Archive for June, 2011

The Battle of Monmouth

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2011 by Pat Regan

Today a choice had to be made. It was a toss up between the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island or the Battle of Monmouth reenactment in New Jersey. I opted for war! I had been to the Mermaid Festival a couple times already. I had a feeling some good friends were going to the battlefield, so I headed to New Jersey. It was good to get out of the city. At Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Colonial and British encampments were set up at opposite ends. Before the battle I strolled through the British camp.

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Many of the British soldiers were smoking from clay pipes.

Before the battle there was an artillery demonstration.

Then the respective sides gathered for battle.

The fight was on. The battle at Monmouth was the largest single day battle of the Revolutionary War. The battle took place on June 28, 1778.

George Washington’s army numbered about 14,500 including about 1000 militia. The British army numbered about 21,000 including 4100 Hessians (German mercenaries) and 210 Loyalists (Americans loyal to the British). Only about half of the British forces were at this battle.

After the battle the re-enactors returned to their respective camps. There were craftsmen and people selling wares of the time period set up in tents along the path to the Colonial encampment. This guy thanked me for being one of only two people who bothered to ask if I could photograph him the entire day. He said most people just snap away without saying a thing.

People were tired from the heat. Durung the actual battle in 1778 some soldiers died from the heat and lack of water. George Washington reported 69 men died, 161 wounded and 132 missing. Total loss 362. British. Numbers were uncertain but were approximately 67 killed in action, 59 died of fatigue, 170 wounded and 65 missing. Total 361.

Those that weren’t resting were preparing dinner or cleaning their weapons.

I tried to get this guy to climb on the bike, but he insisted on staying in character. All the people involved take their roles seriously, which is great! As you watch the families and soldiers going about their business at the camp it really feels authentic.

Pow Wow @Floyd Bennett Field

Posted in Uncategorized on June 12, 2011 by Pat Regan

I rode out to Floyd Bennett Field last weekend to see the Gateway to Nations Pow Wow.

I found out about this pow wow while traveling cross country in 2009 where I bumped into Cliff at the Crow Agency Pow Wow in Montana.¬† I was riding through the tee pee village when I hear, “Where you from?” I say “NY.” He screams “Brooklyn!” He let me pitch my tent next to his camper and showed me around. Cliff helps organize the pow wow here in NYC.

I went to the pow wow at Floyd Bennett Field last year too, but didn’t post it here as I took the subway and a bus to get there. My bike was in the shop. It’s a spectacular event I recommend to all.

Cliff welcomes some of the new young dancers to the pow wow.

The sounds of the drummers and singers penetrate the soul as you watch the dancers perform.

This is the Birdman. Very cool dude. He is pointing out extra barbs on the beak which the falcon uses to sever the spinal cord of it’s prey.

After leaving the pow wow, I rode around a bit. Until you see the numbers you may not realize that this is no road you are riding on, It’s a former runway. A runway on which Amelia Earheart, Howard Hughes and Wiley Post once touched down.

There is a secluded campground on the other side of the airfield as well. I spoke to one of the campers and unfortunately was told this campground will be closing in two months to allow for development. End of an era. So if you want to camp in Brooklyn at a remote, wooded campground for 20 bucks a night, you have to do it this summer.