Fort #4 War Reenactment
Entering the Fort and Main Living Area
I hadn’t been to the fort since grade school so it all felt new to me. I marveled at the tall wooden wall that surrounded the interior buildings, thinking about how different it was back them. This was what kept people safe a couple hundred years ago. People lived together and had a wall to protect themselves from outside threats. The Fort was the northern most English settlement at the time in 1743 and therefore vulnerable to attacks. I found the history on the handout I received when I arrived fascinating: the fort was abandoned at one time and the Commodore who defended the fort is who the town is named after: Charles Knowles.
I entered the internal courtyard and explored the internal buildings; each was a place where an original settler family lived. It was set up with antiques from the time period and signs told the history of the room. In one room I found that you could make a knife blade from rib bone and a chisel type tool from a beaver tooth, interesting.
People all around were dressed in period clothing; these volunteers camp at the fort for the weekend. You can stay after the battle for afternoon activities and learn more from the volunteers as they cook meals and provide 18th century entertainment.
Soon I heard music and learned that this was the way commanders communicated with the soldiers because the fife and drum could be heard over long distances. Music was a way to communicate assembling the troops, retreat, turn left or right, or fire their muskets. I had no idea. I thought it was just to motivate the troops. The reenactors study the music of the time as well.
Soon it was time for battle. The soldiers lined up and there was an announcer providing history, helping us appreciate the battle we were seeing and the intricacies of it. I was amazed when I learned that these people are so dedicated to authenticity and the history of our country. They form a group, research the regiment they want to represent, and then buy the period uniforms and equipment themselves. The volunteers enjoy imparting knowledge to the visitors it’s hard to leave without feeling an appreciation for our country and thankful to these people who dedicate their time and money to educating the public.
Watching the battle was fascinating. I felt like I was a watching a historical movie, but instead of on the couch I was on the sidelines as they were filming. It was extremely loud and startling with the cannons going off every few minutes so I would stand way off to the side, especially if you have little ones. The gun fire itself wasn’t that loud.
I felt immersed in history, a part of the culture of a different time. I loved it and I’d like to stay longer next time and learn more. Maybe I’ll go to one of the many educational events they have throughout the year or another reenactment.