An Arkansas 4th of July

Image of Vernon Dutton with other Revolutionary War re-enactors

Colonists who joined our militia for a Frontier Fourth of July

This year we started the Fourth of July Celebration with a bang.

British Redcoats image from Vernon Dutton, author of Civil War Reflections

Re-enactors William Hardage, Wesley Cole and James Tom Webb provided token resistance to the Colonial insurrection.

About 11 Colonial Militia confronted 3 of King George’s best troops at about 2:00pm before a crowd of nearly 150 spectators. It was a real shoot ‘em up.
As was fitting, the Colonials won.

The array of uniforms worn by re-enactors were very authentic. The militia had backwoodsmen with what is known as dirty shirts (fringe jacket and French Drop trousers); Continentals with tricorner hats, leggings, patterned shirts and vests; and British Troops with Red Coats, tricorner hats and all the gold and silver finery as decorations.

Prior to the skirmish, we all tried our hand at tomahawk throwing. Needless to say, it was a humbling experience.

Image of author Vernon Duton dressed in Longhunter attire

Vernon in Longhunter gear at Frontier Fourth of July stands with a “Don’t Tread on Me” banner

It took about 10 throws before I got my tomahawk to stick in the wooden target. After that, I was pretty good from about 10 feet. When we moved back to 20 feet, I was again a real novice. I was just getting the hang of it when we broke for lunch.

The skirmish was followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a short parade.

It is really a privilege to reenact for our Arkansas citizenry at these events.

Let me encourage you to visit the Historic Arkansas Museum  in downtown Little Rock. On one city block, the Museum has relocated and preserved old, wooden houses and barns that were constructed prior to the Revolutionary War.  An adjacent city block houses the museum as well as Little Rock houses that date back to the Civil War Period.

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About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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