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Henricus Historical Park (Va) - "Publick Days"

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Frederick14Va

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Henricus Historical Park; is a county owned historical site located in Chesterfield County Va, just a few miles South of Richmond on the James River.
The location is quite unique since it has 400 years worth on history overlay upon the site and the immediate region. The original "Citie of Henricus" was founded in 1611, one of the earlier excursions to establish other settlements up river from Jamestown (1607). Pocahontas was held here after her initial capture. One of the prime targets during the massacre of 1622. The first English hospital and college was established there. The same site and surrounding area were quite active during the Rev War, and War of 1812. During the Civil War the Bermuda Hundred Campaign raged on and around it. The current park sits of the river bank of Gen Butlers "Dutch Gap Canal" that he spent so much time digging out later in the war.

The park has recreated an entire fortified 1600's era living history village. Interpreters representative of many early notible persons and vocations. This past weekend hosted their annual "Publick Days". This years event focusing on the 1619 formation of the House of Burgesses, the first governing body formed in the English Colony. Behind the village on the river bluff was hosting of Military through the ages representing time periods, units and activities through the areas diverse history from 1619 to 1918. As well as a visit from the sailing ship Godspeed that comes up river to dock there from Jamestown Settlement for the weekend.

This years representation of the Civil War era was the US Sanitation Commission, A Federal Infantry unit detachment. Myself and some of my local pards represented Confederate Artillery with talks and firing demonstrations portraying the Washington (La) Artillery, which was present and active in the area several times during the war. Here as 1864 era.
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captaindrew

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Thanks for the nice photos and interesting history. @Frederick14Va , did you make your own fly or purchase it? I'd love to get a hold of a couple of those and wean some of the guys off their a-frames (well myself included) I've seen the Liberty Rifles article on tentage including a pattern for those but I sadly have just enough sewing talent to change a button.
 
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Frederick14Va

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Thanks for the nice photos and interesting history. @Frederick14Va , did you make your own fly or purchase it? I'd love to get a hold of a couple of those and wean some of the guys off their a-frames (well myself included) I've seen the Liberty Rifles article on tentage including a pattern for those but I sadly have just enough sewing talent to change a button.
This particular tent fly was made by one of the other guys on the battery. Its completely handmade and hand stitched per original specs. (this one isnt mine but I do have several). Hand worked including the rope grommet holes. Not the farby brass ones like most of the sutlers offer. It also uses rope "loops" per originals, not the canvas ones. Im not aware of anyone making and marketing these large authenic flys for sale. Due to the time involved in all that hand stitching I wouldnt want to even guess what one would cost to buy ready made. It does take some sewing skills especially the grommet holes. It takes a LOT of time, space and patience.. double threaded stitches... two folded and felled passes for each panel joined.. the reinforced corners... the border.. then 30 grommet holes... etc etc... Most that have taken on the challenge rarely do more than one. Another friend of mine hand made the spec'd large artillery tarp... The one usually seen strapped on top of the limber lid... that thing was massive. he also proclaimed "never again"...lol..

In CS service whenever tentage was used, using flys in this manner was much more common than most all other tent types beyond 1862.. Review and research on Qm records habitually show lots of flys with an occasional single officers or hospital wall tent being issued, and very few others. Besides can also fit a lot more guys under it than in a A-frame / common tent..
 

captaindrew

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This particular tent fly was made by one of the other guys on the battery. Its completely handmade and hand stitched per original specs. (this one isnt mine but I do have several). Hand worked including the rope grommet holes. Not the farby brass ones like most of the sutlers offer. It also uses rope "loops" per originals, not the canvas ones. Im not aware of anyone making and marketing these large authenic flys for sale. Due to the time involved in all that hand stitching I wouldnt want to even guess what one would cost to buy ready made. It does take some sewing skills especially the grommet holes. It takes a LOT of time, space and patience.. double threaded stitches... two folded and felled passes for each panel joined.. the reinforced corners... the border.. then 30 grommet holes... etc etc... Most that have taken on the challenge rarely do more than one. Another friend of mine hand made the spec'd large artillery tarp... The one usually seen strapped on top of the limber lid... that thing was massive. he also proclaimed "never again"...lol..

In CS service whenever tentage was used, using flys in this manner was much more common than most all other tent types beyond 1862.. Review and research on Qm records habitually show lots of flys with an occasional single officers or hospital wall tent being issued, and very few others. Besides can also fit a lot more guys under it than in a A-frame / common tent..
Yeah I can only imagine the time it took to completely hand sew one. I've never seen one offered for sale. I guess you put that effort into it you don't want to part with it. I imagine that's why none of the sutlers mess with them. Maybe with a little work I could modify a machine made fly to look pretty close, at least from a little distance anyway.
 
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Frederick14Va

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@Frederick14Va Sorry I missed you out there, my daughter and I attended this event. I grew up only a couple of miles from there. The Henricus site was founded by Thomas Dale who also found and named Bermuda Hundred. The two sites are not that far apart.
Sorry I missed you as well. I was only available to participate on that Saturday. Was a last minute throw together to come up with a gun detachment in short notice. Many of us that did so also serve on Richmond and/or Petersburg NPS gun detachments also. Several of us just happened to have WA kepi's... go figure...lol.

I grew up on the river about a half mile up from Henricus Park. Where some of the other adjacent 1611-1622 era settlements where, as well as later several Confederate River Batteries, and a torpedo station. Went to schools in Chester. Know the area very well. Spent much of my early years exploring the region and its history. Fortunate to have done so before development exploded in the area, erased by dozers and pavement of many little known historical sites when they still existed.
 

bdtex

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Sorry I missed you as well. I was only available to participate on that Saturday. Was a last minute throw together to come up with a gun detachment in short notice. Many of us that did so also serve on Richmond and/or Petersburg NPS gun detachments also. Several of us just happened to have WA kepi's... go figure...lol.

I grew up on the river about a half mile up from Henricus Park. Where some of the other adjacent 1611-1622 era settlements where, as well as later several Confederate River Batteries, and a torpedo station. Went to schools in Chester. Know the area very well. Spent much of my early years exploring the region and its history. Fortunate to have done so before development exploded in the area, erased by dozers and pavement of many little known historical sites when they still existed.
I was wondering if you 2 guys had ever met at some of these events. If I ever make it back up there,I'd love to meet up with y'all.
 
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Jamieva

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Sorry I missed you as well. I was only available to participate on that Saturday. Was a last minute throw together to come up with a gun detachment in short notice. Many of us that did so also serve on Richmond and/or Petersburg NPS gun detachments also. Several of us just happened to have WA kepi's... go figure...lol.

I grew up on the river about a half mile up from Henricus Park. Where some of the other adjacent 1611-1622 era settlements where, as well as later several Confederate River Batteries, and a torpedo station. Went to schools in Chester. Know the area very well. Spent much of my early years exploring the region and its history. Fortunate to have done so before development exploded in the area, erased by dozers and pavement of many little known historical sites when they still existed.
I grew up in Enon right by Point of Rocks. Got to explore a lot of the area around Ware Bottom church in the 80s before they made the county park out of it and tried to preserve what was left
 
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