Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday Fun - Watching A Redo Of The French And Indian War

This afternoon I took the kids to Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township to see a re-enactor encampment and battle from the French and Indian War period.

The weather was beautiful, hot and sunny, for the kids to have an encounter with history.

We arrived a half hour before the scheduled skirmish and looked around the encampment.

There were tents and a small wooden fort had been established in the park environs.

Within the encampment there was a vendor with a tent full of historical replica artifacts for sale, and he spent quite a bit of time cheerfully entertaining and informing the audience about his wares.

He had everything from furs and bowls to flints, which would be needed in the upcoming battle.

I bought Tash a pair of period scissors for her quilting table, which she liked, and it gives her table a nice antique touch.

There was also a pewter-smith with many beautifully crafted objects that he had made in period conditions:

Here's a spoon unfinished in the mold:

We also looked into a period toy shop and chatted with the proprietor and then headed to the battlefield.

The battle then began promptly at 3:00.

A narrator explained the event as skirmishes and then line infantry of the Massachusetts provincial light battalion came upon the French skirmish line in front of the fort and the French regulars within.

The French skirmishers fell back under the provincial's onslaught.

However they reformed behind the Fort's abatis where the French had a cannon:

The Provincials responded with volley fire, driving the French back into the safety of the fort:

Additional volleys followed

Sadly, the Provincials lacked the means to assault the fort and drive the French from it, and after an attempt to negotiate the surrender of the fort and the French commander's refusal, the French won this engagement after a canon shot knocked out some of the provincials.

Parley at the Abatis

Don't worry, the redcoats win this war in the end
When it came down to it, a canon and fort the French both had got, and the English did not.

However the Massachusetts provincial light battalion after taking its losses retreated in good order and survived to fight another day.

It was a neat battle to watch with musket fire both individual and volleys crashing back and forth and multiple cannon blasts to add a touch of class to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl.

Afterwards, the kids got to tour the camp and fort and talk with the participants and learn about the battle and period life.

One Provincial battalion member showed them his flintlock and explained how it was operated and then cleaned with the pick and wisk.

If you failed to use the pick to prevent the touch hole inside the pan from being blocked and you didn't whisk away the crud remaining after firing, there was a good chance that soon the flintlock would fail to fire as only the powder in the pan would go off and not reach that within the barrel - hence the origin of the saying "flash in the pan". 

The kids had a great time and learned a bit while doing so.  All the re-enactors were great and enthusiastic about their hobby and eager to inform people about what they were seeing and how life was like during the French and Indian War days.

 It was a lot of fun and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  With two wiped kids in the back seat, I headed home to make some burgers and corn on the BBQ.  A great day indeed.


God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

I never quite understood the purpose of brightly colored uniforms in the old days... other than tradition... easier to see and shoot at...

Dann in Ohio

ProudHillbilly said...

Sounds like a wonderful day!

Aaron said...


The European way of war used to be a lot more civilized - you showed up on a nice open battlefield, drew up in lines of battle and exchanged volleys and perhaps a cavalry charge until one side won. Much easier to see and control your army that way, and easier enemy identification.

It took the Boer War for the British and World War One for the rest of the Europeans like the French to get them out of their brightly colored uniforms and into duller fare that hid them better.

PH: That it was.

Murphy's Law said...

So what you're saying is, we need cannons for when the Obama-bots come. And forts.

Scott said...

I kept expecting you to quote the French commander: "Now go away or I will taunt you a second time-uh"

Scott said...

I kept expecting you to quote the French commander: "Now go away or I will taunt you a second time-uh"

Aaron said...


Your Internets, Zey are in zee mail...,,

Aaron said...
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