March of 1776 will be experienced anew as Fort Ticonderoga host its living history weekend on Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16.
Guests will discover the remarkable story of how a fledging army fought for independence and see how New York soldiers used British military drills to put their muskets and fowlers to use against their enemy.
The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The cost is $10 per person; friends of Fort Ticonderoga and children 4 years old and younger are free.
“As Fort Ticonderoga begins to tell the epic story of 1776 during the 2014 season, guests to this living history event are asked to join the reinforcements headed for northern forts and Canada and face this military crisis with them,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga’s President and CEO. “Stand inside the parade of the Fort as New York soldiers, reenlisted veterans from 1775 and new recruits, drill to defend this vital link in the supply chain. Hear leather heels strike the ground as they march in step. Thrill at the crack of their firelocks as they fire volleys. Watch the carpenters hard at work as they turn logs and lumber into crates, sleds, and beams. Explore Fort Ticonderoga as it comes to life with the struggle to keep an American army alive in March of 1776.”
“For the freezing, sick, and starving American soldiers living in houses and barns outside the walls of Quebec in early 1776, hope lay just to the south at Fort Ticonderoga, an old French Fort on Lake Champlain,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Interpretation. “The lives of American soldiers and the campaign to capture Canada were in jeopardy. Unlike the persistent snow and ice in Canada, the Continental Army’s solders were melting away from disease, injury, and expiring enlistments. In the depth of the winter teams of oxen and horses dragged sleds on frozen rivers and lakes along the chain of Forts from Albany all the way to Quebec. Filled with food, winter clothing, and medicine, the contents of each sled were vital to keep the remaining American soldiers alive. Warm weather and cracking ice threatened to shatter the Army.”
Guided tours will be offered at 10:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3 p.m.
At 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. guests can view musket demonstrations and see how New York soldiers used British military drill to put their muskets and fowlers to effect together.
At carpenters will hew down logs to build a supply sled and at 2:30 p.m. guests can see logs harvested for timber.
Throughout the weekend the Continental store will be open displaying the supplies kept at the Fort and guests can visit the tailor’s shop and try their hand at repairing soldiers’ mattresses. They can also visit soldiers and officers quarters to see how they lived during the cold winter. A pair of exhibits–“It Would Make a Heart of Stone Melt” and “Pork, Pigeon, & Pottery”—will also be open.
To learn more, visit fortticonderoga.org.