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Submitted by Old Fort Niagara
During the American Revolution, armies generally went into winter quarters where they sometimes struggled to keep their forces supplied. On Feb. 18-19, Old Fort Niagara will host a special event that depicts life in a winter garrison for both soldiers and civilians.
Members of the Brigade of the American Revolution, an international organization dedicated to the portrayal of common soldiers of the American Revolution – an international organization dedicated to the portrayal of common soldiers of the War for Independence – will garrison the fort and provide visitors with a variety of interpretive programs.
Presentations will include demonstrations of how soldiers survived winters without central heating and insulated boots. Presenters will demonstrate how layers of woolen clothing kept soldiers warm and how the never-ending task of gathering firewood for heating kept them busy.
Although the likelihood of attack in the winter months was remote, officers and enlisted men still stood guard duty. Throughout the day, presenters will demonstrate formal guard changing ceremonies and explain why they were important to the fort’s security.
There will also be hands-on activities for families such as a wood gathering party and an opportunity to join the King’s Army and learn 18th century military drills. Other activities include cooking demonstrations, the brewing of spruce tea (a beverage containing vitamin C that warded off the dreaded disease, scurvy), musket demonstrations, period games and a moccasin making workshop.