FortWayne.com
 
  Text size  Increase text sizeDecrease text size      
Last updated: Mon. Feb. 17, 2014 - 10:48 am EDT

Long winter at the Fort

Revolutionary War re-enactors hope to change how we see history

PHOTOS
 
Click on image to view.

The timing was a coincidence.

Dean Rapp of Fort Wayne and Terry Sorchy of Brodhead, Wis., didn’t plan to host a Winter Garrison re-enactment at Historic Fort Wayne just in time for Presidents’ Day because to them, George Washington is still alive.

They reported to the Fort on Sunday as members of the 4th Connecticut Regiment and talked about history with the clarity and enthusiasm you might use to discuss last summer’s vacation.

But history wasn’t a vacation or tidy story, Sorchy said, and the men we read about in history books weren’t the stiff characters our modern society makes them out to be either. Instead, men like Washington were human beings with decisions and doubts, fears and flaws, and this weekend, the re-enactors came to set the record straight.

“We focus on educating people about the real history and not what’s taught in school,” Rapp said. “We’re able to show you what life was really like.”

This weekend’s re-enactment wasn’t about a battle during the Revolutionary War. It was about life between the battles, in the wintertime when the troops ran drills, stored food and supplies, cleaned muskets and, of course, stood guard against surprise attacks.

But even without besieging armies, life was hard for American troops in the winters of the Revolutionary War. Many suffered from diseases such as smallpox and were half-naked and starving, Sorchy said.

“School curriculums want to be kind to history,” he said. “But it wasn’t always pretty.” That’s why Rapp was excited to see 30 or 40 people, including many kids, visit the living history re-enactment to learn more about what actually happened to help America gain its independence.

“We try to dispel the rumors that the continental army was the good guys and the British army was the bad guys,” Sorchy said. “It wasn’t always good guys against the bad guys.”

khackett@jg.net

 


Wednesday
Wednesday
High  °F
Low  °F
40 °F
Fair
Sponsored by Masters Heating & Cooling, Inc.
LOCAL BUSINESS SEARCH
Local Search
STOCK SUMMARY
Dow 16461.32-153.49
Nasdaq 4382.85-36.63
S&P 500 1927.11-14.17
AEP 55.92+0.36
Comcast 51.49-0.70
GE 25.19-0.26
ITT Exelis 16.44-0.03
LNC 49.16-0.61
Navistar 33.06-0.74
Raytheon 97.45-0.66
SDI 22.26+0.36
Verizon 48.31-0.38
  Stock Sponsor