Saturday morning the Battle of Elizabethtown Reenactment started with a bang and event organizers will continue through the day today and tomorrow teaching others about the battle that gave Tory Hole a place in history.
The event is sponsored by the Harmony Hall Backwoods Militia, Harmony Hall Plantation Village, Four County Electric, Elizabethtown – White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Town of Elizabethtown. Boy Scout Troop 600, Bobby Lewis, field Marshall for Harmony Hall, Sunday Allen, a teacher at East Bladen High School, East Bladen High School’s History Club, Dawn Manyard, Executive Director of the local Chamber, and Mayor Silva Campbell were all out to welcome the crowds.
Town Cryer played by Bill Rudin, a teacher at Bladenboro Primary, teaches visitors about how the communities kept informed back in 1787. Becky Fowler from Pender County and Dawn Fishburn, from Lake Waccamaw, fill the shoes of the wives back in the historical time period. Watch the cannons being fire on our YouTube Channel by clicking here.
In the early 1780s troops loyal to the British king were fighting to keep under England’s control what is modern day Bladen County. A small band of Elizabethtown patriots were determined to declare their independence from British rule. It resulted in the Battle of Elizabethtown in August 1781.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Tories and Patriots will battle again at Tory Hole Park as part of the fourth annual Battle of Elizabethtown reenactment.
Activities are scheduled to begin Saturday at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony and the firing of cannons. The battle reenactment is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The event is sponsored by the Bladen County Historical Society, Town of Elizabethtown, Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce, Harmony Hall Plantation Village and Four County Electric Membership Corporation.
In the Battle of Elizabethtown in 1781, Tories numbering between 300 and 400 were in control of Elizabethtown and feeling confident. But the Patriots, numbering about 70 and under the leadership of Col. Thomas Robeson, were determined to gain control of their town or die trying.
Sally Salter went to the Tories’ camp to sell eggs. She returned to the Patriots’ camp and reported what she had seen. With Salter’s information, Robeson planned a surprise attack on the Tory camp, forcing the startled and unprepared troops from town and down a ravine into what is known today as Tory Hole Park. Loyalist troops in the area never recovered from the defeat. Eventually, Major James H. Craig and the Loyalist forces abandoned Wilmington and the Cape Fear region for South Carolina.
Here is the schedule of events for the fourth annual reenactment at Tory Hole Park:
Saturday, Sept. 26
9:30 a.m.: Park opens to public.
10 a.m.: Welcome. Cannon fire opens event.
11 a.m.: Period music.
11 a.m.: Children’s militia drill.
11:30 a.m.: Revolution’s Roots in the Church.
Noon: Cannon fire and weapons demonstration.
12:30 p.m.: Role of the Cape Fear region in the Revolution.
1 p.m.: Dueling pistols.
1 p.m.: Tomahawk throwing competition.
1 p.m.: Scottish Pipe and Drum Music.
1:30 p.m.: Revolution’s Roots in the Church.
1:30 p.m.: Artillery and weapons demonstration.
3 p.m.: Sally Salter remembers.
4 p.m.: Battle reenactment.
5 p.m.: Park closes.
Sunday, Sept. 27
9:30 a.m.: Park opens to public.
10 a.m.: Camps open to visitors.
10 a.m.: Worship service by Rev. Don Groves.
10 a.m.: Naval stores demonstration opens.
11:30 a.m.: Weapons demonstration.
1 p.m.: Cannon fire.
1:30 p.m.: Sally Salter remembers.
2:30 p.m.: Battle reenactment.
4 p.m.: Park closes.
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