Visit to Alamance Battleground

Battle of Alamance historical marker

I had an interesting day yesterday, visiting Alamance Battleground, near Burlington, NC, the site of the Battle of Alamance in 1771 that is described in Diana Gabaldon's THE FIERY CROSS. It's located only an hour from where I live, but I'd never been there before. I saw an announcement on Facebook about a day full of special activities, and decided to go check it out. I'm glad I went! I love these "living history" activities, and I don't get the opportunity to experience them very often.

I met a woman there whom I've known online on TheLitForum for years, but never met in person before, so that was fun.

It's a tiny little place, but they had plenty of things to appeal to OUTLANDER fans: a re-enactor giving a musket-firing demonstration, a look at 18th-century medicine, including battlefield surgery and the medical instruments used at the time, and a talk by a museum guide about the Regulator movement and the battle itself. Very interesting!

Here are my photos from the visit. If you're in the area, I would encourage you to check it out!

Medical chest

A military surgeon's medical chest, like Claire's.

Re-enactor with 18th century medical instruments

They had a re-enactor explaining all about 18th-century medicine and battlefield surgery. He was very interesting to listen to.

A member of Governor Tryon's militia

This young man is a member of Governor Tryon's North Carolina militia. The yellow cockade in his hat indicates his particular unit. We were told that Tryon had a hard time recruiting men to serve in the militia, and eventually resorted to conscripting some of them.

Re-enactor with musket

We got a close-up look at the musket, including the firing mechanism.

Close-up view of musket firing mechanism

Here's a little video. The re-enactor shown here seemed rather inexperienced with the musket, taking much longer to load and fire than the "three shots in a minute" we were told was the norm in the British army at the time. Still, it was interesting to watch. Notice what happens on the second shot. A misfire! If that happened in the middle of a battle, you'd be in real trouble, praying that the enemy wouldn't get you before you had a chance to reload and try again.

18th century Naval swivel gun

Naval swivel gun, in the Visitor's Center.

Small 18th-century cannon

A small cannon (two-pounder) on display in the Visitor's Center. The items behind it are various types of ammunition: cannon ball, grapeshot (that was what caused the injury that cost Ian the Elder his leg), and canister.

Small items for a militiaman's kit

Various items carried by the soldiers, including ax heads, a powder horn, and a device for making lead musket balls.

Powder horn from the Battle of Alamance

Powder horn.

Everyday life in the backcountry

Some items used in everyday life in the backcountry, such as they might have used on Fraser's Ridge.

Items used in everyday life

More tools that people would have used in the backcountry. The metal blade with a wooden handle, to the left of the basket, is a froe, used for making roof shingles. There's a reference to it in DRUMS OF AUTUMN chapter 21, "Night on a Snowy Mountain."

In case you're wondering, yes, they do have re-enactments on or near the anniversary of the battle (May 16) every year. The photo above was taken at the 2019 re-enactment.

1 comment

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, Karen! So glad you got to travel there and share it with us!

Powered by Blogger.