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Location: Carlisle, PA
Date Built: 18th Century
The 3rd Annual Market at Washingtonburg was held at the US Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on September 10-12 this year. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, various demonstrations were held to reflect the the period when the Carlisle Barracks was known as Washingtonburg during the Revolutionary War. The Carlisle Barracks was established during the French and Indian War. There were demonstrations of French and Indian War field tactics, the use of an 18th century forge, and Revolutionary War tactics.
Washingtonburg at US Army Heritage and Education Center
The grounds were set up with 18th century artisans on the Army Heritage Trail selling their wares and demonstrating their trades such as spinning and weaving, log hewing, powder horn making, chair making, gunsmithing, and blacksmithing. There was a demonstration of 18th century children's games. This event was perfect for "living history" for the school children. There were educational tours on Friday for the the school buses loaded with anxious children There were food vendors, a book sale and other exhibits featuring the Army's history up through WW1, and the Carlisle Barracks then and now.
A Revolutionary War doctor with his tool kit displayed
Washingtonburg was a very busy place. Military supplies were manufactured for the Continental Army in the workshops of a bustling camp. In Colonial days, it was highly probable that magazines and workshops were in this area but on a much smaller scale. Artificers which numbered by hundreds had their lodging and boarding houses. It had its magazine, its hospital, its guard-house. Colonel Benjamin Flower, Commissary General of Military Stored, requested additional men from Yorktown the he might "have from Yorktown tradesmen from the works of Carlisle, Carpenters, Farriers, Gun Smiths, Tinmen, Saddlers, Showmakers."
Gunsmith filing the barrel of a rifle
Orders were given in 1758 to establish a large depot at the camp and train men for Western expeditions. Colonel Henry Bouquet arrived in Carlisle by mid-May 1758 and began to train British forces and to develop a cohesive fighting force consisting of the Royal Americans (60th Regiment), Highlanders (77th Regiment), the Provincial Pennsylvania Regiment, and a mixed force of Cherokee and Catawba Indians. Guerilla style tactics were used to trained the men.
An officer's tent set up at Washingtonburg
In 1777, an artillery school was established by General Washington who appointed Captain Isaac Coren to command the school. In 1778, Captain Coren received monthly and additional $25 pay beside his present appointments.
With the end of the Revolutionary War in 1781, it became necessary to downsize the Carlisle Barracks by selling excess materiel and relocating troops and artificers elsewhere. The facility was placed in a caretaker status. The government realized the significance of the camp in 1791 and reopened the camp as a base for recruit training and a major storage facility for federal government.
The blacksmith working the shop before the 3:00pm demonstration
By 1784 Washingtonburg was abandoned. Arthur Lee noted in his journal while passing through Carlisle: "There is here a very complete set of buildings for arsenals, raised at Continental expense, but not used and therefore going into ruin."
On March 15, 1787, John Dickinson of Wilmington, Delaware, wrote to John Armstrong (1717-1795) enclosing a letter from Davidson, temporary Principal of "the college at Carlisle," urging that the trustees purchase some land and buildings "at the Public Works [now Carlisle Barracks] as a benefice to both college and town."
Pioneer family. The man on the right is representing the Cherokee
On January 16, 1788, Armstrong wrote to a Committee of Congress opening unsuccessful negotiation for the purchase of part of the decaying military base for use by the college:
Buildings most suitable for us are the Barrack & all the Buildings except the Southernmost Brick Range & the Magazine." The buildings were "standing on ground of which it is in some measure uncertain who is the Proprietor."
John Penn in writing in his journal of his arrival in Carlisle, from Harrisburg, says: "The first buildings seen here are three or four separate wings intended for magazines originally but said to be granted by Congress to the trustees of Dickinson College for twenty years, but on inquiry I find they are negotiation but have not concluded a bargain."
A Redcoat gentleman discussing a possible sale with a Erv Tschanz of Gen-Nis-He-Yo
General Washington visited Carlisle in 1794 to review the 10,000-15,000 troops that were located at the Barracks. The Barracks was later recommended as a federal military academy by Washington; however, West Point was the choice in New York.
General Washington wrote to the inhabitants of the borough of Carlisle:
[October 6, 1794.]
The land up to that time had been rented from the Penn family. By 1801, the government purchased the 27 acres of post property from the heirs of William Penn for $664.20. Washingtonburg became known as Carlisle Barracks.The grounds were the perfect place to hold the Annual Market at Washingtonburg. The vendors and reenactors where the perfect match to give the day the "living history" feel.
Shopping for colonial items
B. R. Delaney, is an Indian reenactor who was camping outside the Living History Encampment area. He was resting in his deerskin blanket outside of his teepee supported by an canoe oar. A grouse was cooking on an open pit fire while a turkey ready to skin was hanging to his right. He represented the Munsee Indians which were an American tribe of the Delaware family. They resided along the Delaware River, and in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The feathers both through his ears and nose set him apart from the other Indians that were represented at Washingtonburg.
B.R. Delaney representing the Munsees
Art DeCamp of Huntingdon PA was set up with authentic custom powder horns, powder horn cups, forks, and spoons. Art has been building muzzle loading rifle and powder horns since 1980. He explained the process of etching a design in the powder horns and cups which have won him various awards and have been featured in Muzzleloader. He will be participating in four upcoming shows at Myerstown and Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Fishers, Indiana, and Winchester, Virginia.
Claire Moore of Mt Wolf, Pennsylvania was demonstrating her spinning techniques on the spinning wheel. Dan Eisenhour was demonstrating shaving a horn cup with a draw knife.
Claire Moore teaching spinning to an enthusiastic young girl
Mike Small of Hedgesville, West Virginia shared a booth with Mark Thomas of Dayton, Virginia. Mike has been making powder horns for more than fifteen years and Indian quilling for the last six years. Mark is a diverse artisan specializing in hand engraving, wood carver, gunsmith, and silversmith. On display were tomahawks, knives, horn cups, a decorated document box, sterling silver bracelet and earrings, silver rum cups, and flintlock rifles
Mike Small offering powder horns
The blacksmith was getting ready for his 3:00pm demonstration of an 18th century forge. The Carlisle Forge was built as a representation of the forge that stood at Washingtonburg during the Revolutionary War. The forge was used to create and repair weapons for the Continental Army.
Mark Thomas selling silver, powder horns, decorated document box, tomahawks, and knives
There was an officer in the supply building who was dressed up in his colonial garb. Around his neck hung a crescent shaped gorget of silver which designated that he was an officer. A tent was set up to show how the officers lived during Colonial encampments. There was a replica built of a Block House that as used in Colonial America.
Officer resting in the supply building
For several artisans, this was their third year of participation. They were disappointed that the event will not take place next year. Instead events depicting the Civil War will be held next year at the US Army Heritage and Education Center. USAHEC was established to educate the public on the history of military operations. USAHEC makes available historical records, materials and artifacts for research.
Dan Eisenhour demonstrating shaving a horn with a drawknife
Source: Research, photos & text by Bryan Wright
Gen-Nis-He-Yo Trading Co.
Art DeCamp: Authentic Custom Powder Horns
Mark Thomas: Craftsman to the Past
US Army Heritage and Education Center
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