More than 1,500 Revolutionary War reenactors, 30 horses and multiple period boats will descend on the Inn at Warner Hall in Gloucester Oct. 19 and 20 for what’s billed as the largest Revolutionary War reenactment in the country this year.
GLOUCESTER, VA – The British are coming back, along with the French and Americans, too.
And the Return to the Hook steering committee would love to see the media follow suit.
On Oct. 19 and 20, the Allies will engage the British Legion and other Crown forces in a reenactment of the 1781 Battle of the Hook at the Inn at Warner Hall in Gloucester, Va.
The historic battle took place in 1781 in Gloucester and choked off the British supply line to the British troops in Yorktown, helping pave the way for American Independence.
The reenactment, one of the largest recreations of a Revolutionary War battle, will bring together more than 1,500 infantry, cavalry, artillery and maritime landing reenactors from across the country to the home of President George Washington’s ancestors.
Labeled a national event, the reenactment is sponsored by the Continental Line, British Brigade, and Brigade of the American Revolution, as well as regional and statewide businesses and Gloucester County.
Throughout the Battle of the Hook reenactment weekend, in addition to the battle and military scenes, daylong activities for visitors include a live field archeology dig and demonstration display of actual artifacts from the Battle of the Hook, period music by civilian and military performers, 18th century farm setting with live animals, colonial tavern demonstration, camp life by the British, American and French forces, and period merchants and craftsmen demonstrating their skills and selling their wares.
Media are encouraged to cover this visual and dynamic living history event.
The Inn at Warner Hall is located at 4750 Warner Hall Road in Gloucester, Va.
Journalists are asked to RSVP to Battle of the Hook Steering Committee Member Stephanie Heinatz at email@example.com or 757.713.2199.
Preferred media parking is located in the field on the left hand side of Warner Hall Road as you approach the Inn. Please show identification from your media outlet to access the preferred parking. Parking conditions are expected to be muddy due to all the rain. In the event that the parking field is closed due to weather conditions – shuttles will be running from Gloucester High School throughout the day.
Following arrival to Warner Hall, media representatives should check in at the registration tent to receive a media badge, which is good throughout the entire weekend.
Media representatives with their badge will have access a media headquarters, special viewing areas on the battlefield and video and still imagery being shot on the battlefield itself by the event’s official media crews (Eastriver Marketing and Sara Harris Photography).
Videographers and photographers on the battlefield will be limited to the event’s official media crews both for safety and to help keep the event as authentic as possible. Media crews on the battlefield will be in period clothing. Several reenactors will be equipped with video cameras on their bodies (GoPro). That licensed footage is available for your use.
Return to the Hook Schedule of Events:
Saturday, October 19
The Inn at Warner Hall
Site opens to the public
9:30 to 10 a.m.
Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Warner/Lewis Cemetery – Warner Hall Cemetery
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Battalion Drill – All Armies, Respective Drill Areas
10 to 10:30 a.m.
Artillery demonstration, Main Battlefield
11 to 11:30 a.m.
French Boat Landing and Skirmish with Crown Troops - Boat Landing Battlefield
11:30 to noon
Colonial Ladies Program and Tea – Manor House Front Porch
A Revolutionary Drama – “James and Elizabeth” – Manor House Stage (creek side)
1:30 to 2 p.m.
Cavalry Demonstration, Crown and Allied Forces - Main Battlefield
2 to 2:15 p.m.
Encounter with Mrs. Whiting – Main Battlefield
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Battle of the Hook - Main Battlefield
4 to 4:30 p.m.
British Public Court Martial – British Camp
Site Close to Public
6:15 to 6:30 p.m.
Dusk Artillery Demonstration - Main Battlefield
6:30 to 7 p.m.
Storming of Redoubt – Main Battlefield
Sunday, October 20
Site opens to the public
10 to 10:30 a.m.
Period Church Service – Arts and Education Tent
11 to 11:30 a.m.
British Boat Landing, and Skirmish with Allied Troops - Boat Landing Battlefield
British Brigade Sending for the Colours Ceremony
Massed Military Music – Manor House Stage area – (creek side of house)
British Artillery Drill – Main Battlefield
Fashions of the Revolution – Manor House front porch
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Attack on the Gloucester Redoubts – Main Battlefield, all troops
The Battle of the Hook in American History
The events leading up to the Revolutionary War’s Yorktown Campaign and the subsequent victory of the Allies that insured the independence of the United States are well known. Less well known is the Battle of the Hook – the battle that took place across the York River from Yorktown 16 days before the British capitulation. Although rather brief, it included the largest cavalry engagement of the war, with more than 500 horsemen involved.
When British Gen. Charles Cornwallis occupied Yorktown in August 1781, he dispatched a portion of his troops to occupy and fortify Gloucester Town (now Gloucester Point), across the river from Yorktown. These forces would, he hoped, be able to secure the British Army's flank, protect a possible escape route, and forage for food, livestock and supplies in the fertile farmland of Gloucester County.
Then American Gen. Washington and his French allies recognized the importance of this area to the siege at Yorktown and sent a force to join the Virginia militia to block the British in Gloucester.
On October 19, 1781, the last surrender of British forces in America occurred — not at Yorktown, as is widely believed, but an hour later, outside the works at Gloucester, where some 1,100 Englishmen, Scotsmen, Welshmen, Germans and American loyalists, and 300 horses, were surrendered to 100 French and 200 American militiamen. American independence was assured, thanks largely to the victory in Gloucester.
The “Hook” battlefield is now an empty field, hallowed ground with little to note its significance day to day except a small roadside marker and a deteriorating concrete monument.
Its significance, however, will be celebrated with the reenactment at the Inn at Warner Hall in October.
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