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.