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September 28, 2010

“Prelude to Victory” Prepares for the Battle of Yorktown

More than 200 Revolutionary War military re-enactors – representing the Allied Armies of 1781 – reclaim Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area for a special weekend – Prelude to Victory, Oct. 8-10.

During Colonial Williamsburg’s second re-enactment weekend, guests can meet part of a vast army on its way to lay siege to Yorktown in what proves to be the decisive battle of the American Revolution. Programs include:
Oct. 8

  • “Lafayette, We are here.” Guests gather in front of the courthouse to hear an address regarding the arrival of Generals Washington and Rochambeau with their combined American and French Allied forces. 5 p.m. Courthouse. Ticket: No admission ticket required.
    Oct. 9
  • General Orders Read. The entire army forms on the street before the Courthouse to receive General Washington and his staff. 10 a.m. Courthouse. Ticket: No admission ticket required.
  • Training to be a Dragoon. Do you have what it takes to be a dragoon in General Washington’s army? Guests can find out during this interactive interpretive program. Every 10 minutes 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Magazine. Not recommended for small children. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • “A Proper Plan.” Guests meet with Gen. Washington’s staff officers and discuss the many challenges faced in planning for the upcoming siege. From surveying to supplies, guests learn what it takes to keep the army working. 10:30 a.m. Wythe property. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • Quartermaster’s Woes. Guests speak with the army’s supply sergeant and discover the travail of supplying an army with little or no supplies and even less money. 10:45 a.m. Magazine. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • The Consequences of Occupation. Townspeople express their concerns about the Continental Army occupying Williamsburg. Every 20 minutes, 11 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Raleigh Tavern. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • Assembly Musket Cartridges. Guests can help followers of the army prepare musket ammunition by rolling paper cartridges and filling them with powder and lead shot. 11:30 a.m. Magazine. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • Firing Demonstration. Guests witness a demonstration of the manual of arms and the use of the musket in combat by the entire Carolina Battalion. 2 p.m. Market Square. Ticket: No ticket required.
  • Not Until Your Chores are Done! Children of the camps, helped by Colonial Williamsburg guests, do their chores such as stacking wood and hauling water, so they will have time for a game of trap ball or nine pins. 2:30 p.m. Market Square. Ticket: No ticket required.
    Oct. 10
  • Drumhead Church Service. Troops assemble for a church service and the Articles of War are read. 10 a.m. Market Square. Ticket: No ticket required.
  • Preparing for a Siege. After six long years of war, it would seem that a victory for the American and French Allied forces may be at hand. But as General Washington and his staff discuss the final preparations for the investment at Yorktown, concerns of trust between friends and allies emerge. 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. Courthouse. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • Recruiting. Guests are invited to join in and be recruited, exercised in the manual of arms and learn to march with soldiers. 11 a.m. Market Square. Ticket: No ticket required.
  • Lady Washington – The Wife and Mother. After General Washington leaves home for Yorktown – taking Martha’s son with him—Lady Washington converses with guests about her hopes and fears for the upcoming campaign. 11:30 a.m. DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area and museum admission passes.
  • An Uncommon Soldier. This program explores the experience of a few women who joined the ranks in the disguise. 12:30 p.m. Magazine. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
    Oct. 9-10
  • Military Field Hospital. Surgeons care for wounded patients and smallpox victims. 10 a.m. Governor’s Palace. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • Artillery Demonstration. Artillery crews practice firing various pieces of ordnance. 11:30 a.m. Oct. 9 and 2 p.m. Oct. 10, Market Square. Ticket: No ticket required.
  • Military Music Demonstration. The music of the fifes and drums was not merely to stir the blood. The beats are instructions to the army. Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums performs the sounds that ordered the soldiers’ days. 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 at the Capitol Circle. No ticket required. 1:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Magazine. Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • Revolutionary City: Prelude to Victory! The time is Sept. 27-28, 1781. The allied Armies under the command of General George Washington and the Conte de Rochambeau have just arrived in Williamsburg anxious to gain the advantage over General Cornwallis who is entrenched at Yorktown. Guests can meet soldiers, their commanding officers and people of the town as they live through the difficulties of war, privation and occupation. While Washington prepares his battle plans, his troops rest and refit after an arduous spring campaign, as well as sharpen their skill for the impending clash with General Cornwallis. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.

    For more information, visit our website at www.history.org or call 1-800-HISTORY.

    Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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