Julliette Carignan Photography

A Living History Re-enactment of the Birth of the Continental Army and life in Cambridge Camp, 1775

June 28, 2009 at Minute Man National Historic Park in Concord, Massachusetts

About this Event

These photos capture one afternoon of a living history event that took place at Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord Massachusetts on the weekend of June 27 and June 28, 2009. The event was organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the national park. The park service called it "Now We Are One"~ George Washington and the Birth of the Continental Army.

Situated at the Hartwell Tavern Historical Area on the Battle Road, the event represents the day in the summer of 1775, just after the battle at Bunker/Breeds Hill in Charlestown, when General Artemas Ward appointed the command of a newly forming American Army to General George Washington. On that day, citizens from all over the region are gathered at Cambridge Camp where General Washington is about to undertake the challenge of forging an army that is capable of beseiging the British in Boston during the war for independence. Most of the future soldiers are still in civilian clothing: in some cases the rough gear of farmers and in others, the refined and colorful clothing of merchants and wealthier gentlemen recruits. Besides General Washington, prominent officers present that day and in these photos are General Benedict Arnold and General Artemas Ward. Also represented are local citizens and the women who performed many essential duties that maintained and supported the camp and their families' health and welfare.

This event was organized by regional living historians who regularly participate in re-enacting historical events such as this. Valuing the importance of really knowing one's country's history, these men and women go to great lengths to know the history they're depicting in depth, often from primary sources such as diaries and first-hand accounts, and to make or buy authentic clothing, weaponry, camping equipment, horse tack and all accoutrements down to small details. They bring history alive in a way books and even films can not, thereby sparking curiosity and renewed interest in a subject that is often forgotten by many modern citizens. Speaking of films, some of these re-enactors participate in movies such as the American Experience documentary film "Patriots Day" and dramatic films about the revolution such as "the Patriot." Many of these re-enactors have been involved in such recreations of history for 20 years and more.

Key participants and organizers of this particular event were the 10th Massachusetts Regiment whose commander, Captain Frank Chamberlain, appears in several of the photos. The Second Regiment Light Dragoons of mounted re-enactors were also participants. Particularly included here are many photos of that regiment's mounted commander, Lt. Robert S. Allegretto of North Andover, who wears the blue contintental line uniform that features the white facings that indicate he is a New England soldier. Also appearing were members of the Authentic New England Campaigners, the Ladies of Refined Taste, and several other groups from the area. In the pictures on this website, re-enactors' names and the historical figures they were representing are included in the captions and image metadata whenever possible.

This event was a delight to witness and truly brought history alive for those who were lucky enough to attend. I will make the effort to find out about and attend other re-enactments. I learned from avid historian Myles McKennon that one can learn about upcoming events from the website and links of two umbrella re-enactment organizations, the Brigade of the American Revolution and the Continental Line. Events taking place specifically at the Minute Man National Park can be found at this URL.

Additional photos of this event that were taken by my father, Gerry Carignan, an equally avid photographer, can be found at at this URL.

Thank you to the Minute Man park service and the living historians who made this event come to life!

- Julliette Carignan

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