Rob and I had been to Yorktown in February for our anniversary so we knew the town a bit. We stayed at a charming Bed and Breakfast called The Hornsby House. The town can be walked in a day and most everything closes at four except for a small pub with TV screens. (Sidenote: the TV on our ship stopped working today which was most unfortunate for those wanting to watch the World Series.)
We had not been to the amazing American Revolution Museum before. We spent a couple of hours there, and it wasn’t enough time. We listened to an entertaining docent for 45 minutes who explained events that led up to the American Revolution.
Most people think that the Revolutionary War started with the Declaration of Independence. Actually, the American Revolution started on April 19, 1775 at Concord and Lexington.
Exhibits featured people who lived during that time: soldiers, slaves, citizens, children, etc. There was an exhibit of clothing which distinguished them from each other and what role they were and even which side that you were on.
General Horatio Gates was livid that Washington was chosen to lead the Continental Army. They were contemporaries and Gates was ambitious. However, he ended up a deserter in a botched battle.
Marquis de Lafayette fought on the American side. He was an interesting hero and warrants more study. Lafayette had an arranged marriage. He was 14 and his fiance was 12. The girl’s parents decided that they were too young but they could see each other. They married two years later and were together until death.
Lafayette came to America from France to assist with the noble cause of freedom. He bought a ship and hired out-of-work soldiers. He learned English on the voyage and became fluent after one year in America. Lafayette served as a major-general in the continental army under George Washington.
Thirty thousand men fought in the Battle of the Capes which was between the French and the British and was significant to the success of the Battle of Yorktown. However, not a single colonist died or was wounded in the Battle of the Capes.
After the Battle of Yorktown the British lost interest and traveled to New Orleans to try to gain a foothold there.
Shays Rebellion happened after soldiers had returned home. Basically, Daniel Shay had fought many battles in the American Revolutions but never was paid for his service. When he returned home, he was required to pay debts that he had acquired during his five year absence. He wasn’t the only one. They banded together and took action. It seemed like Deja Vu.
This rebellion demonstrated that the Articles of Confederation were outdated and that a new document was needed. The Federalist Papers were a series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison under the pen name of Publius to support the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
Back on the ship, we have an evening happy hour. Today, boys from the Yorktown Fife and Drum Corp explained their role on the battlefield.
The purpose of a fife and drum was for communication. Each commander had one and sent a message that would be repeated down the line to the next commander. These orders would be battle directives, or daily calls such as call to assemble or reveille or camp duties or even jigs and reels for entertainment.
A fife can play three octaves. The drum can play a paradiddle which is a single stroke followed by a double stroke.