|Beautiful Drayton Hall ... occupied by the British|
I’d been bitten by the reenacting bug a year before when attending a Civil War reenactment, but in May 2005 a new and intriguing historical event came on the scene, the 225th anniversary commemoration of the Siege of Charleston. This grand reenactment spanned all three major Ashley River plantations: Middleton Place, Magnolia Gardens, and Drayton Hall. Each plantation had its own encampment, and each had its own admission price, and after deciding we didn’t have the time (or energy!) to hit all three of them, my family picked Drayton Hall, simply because it was the one of the three we hadn’t seen before.
|Love the expressions! And the uniforms ... :-)|
|A neat cluster of muskets|
|The overlap of historical and modern|
My imagination fired at that, and the story premise behind Loyalty’s Cadence was born.
Later, I would join an 18th century research email list, frequented by historians and reenactors of the period, and I discovered this was not the case at all. The British army had very detailed regulations for the care of campfollowing wives, and the standard policy was, in the case of widowhood, to provide for her return to England, if she so wished. (I’m sure in the field, there was much room for difference of interpretation, but that’s another discussion.) I was indignant to find I’d been handed a common “reenactor myth,” told for the sake of sensationalizing history.
Thus also began my quest to find the truth in research, or at least as close to it as is possible through the reports of people who see events through the lenses of very different experiences and opinions.
And if I write with too much sympathy of the British and loyalist cause, I suppose it can be blamed on the fact that we chose Drayton Hall that muggy May day in Charleston. :-)
All photos are my own.