Community News

Revolutionary War Re-enactment in Central Park

by: HB News staff writer
Posted: February 18, 2019

 

HUNTINGTON BEACH...Actors play on many stages, from small neighborhood theater stages, in front of the motion picture camera stage and others play on large outdoor settings.

This past weekend actors played using Huntington Beach Central Park as a backdrop to stage the re-enactment the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the battles for the American colonies in North America that would to determine our own destiny that destiny lead to the formation of the united colonies and to the United States.

Recruit McGee from the 33rd Foot

 

When the Mother Country (England) sent troops to put down such ideas of parting with England and making our own just laws here, a war began, a Revolutionary War.

It was local farmers and merchants with their own weapons that gathered in the thirteen British colonies. From there they formed militias using their our guns to defend their freedom and families, battled the greatest army in the world at the time when an American army hadn't even been formed yet. A revolutionary idea of owning guns today, but if the citizens then hadn't own their weapons, there possibly would not have been a United States and Starbucks would be serving tea instead of coffee.

L-R: Adam English, James Denton, Eunice Font and Joaquim Montaban

 

Now, 243 years later actors in Huntington Beach were re-enacting a Revolutionary War for the public. Only this time it was held in beautiful Huntington Central Park and sponsored by the Huntington Beach Historical Society.

Many famous Americans have taken part under cool cloudy skies to argue their cause as hundreds of the public watched and asked questions. The most respected and famous to take part was Ben Franklin, statesman, inventor, printer, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Besides the camps, vendors dressed in costumes, displayed original wares or sold reproductions of items that were around at that time.

The history of the first re-enactment is just as interesting as today's re-enactment.

It was in the last weekend of November of 1990 that the Huntington Beach Historical Society held its first Revolutionary War re-enactment in Bartlett Park.

The Red Coats fire on American troops in Bartlett Park November 1990

 

Like in the this re-enactment, the first featured live battles between the outnumbered ragtag American troops and the experienced British Red Coats. Between battles costumed actors gave demonstrations on loading a musket, the difference between a musket and a rifle, cooking in a camp of the time and even some of the dangers of infections from musket ball wounds and camp diseases.

A soldier stands guard November 1990

 

The first Revolutionary War re-enactment was the brainchild of Historical Society member Maureen Rivers, who lived in Massachusetts and remembered the re-enactments staged in her hometown when she was growing up.

This year's re-enactment of the battles for American Independence was aided by her grandson Darrell Rivers as a remembrance to his grandmother who passed away December 30, 2015 at age 79.

Two camps, one for the British regulars and the other American militia in Huntington Central Park. This year, soldiers also answered questions from the public, gave battles with plenty of smoke, had displays of items for sale, men, women and kids wore period costumes.

That year noble Americans of that era were on hand to greet visitors and talk about how the Founding Fathers lived before, during and after the war.

The British camp overnight in back of the Newland House November 1990

 

In the first re-enactment several of the British troops stayed overnight in their tents on the Newland House grounds. Under the clear starry sky and peaceful silence the troops slept until...

They awoke with a start, their first thought may have been the Washington's troops had crossed the Delaware River. They then noticed that their clothing they wore were wet. No luck for the British, the sprinklers in the back yard turned on at night and soaked the Red Coats.

We soaked the British, at that first re-enactment and last Sunday, God soaked them with rain.

Such are the dangers of war.


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