By Terry Harris
This Friday night over 200 re-enactors from up and down the mid-Atlantic region will arrive at Chippokes State Park to prepare for the Prelude to Yorktown Revolutionary War Reenactment event on the grounds of the Jones-Steward Mansion.
Following their set up of complete American and British camps, they will feature glimpses into the battles, actions, and camp life of the two armies in the park’s third annual Prelude to Yorktown Reenactment on both Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26.
In addition to battles scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, throughout the day there will be cavalry demonstrations as well as insights into artillery usage and camp life, plus tours of the 1854 Jones-Stewart Mansion and Hearth Cooking demonstrations.
Describing the event as “extremely family friendly” park officials advised early arrival to allow ample time to walk the grounds, explore, and take advantage of all the activities planned.
“We’re good to go,” said Assistant Site Manager Ben Richards. “This is the third one of these, and the biggest one by far. We’re really excited about it, and so glad to be able to offer this kind of event for the community. In addition to the battles each day, there are many opportunities to talk to the people involved, as they all do extensive research, right down to reading through old journals and letters of the time to get a real feel for what that time was like, and they love to share it. It’s really great to be able to get this perspective from all that they have studied to prepare for this experience.”
Describing the event as a “rare opportunity to step back in time,” event organizer Greg Fisher of the 7th Virginia Militia, said, “This is the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown, so there is a lot of focus is on that, plus we are expecting at least a dozen mounted cavalry. We’ll have a Virginia Youth Regiment of younger boys and girls who are learning about the time leading games for visiting kids. We’ll even have an authentic 18th Century Church service on Sunday morning!”
Admission to the park for the event is only $7 per vehicle for parking, and food and beverages will be available for purchase on the grounds. The address is Chippokes Plantation State Park, 695 Chippokes Park Rd., Surry, VA 23883. For further information call 757-294-3728, email Chippokes@dcr.virginia.gov or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/chippokes-plantation.