Gloucester, VA (PRWEB) October 08, 2013
When the British Return to the Hook later this month, “Bloody Ban,” also known as “The Butcher,” will follow suit.
At least, in spirit.
On Oct. 19 and 20, during the Revolutionary War Battle of the Hook reenactment at the Inn at Warner Hall in Gloucester, VA, 28 artifacts from the forces of British Legion’s Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton will be on display for the first time.
The artifacts are a select few from the thousands recovered by The Ottery Group during archeological excavations conducted at Gloucester Point in 2005 prior to the construction of the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science Seawater Research Laboratory.
The items – bilboes, Spanish coins, uniform buttons, brass plates, musket side plates, musket balls, British Legion metal insignia, gun flint hammers and bayonets – reflect Tarleton’s habitation of “Gloucestertown” during the 1781 Siege of Yorktown.
Banastre Tarleton was an up and coming British officer who commanded the British Legion during the Revolutionary War. While he was the young and handsome son of a wealthy English merchant, resourceful, daring and a favorite of young women, he also held the distinction of being the most hated British officer of the American Revolution.
Historians call him “Bloody Ban” and “The Butcher” thanks to the British Legion’s exploits in the southern colonies during the war.
In 1781, the British Army landed at Yorktown and Gloucester Point. Tarleton commanded the Gloucester side of the York River.
Under Tarleton’s command, the British troops in Gloucester were able to forage for food and supplies so successfully that Tarleton was able to woo young ladies.
That is, until the Battle of the Hook.
The historic battle took place on Oct. 3, 1781 in Gloucester and choked off the British supply line to the British troops in Yorktown, helping pave the way for American Independence.
The reenactment of the Battle of the Hook on Oct. 19 and 20 at the Inn at Warner Hall, one of the largest recreations of a Revolutionary War battle, will bring together more than 1,500 infantry, cavalry, artillery and maritime landing reenactors from across the country.
Labeled a national event, the reenactment is sponsored by the Continental Line, British Brigade, and Brigade of the American Revolution, as well as regional and statewide businesses and Gloucester County.
Having the Tarleton artifacts on display for the first time at the Battle of the Hook reenactment brings actual pieces from history to the living history event.
Following their showing at the Inn at Warner Hall, the artifacts will go on permanent display at the Gloucester Museum of History, a display made possible thanks to financial contributions by EVB Bank.
“We're pleased to sponsor and support this effort to preserve Revolutionary artifacts and re-enact a pivotal time in Virginia’s storied past,” said Joe Shearin, President and CEO of EVB Bank. “We're hopeful that the Gloucester community will take advantage of this event and the exhibits; and that we can continue this legacy and educational opportunity for future generations to appreciate our rich history.”
Their donation allows for the artifacts to be conserved.
“As a marine research institute, we’ve never had the expertise or funds to interpret and conserve these artifacts, nor the space to properly share them with the public,” said VIMS Facility Engineer Ron Herzick, who provided logistical support to the archeological crews that spent months uncovering the artifacts.
“That’s just one of the reasons we’re so thankful for the monetary and in-kind support provided by EVB and Gloucester Parks and Rec.”
about the Battle of the Hook:
The events leading up to the Revolutionary War’s Yorktown Campaign and the subsequent victory of the Allies that insured the independence of the United States are well known. Less well known is the Battle of the Hook – the battle that took place across the York River from Yorktown 16 days before the British capitulation. Although rather brief, it included the largest cavalry engagement of the war, with more than 500 horsemen involved.
The Battle of the Hook reenactment in Gloucester is being financed entirely by donations, including the educational programs.
Donations are tax deductible and checks should be made out to First Virginia Regiment and mailed to Battle of the Hook c/o First Virginia Regt., 1596 N. Village Rd., Reston, VA 20194.
The Inn at Warner Hall is located roughly three and a half miles from U.S. Route 17 and a 30-minute drive from Colonial Williamsburg. The battlefields of Yorktown are within 15 minutes and Jamestown, America’s first settlement, is a 50-minute drive along the scenic Colonial Parkway. The state capitol of Richmond, the Norfolk Harbor, and Virginia Beach are within an hour’s drive.
Volunteers are still needed Oct. 14 through Oct. 21 to help with, among other duties, reenactor registration, crowd control, battlefield preparation, camp layouts, docents at the Inn at Warner Hall, equipment distribution, brochure and schedule of events distribution, caring for horses and farm animals, event collector’s items sales and event clean up.
To sign up contact Battle of the Hook Volunteer Coordinator Rudy Heinatz at rbheinatz(at)cox(dot)net.
Learn more about the Battle of the Hook at http://www.battleofthehook.org.