2016 Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day

 

Join us on Saturday, September 24th, 2016 as we enjoy our 4th annual Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day.  We will have as our centerpiece the American Military Timeline starting at the French and Indian War and going through to present day.  With the help of our friends from Historical Military Impressions  see re-enactors from the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, The Civil War, World War I, World War II, The USO, Vietnam, and the National Guard representing today’s troops in camps and displaying the dress and items they carried into battle.  Interact with the soldiers, see the weapons they used and learn about the clothing and other gear that these soldiers needed to outfit themselves on the battlefield.  Firing exercises will take place throughout the day, as well as many other programs.

Join the soldiers as they march into camp at 11:00am and then visit each of the camps.  Learn about many of our local historical sites, learn crafts with special demonstrations, and buy goods from the craftspeople that will be at the battlefield.  Author Bruce Mowday and Gene Pisasale will be signing their books for purchase and donating their proceeds to the battlefield.  See Ben Franklin demonstrate his great inventions.  We’d like to thank our food vendor Cafe Buno which will be selling food and drinks to everyone.  Our good friends at the  Colonial Plantation and East Goshen Township will have kids crafts and games to share with the family.  Take a family keepsake photo at the battlefield. Register your kids with our Paoli Passport.  This program will have your children tour each of the camps and asked questions to the re-enactors to get the answers needed to win prizes.  Everyone entered will win a prize pack, but we will have a larger prize drawing near the end of the day. Tour the Paoli Battlefield and learn all about the battle that took place here and why it was coined the “Paoli Massacre” by the patriots. Experience a Duel between a loyalist and a patriot and have your kids participant in our children’s musket drills.

To close out the day we will have a veterans recognition ceremony.  State Representative Duane Milne and others will talk about the history and sacrifice our fighting men and women have faced keeping our country free.  Our re-enactors will march out of camp and will then lay wreaths at the mass grave site of the 52 patriots who perished during the Battle of Paoli on September 20-21, 1777.    A bugler will play taps,  which will then be followed by a firing salute by our re-enactors.

Admission is by a donation of $8.00 per person, children are $5.00, and a special family rate is $20.00 (up to 5 people).

More Information

Jun 282016
 

Did you know that during the 6 day siege at Fort Mifflin the 400 American’s inside the fort had only 10 cannon to defend against the British with 2000 troops, a fleet of ships, and 228 cannon?  It was a cold and wet November in 1777 at Fort Mifflin (Named after General Thomas Mifflin), a wood and stone structure located nine miles from center city Philadelphia, on a muddy island in the Delaware River. What happened here may well have changed American history. But few people are aware of it.

Join us on Monday, April 10th as we welcome Elizabeth Beatty, executive director of the National Historic Landmark Fort Mifflin.

Our lectures have proved to be very popular and we strongly recommend that you book your seat now. 

Register NOW

Click here to register for this lecture

The all inclusive admission price is $49 per person which includes the 18th century American Fare Buffet, all soft beverages and coffee, family style sweets during the question and answer session, all tax and gratuities, the lecture, and a donation to help support the Paoli Battlefield Historical Park.

Your admission also includes a raffle ticket for a chance to win a night’s stay at the General Warren Inne. There will be one winner drawn at each lecture.

ftmifflin

Ariel View of Fort Mifflin

In 1777 (from November 10th to the 15th), British troops bombarded the 22-acre fort with more than 10,000 cannon balls, eventually destroying the structure.

Inside the fort, a cold, wet and hungry garrison of 400 men suffered 240 casualties in the effort. So short were the Americans on ammunition that anyone retrieving a cannonball that could be fired back was promised a gill of rum — about four ounces.

The weather hurt the Continental soldiers in another critical way. With unusually heavy rains flooding the back channel, two British ships were able to sail up the channel and bombard the fort’s only unfinished walls at point-blank range. British Marines even climbed up to the crow’s nest of the HMS Vigilant and threw hand grenades at soldiers inside the fort.

With the fort walls collapsing around them from the incredible shelling, most of the Americans evacuated after nightfall on November 15th, rowing with muffled oars across the river to nearby Fort Mercer (now part of Redbank Battlefield Park, Gloucester, New Jersey).

The 40 men remaining at Fort Mifflin set fire to what was left of the structure, and then joined their comrades. But they left the fort’s flag flying, and they never surrendered.

Sinking of the HMS Agusta

Sinking of the HMS Agusta

Biggest Boom: The explosion of the 64-gun HMS Augusta in the Delaware River in October 1777 after running aground and being fired on by Americans at Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer. Author Tom Paine, of “Common Sense” fame, who was on the road between Germantown and Whitemarsh, wrote to Ben Franklin that the sound was “like the peal of a hundred cannon at once.” The Augusta was the largest ship ever lost by the British to the Americans in two wars.

What they accomplished: The troops at Fort Mifflin bottled up 250 British ships in the Delaware River for about six weeks, destroying several — and preventing food, clothing, gunpowder and munitions from reaching the British army in Philadelphia.

By holding “to the last extremity,” as General George Washington had ordered, the men at Fort Mifflin gave Washington time to move his exhausted troops to Valley Forge for the winter — and very possibly saved the country.

After the war, Fort Mifflin was rebuilt. It served as a prison during the Civil War, and a naval munitions depot during World War I and II. Beth Beatty, who became executive director in 2010, views the fort as a veteran who has served and sacrificed for the country over an extended period of time.

 

For donations to Fort Mifflin, or to volunteer, go to: www.FortMifflin.us, or call 215-685-4167.