Here is my final post from the reenactment last March. As my previous post mentioned, the degree of authenticity is quite amazing. It was particularly interesting to research and confirm the various uniforms of both American Infantry and Militia, and many British regiments.
If you only saw the battle reenactment, then you missed the other half of this wonderful event. This post features members of the 6th North Carolina Regiment, part of the NC Historical Reenactment Society, along with other regional organizations in the 18th century encampment.
Before the battle reenactment, the encampment is an authentic historical representation of 18th century life. While the soldiers clean their muskets, you have cooking. artisan demonstration and related vendor stalls to visit.
Thanks for stopping by today, if you liked this post, you’ll want to checkout the other posts in this 2017 Battle of Guilford Courthouse series. Click on any image to see a higher resolution version from my portfolio site.
The high degree of authenticity experienced at the reenactment is a testament to the dedication of the participants. I heard from one of the soldiers, “What you see, is how it was.” What I find interesting is the variety of militia dress, and military uniforms on both sides of the conflict. The crescent moon on the helmets of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment, shown below, is a fascinating example.
You can also see the crescent moon shaped gorget around the neck of the officer in the foreground. During Middle Ages, the gorget was the part of a knight’s armor, which protected the throat. By the 18th century, smaller silver and gold gorgets were worn by officers in most European armies. The “Liberty” inscribed crescent moon first appeared in 1775 on the South Carolina battle flag of Colonel William Moultrie as he successfully defended Sullivan’s Island against the British fleet, saving Charleston.
The need to sustain a military presence in various parts of the world forced King George to sign treaties with several German principalities. He would “lease” German troops to help quell the American rebellion. The Hessian Musketeer Regiment von Bose was under the command of Cornwallis in the American Southern Campaign.
The 71st Regiment of Foot was raised from several Scottish clans in April of 1776. They served in many northern campaigns before being sent to support Cornwallis in the south. During the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, they supported the British right. They were sometimes referred to as Fraiser’s Highlander’s.
The image below represents “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, as Lieutenant Colonel of Lee’s Legion. His Legion of mixed corps of cavalry and light infantry supported Greene in several battles and skirmishes. His Legion is also known for numerous raids behind enemy lines, reconnaissance and surveillance, and guerilla warefare. Lee is also the father of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
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In March of 1781, General Nathanael Greene, Washington’s commander in the Southern Campaign, had drawn Cornwallis into the North Carolina back-country. Weaken from his stinging loss to Daniel Morgan two months earlier at the Cowpens in South Carolina, Cornwallis was also 125 miles beyond his nearest supply line.
Cornwallis and Greene met March 15th near Guilford Courthouse. Local militia fired two volleys and then fell back to the American second line of Continental regulars. Though dense woods broke the American & British lines into smaller skirmishes, after intense fighting, the British pushed forward to below the American Third line.
At the Third Line, the Americans fiercely defended the higher ground at Guildford Courthouse. As Cornwallis began to reformed his line for a final assault, Greene realized his army could be lost if he continued the fight. He was able to exit the battleground with little pressure. Though Cornwallis had won the field, he had also lost 25% of his army.
Further weakened, Cornwallis would give up on the Carolinas and march northeast to take Virginia. Cornered by the French at sea and the perusing Continentals on land, Cornwallis was forced to surrender during the Siege of Yorktown, Virginia in October of 1781.
This first post features reenactors from the 6th North Carolina Regiment, officially called the North Carolina Reenactment Society, based out of Charlotte, NC. The Regiment members portray American, British and sometimes Scottish and German troops, as well as eighteenth century crafts, cooking and encampments.
For this post, I decide to process the images to emulate a desaturated, vintage Kodachrome film stock. A distressed black border gives the compositions an antique, weathered feel. The processing and overall feel of these images looks much better in hi-res. Click on any image to see a higher resolution version from my portfolio site.
I have several more compositions from the reenactment to share in forthcoming posts. Thank you for stopping by today!