel ne’er do wells.
The remainder of the platoon scoured streets for the King’s enemies, with everybody reuniting in camp for a delightful repast, provided by the 43d.
     That afternoon, a firing demonstration was conducted with the 43d and Royal Artillery. Nearly 50 infantry and a gun team shattered the afternoon quiet with controlled volleys and a rousing bayonet charge. The public were impressed and much fun was had by all.
That evening, the Connecticut Marines held a dinner at the King’s Arms tavern. There was eating, drinking and singing, along with the guest of honor, Paul “Bermuda Boy” Vescio.
Sunday, June 26.
     Several Marines went to “a short, 20 minute Church Parade” that lasted more like an hour.  After morning inspection at 9am, the sergeant led a Marine detachment into town to seek out troublemakers. They very soon found them, in particular two saucy wenches who were taken in for questioning and had seditious literature upon them (and, according to one, fleas). They were forthwith handcuffed to a tree, to the mutual benefit of all.
     By this time, the Marines were scattered all up and down Duke of Gloucester Street, and had received word that the Hessians might be “unreliable” and were letting seditious and dangerous cargoes through the British lines. Several times the Sergeant of Marines queried the Germans about their search techniques, but nothing untoward was discovered. Later, however, it was revealed that search party led by the 43d, including Marines, had uncovered a tent full of contraband in the German camp. Such sad doings indeed!
As an aside, our gallant Captain was shot in the arm in “an affair of honor” with another brother officer, who had apparently insulted the honor of the Marines (or perhaps our Captain’s attire?) No lasting harm appears to have been done.
     By Sunday afternoon, things began to wind down.  One more firing demonstration was held at 2:30 ad then all began to organize themselves for departure.