18th-Century ‘Horsemanship With Arms’ and Expanded British Attack Added for 2013

Wielding Sword on Horse

Photo by Greg Catalano

Revolutionary War Encampment at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Wethersfield, Conn. (March 22, 2013) –– Thundering across a field at a full canter toward his “adversary,” an 18th century horseman raises his sword and slashes through… a melon? Bolton resident David Loda will reenact this and other mock battle scenes as Lieutenant Colonel David Humphreys, aide-de-camp to General George Washington, during the fifth annual Revolutionary War Encampment at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum. The event takes place Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 211 Main St., Old Wethersfield, Connecticut, following the Wethersfield Memorial Day parade. Admission to the encampment is free; regular admission rates will be charged for the optional 60-minute tour of the museum.

As the newest feature at the encampment, Loda—a retired Navy pilot from the 21st-century —will demonstrate “horsemanship with arms,” skills from the 18th-century, including both sword and pistol. Loda creates a dashing figure in full Continental uniform and tri-corn hat and astride his gleaming Morgan horse, Huckleberry. When he portrays Humphreys—barreling across a battlefield toward a “soldier” portrayed by a melon perched atop a post— visitors will easilygrasp the likely level of discomfort their forbears felt when faced with a charging, sword-wielding horseman.
Also new at the 2013 WDS Revolutionary War Encampment is the inclusion of the 54th Regiment of Foot, a band of British redcoats whose safety is uncertain once they commence a “surprise” attack on the Continental soldiers at 1 p.m. A new on-site bake sale will feature the wildly popular fare created by Liberty Tea, bakers who create delicious homemade treats from historic recipes, using all-natural ingredients.

David Humphreys served as principal of the Wethersfield public school following his graduation from Yale University in 1771. During the American Revolution, he served as aide-de-camp to generals Putnam, Greene, and finally from 1780 to the end of the war, George Washington. Loda’s portrayal of Humphreys at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum encampment is particularly significant as the Joseph Webb House is where General Washington and French Lieutenant General Rochambeau planned the joint military campaign that led to the victory at Yorktown, Virginia, and the end of the American Revolutionary War. Humphreys had the honor of delivering the surrendered British flags from the Battle of Yorktown to the Continental Congress.

The WDS Revolutionary War Encampment offers visitors the chance to interact closely with members of the Fifth Connecticut Regiment in full Colonial costume, with entertaining demonstrations of marching and musket firing, 18th-century open-fire cookery, and enchanting harp and dulcimer music. Shortly after the regiment partakes of its midday meal, children in attendance will be invited to learn to march and perform drills with wooden “muskets.” The British are expected to attack at 1 p.m. A fascinating display and discussion of the medical and surgical techniques used in the late 1700s, and an exhibit of period clothing and fashions, are also be featured. The encampment is underwritten, in part, by a grant from the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Connecticut.

About the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Located in the heart of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Museum consists of three authentically restored 18th-century homes that bring Wethersfield’s rich history to life, from the American Revolution to the early 20th century. The museum includes the 1752 Joseph Webb House, which served as George Washington’s Revolutionary War headquarters in May 1781, when he met with French General le comte de Rochambeau; the 1770 Silas Deane House, built for a delegate to the Continental Congress and America’s first diplomat to France; and the 1788 Isaac Stevens House, which depicts life in the 18th and 19th centuries through original family objects and includes a fascinating children’s exhibit.

The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, located at 211 Main St., Wethersfield, is open April 1-30 on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. From May through October, the museum is open daily – with the exception of Tuesday – from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays ,1 to 4 p.m. Admission for the 60-minute, three-house tour: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, students, AAA members and active military, and $5 for students and children ages 5 to 18. For more information call (860) 529-0612, ext. 12, or visit www.webb-deane-stevens.org


Charles Lyle, Executive Director
860-529-0612, ext., 14, [email protected]

Julie Winkel, Media Coordinator
203-630-2332, [email protected]