Red Bank Battlefield: Reliving the Revolution with Tradition and Family Fun

For most people, autumn usually means Halloween, beautiful trees, food comas, family, and experiencing the horror of mid-terms. However, autumn holds a special place in my heart as Revolutionary War reenactment season. Growing up in the northeast, I have had the luxury of experiencing a number of them. Revolutionary War reenactments are commonplace and are a part of the culture among many New Jersey communities annually.

The Battle of Red Bank was a famous battle of the Revolutionary War that took place in New Jersey over 239 years ago (October 22nd, 1777). Red Bank Battlefield Park is located in Gloucester County, sitting on the Delaware River close to Philadelphia. On October 23rd, the park celebrated their storied history with “18th Century Field Day,” which contained a reenactment, among various other activities. I never went to Red Bank prior to this, giving me a lot of anticipation to experience what they had to offer.

Instead of explaining today’s entry through text, I would like to show you what I saw when I visited Red Bank Battlefield through photos.

 

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One of the many families entering Red Bank Battlefield for a fun Sunday afternoon. The festivities began with a Revolutionary War battle reenactment, followed by plays, kid’s events, and museum tours. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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The atmosphere at Red Bank Battlefield was amazingly positive. Almost everyone had a smile on their face, especially the participants. You could tell they loved playing their role in the reenactment and were happy to perform for everyone. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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Everywhere you turned, families were having a great time enjoying the monuments and scenery around the battlefield. It was a beautiful fall afternoon with not a worry in the sky. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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In contrast to the previous picture, hundreds of years ago no one would want to be near one of these giant cannons. That would mean injury or worse… (Photo: George Macey)

 

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Before the reenactment, father and son look across the Delaware. Flashback to a little over 200 years ago, soldiers might have been standing in the same spot awaiting the eventual British and Hessian attack from Philadelphia. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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The participants playing the parts of the British soldiers, finishing their final practice marches. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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Meanwhile, the continental army marched into defense position. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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Visitors and participants from every edge of the park stood ready to watch the reenactment start. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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The continental army stands ready, awaiting their orders with muskets in hand. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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The rounds might be fake, but that doesn’t mean they don’t awe. Hundreds of blasts were fired, from muskets to cannons, all of which shook the world around the spectators. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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Centuries ago, firing lines were an orderly method of utilizing ground troops in order to effectively combat enemies, as well as to hold territory. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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The final stage of the battle was a mounted defense on a hill. The continental soldiers roll the cannon into place, with some help from some generous spectators. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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While the battle is over, the day is far from concluded. There was still much more to see. Following the battle, spectators were given a choice to see a play or to go to the museum. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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I chose the later. This 17th century home, known as the James and Ann Whitall House, still stands in great shape. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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There were 4 rooms in the house open to touring; this one was in the living room. Each room had their own tour guide who knew a wealth of information on the furnishings and the history of the house. This tour guide was dressed in traditional clothing, showing the kids some of the china. (Photo: George Macey)

 

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Outside of the museum was a group of elderly workers dressed in colonial garb. They were playing nostalgic colonial style music for all the patrons to enjoy. It was a great way to end my day at Red Bank Battlefield. (Photo: George Macey)

 

With winter fast approaching, many sites will be running their last reenactments of the year before it gets too cold. I highly encourage you to look for one near you. Experiencing a revolutionary war reenactment is as entertaining as it is enlightening. Like previously mentioned, it holds a special place in New Jersey culture and history.

One future reenactment that I know of will be held on November 19th and 20th in River Edge, Bergen County. I plan on attending this one as well. Hopefully, I will see you there!

 

Until next time, see you later!

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