The third Monday of April is a state holiday in Massachusetts as well as in Maine (which used to be a part of Massachusetts in Colonial times). The day commemorates the battles of Lexington, Concord and Menonomy, along with Paul Revere’s Ride. The Boston Marathon is also an annual Patriot’s Day affair.
Of all the holiday events, I chose to attend the Battle Road reenactments at the Minuteman National Historic Park which stretches through Lincoln and Concord, Massachusetts. The Park preserves sections of the original road that leads to and from Concord. Now returned to a dirt surface, the road and its surrounding landscape set the stage for the opening skirmishes of the Revolutionary War, complete with preserved farm houses, stone walls, fields and woods.
As I walked along the road, I came upon the gathering point of the reenactors for the British side, at the Captain William Smith House, just beyond the point where Paul Revere was arrested the night before. So delighted they were to engage with each other in their fine red uniforms with historic accuracy down to very stitch. Some spoke in a phony British accent. They barked orders, marched, and fired their muskets as much for each other as for the scattered tourists like me. Perhaps even more amusing to see were the soldiers stepping out of their mini-vans and sedans in the parking lot to join their regiments.
I sat on a stone wall and quickly drew the edges of the British camp, complete with historically accurate Colonial witnesses. Later, back at home, I layered washes of ink to capture the contrast of lights and darks of that sunny morning, before the Brits were run out of town, again.