June 9, 2006
Continental Army re-enactors free CW from 1781 Redcoat occupation as General Lafayette prepares troops to lay siege to British Army at Yorktown
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Relief from the oppressive redcoats arrives Friday, June 30 as several hundred Continental Army re-enactors liberate Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area from the trials and tribulations of martial law imposed by the British Army commanded by Lord Charles Cornwallis. “A Town Unchained” celebrates the 1781 encampment of Continental Army troops prior to the siege of Yorktown and serves as a fitting prelude to the Independence Day celebration Tuesday, July 4.
The military re-enactors, led by the Marquis de Lafayette, march into the 18th-century city during the late afternoon to the cheers of the citizenry. Fresh from Gen. Lafayette’s clash with the redcoats at the nearby Battle of Greensprings, the Continental Army units will spend the weekend in camp, drilling and preparing for the American Revolution’s final clash at Yorktown.
As the camps spring to life Saturday and Sunday morning, guests are invited to explore military life of the period from 9:30 a.m. The military hospital treats the injured and wounded 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the East Advance Building at the Governor’s Palace, which served as a field hospital during and after the Yorktown siege.
General Lafayette conducts a public audience and responds to questions at 1 p.m. at the Courthouse of 1770 through the weekend. Dragoon units demonstrate military horsemanship and cavalry tactics on Courthouse Green at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“The Town Unchained” is the second of three re-enactor weekends – special events to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the Oct. 19 British surrender at Yorktown that effectively ended the Revolutionary War – in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area during 2006. The trio of re-enactment weekends began June 23-25 with “Under the Redcoat,” a re-enactment of the 1781 occupation of Williamsburg by Lord Charles Cornwallis and British Army units under his command. The Continental Army re-enactors return Oct. 13-15 for “Prelude to Victory” to prepare for the siege of Yorktown, the final battle in the War for Independence.