More on hunting shirts and bag pipes, too!
- Hi Dave and list--
I found this an interesting bit of documentation on the use of bagpipes
by the military, Americans in this case, yes? Pardon my ignorance, but
where is Winchester, and any idea how big a town it was at the time?
Graphics/Fine Arts Press
Journal of the Middle Waters Frontier
French Abbe' accompanying the
French forces to Yorktown.
"June, 6, 1775.
The Drum beats, & the Inhabitants of this Village muster each morning
at five o Clock ... I rode to Winchester - The Court was sitting --
Mars, the great God of Battle, is now honoured in every Part of this
spacious Colony, but here every Presence is warlike, every Sound is
martial! Drums beating, Fifes & Bag-Pipes playing, & only sonorous &
heroic Tunes -- Every Man has a hunting-Shirt, which is the Uniform of
each Company -
>Pardon my ignorance, butWinchester is in Frederick County, which is all the way at the north tip of
>where is Winchester, and any idea how big a town it was at the time?
VA. Winchester is on I-81 about 10 miles south of the West VA border. I
don't know about the population then (other than "small"), but even now it
is only about 25K.
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- Winchester was a town of less than 1000 people on
the frontier in 1775. It did have a courthouse, a
wagon road, and a fort left over from the F&I era.
It was also the home base of Daniel
Morgan, who raised 2 rifle regiments and marched to
Boston after the news of Bunker Hill. It was reported
that Morgan's Virginia Riflemen marched into camp
at Boston to the accompaniment of bagpipes.
Winchester is at the lower (Northern) end of the
Shenandoah Valley. The Valley was heavily settled
by Scots, Scots-Irish, Germans, and Englishmen
from the northern counties of England. The settlements
were organized by religious affiliations, with churches
at the centers of each community. The bagpipes
may well have been played in every settlement but the
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In Revlist@y..., graphicart@e... wrote:
> Hi Dave and list--Hello Kate --
> I found this an interesting bit of documentation on the use of
>bagpipes by the military, Americans in this case, yes? Pardon my
>ignorance, but where is Winchester, and any idea how big a town it
>was at the time?
Sorry for the late reply, but I've been out of the office.
I'd guess the bagpipes came to Winchester with some of the
Scotch-Irish that traveled by the thousands from Pennsylvania to
North Carolina in the 1700's. As you probably know, the Scotch-Irish
landed in Philadelphia, moved west, found out the Indians didn't like
them moving into the neighborhood, and then headed south. Winchester
was one of the major towns on that route. There are a few books about
the migration and route. I believe one is called "The Great Wagon Road
or the Great Valley Road."
As for Winchester itself, Johann Dohla, one of the Germans captured at
Yorktown in 1781, wrote that it contained about 300 houses. This was
interesting to me because he also said Williamsburg contained about
300 houses. Dohla spent a considerable amount of time in Winchester as
a prisoner and as I recall describes a lot about prisoner life there.
As others have mentioned, several other groups of prisoners passed
through the area. The Trenton prisoners were originally housed in
Dumfries, VA and [somewhere else] and when Howe entered the Chesapeake
in 1777 the prisoners were moved to Winchester. IIRC, the thousands of
Convention army prisoners, orginally kept in Charlottesville, VA,
passed through Winchester, but it doesn't appear they stayed.
British Lt. Anburey mentions passsing through the town when the
prisoners were moved because of the British presence in Virginia in
Winchester must have been a jumping place, though. In his journal,
cavalryman Baylor Hill of the 1st Continental Dragoons related being
posted there for a few weeks in the spring of 1779 and IIRC all he did
was drink, dance, and party 'til dawn at various balls [typical
Sorry I don't have time to post any quotes from the journals of Dohla,
Anburey, Baylor Hill, or the many others (especially Germans) who
passed through Winchester, but I think Don Hagist sells all of the
Oh yes, Dan Morgan the famous Col. of the 7th VA. raised his rifle
corps in Winchester in 1775 and marched to Boston from there.
David McKissack, 7th VA
"...those dear ragged Continentals, whose patience will be the
of future ages." Colonel John Laurens, KIA, Combahee Ferry, SC, 27 Aug