Tagged ‘Military’

Pilgrim Muster

November 15th, 2010 by admin

Well met, dear readers. Veterans Day and the military muster have come and gone. Here at the Plant, we costumed interpreters hope that the military drill will come in handy with the approach of the Thanksgiving season and the influx of countless hordes of people, dreaming of black buckled hats and tame, easily catch-able chickens.

The muster was attended by six musketeers and six pike-men, who drilled in separate companies under the auspices of Captain Myles Standish. After some instruction in the art of marching and military drill, the musketeers conducted a mock firing demonstration while the pike-men trained in field exercises. The whole company of militia then gathered in the newly cleared hayfield north of the town to demonstrate the basics of pike/shot combat, with the musketeers firing on the flanks while the pike-men charged home with cold steel.

My character, Edward Doty, served as a musketeer, so I found myself shouldering a piece and lurching along more or less in unison with my fellow townsmen. Stripped of the grandeur and majesty inherent in the images of soldiering and the great battles of this period, you start to notice things that prints and paintings don’t show you. Your heavy weapon pains your shoulder. Your fingers are cold, but mittens are too cumbersome to wear. Wind threatens to blow your hat away and muffles the sergeant’s commands. The slow-burning match in your left hand interferes with your drill movements and promises bodily harm. Imagine tolerating all of these hardships while marching away from New Plimoth into a vast, uncharted country where few Englishmen dwell.

Why did these men put themselves through this kind of ordeal? Because they were in the middle of a great and sometimes hostile wilderness, and they were protecting their families, friends, and their vulnerable little settlement against numerous potential enemies, none of whom would likely announce their hostility before attacking. I’m glad that we still have men like that today, who make all sorts of sacrifices for the sake of those loved ones at home.

Thanksgiving approaches, dear readers, and we will speak on that subject later on. For now, I approach the end of this post, so you are all dismissed. God save King Charles!

(Pictures to Follow)

Torch passed; no burns suffered

November 9th, 2010 by admin

Hello, readers. My name is Aaron Dougherty and I would like to thank Buddy Tripp for the introduction, as well as for his labors on this blog over the last few years. I will be taking over this blog for the foreseeable future. As I am a fairly new employee who is just starting out in the field of first-person colonial interpretation, I hope that my experiences at the Plantation will be of interest to visitors curious to know what “Pilgrims” feel as they conduct their research, develop their characters, and force their vocal cords to do all sorts of things that feel unnatural to the 21st century dialect.

For my first post, I would like to invite everyone to the Plantation this coming Thursday, the 11th of November, for Veterans Day. Veterans and active duty members of the military get free admission on this day to both the Plantation and the Mayflower II. In honor of their visit, the 1627 English Village will be conducting a military muster which includes the display and drill of match-lock muskets, pikes and armor. There will be an exhibition firing of the muskets at 11:11 am, and a militia exercise at 3:00 pm. Will Captain Standish’s much discussed snaphance firearm be exhibited? Stop by the village and see!

For those unfamiliar with seventeenth century European warfare, the term “pike and shot” refers to the two staples of any self-respecting English army (or militia) of this time period. The pike is a 10 to 12 foot long spear lowered by a pike-man to create a defense against charging cavalry or melee infantry. Musketeers who have fired their pieces can retire behind a body of pike-men to reload their pieces, emerging once more to exchange shot with the enemy. For more information on the warfare of this period or to hear about the thoughts and experiences of both musketeers and pike-men in the New Plimoth colony, make certain to stop on by.

That about does it for this, my first ever post on the Plimoth Plantation Pilgrim blog. I look forward to many further interesting discussions. Please feel free to ask questions or comment on what you would like to learn from future posts.

Good day to you!

Aaron Dougherty

Interpretation Apprentice

© 2003-2011 Plimoth Plantation. All rights reserved.

Plimoth Plantation is a not-for-profit 501 (c)3 organization, supported by admissions, grants, members, volunteers, and generous contributors.