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New Event - Fort Edgecomb ( Edgecomb, Maine)

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  • Robb Jackson
    This was sent to the Marine Guard 1812 and I thought I d share it with the group in case there were other interested parties. It seems like a great event. Rbt.
    Message 1 of 1 , May 8, 2001
      This was sent to the Marine Guard 1812 and I thought I'd share it
      with the group in case there were other interested parties. It seems
      like a great event.

      Rbt. Jackson, QM/Armourer
      Marine Guard 1812

      My name is Becky Benton, and I am a member (past president 1994-1998)
      of the Friends of Fort Edgecomb, in Edgecomb Maine. I was very
      excited to view your web site, and am interested in knowing if your
      detachment travels to participate in other 1812 events.

      The Friends of Fort Edgecomb is a non-profit group, started in 1994,
      which works with the Maine Department of Conservation, Bureau of
      Parks and Lands, to help in the preservation and restoration of the
      Fort Edgecomb State Historic Site (1808-1809). One of the ways we
      benefit the site is to educate the public to the importance of this
      beautiful historic site. One of the ways we do this is by hosting our
      annual 1813 Marine/living history event, which occurs the second
      weekend in June of each year (since 1995). This years event is to be
      held on June 9th and 10th. This event which over the years has turned
      into a naval marine event, has been attended by several reenacting
      units, most of them returning every year to participate.

      Fort Edgecomb never saw any "action" during the war (see history
      below), so we don't reenact an actual "event" at the site. What we do
      is, decide on a naval marine scenario (which is always dependent on
      the weather and tide conditions) between British Naval Units and
      American Naval and Militia units. We always consider safety and fun
      first, when planning this event, with the usual scenario being that
      the British take the Fort on Saturday and the Americans take it back
      on Sunday.

      Participants in this event usually average to be about 60-70
      reenactors, including camp followers and local Edgecomb school
      children. We are always planning ways to make this event more
      interesting to the public, adding the marine aspect to the event
      changed the focus of the event to include small period boats, our
      biggest obstacle because of this, is that our militia troops have
      taken to the water to man the boats! We have never had American
      Federal reenacting units attend this event because we have not been
      able to locate any to invite. The addition of a unit such as yours
      would be wonderful improvement to our event, giving a more realistic
      portrayal of 1812 military life at the fort. We would like to invite
      your unit to participate in this years event, and hope you give it

      The response to this years invitations has so far been positive,
      replies of participation have come from the "Royal Irish Artillery"
      (who will be bringing 20 men at arms, 5 distaff and 2, 3-lb. and 1,
      2-lb cannons to the event), "Herrick's Regiment", (British Naval
      unit), St. Johnsbury, VT, under the command of Capt. Andrew Fisher,
      sailing the "Loyal Convert", the American naval cutter "Increase"
      (new local unit), under the command of Capt. Thomas Blackford (this
      is were our militia went!), and the 38' Pinky schooner "Annie Mc Gee"
      from Rockland, Me, under the command of Capt. Yo Serian. This is a
      small event which attracts approx. 6-800 visitors to the fort over
      the two day weekend. At last years event, Maine PBS filmed a 20
      minute segment for their broadcast of "True North" which increased
      visitation to the fort during the 2000 season (if you are interested
      in seeing a copy of this video, to get a view of what we do, I can
      send you one).

      Brief History of Fort Edgecomb:

      Fort Edgecomb is located in Edgecomb, Maine built on the high land of
      Davis Island on the shores of the Sheepscot River. Built in 1808-
      1809, to protect the Port of Wiscasset, one of the busiest shipping
      centers in New England at the time. The main feature at the Fort is
      the original two story, Octagonal blockhouse of hewn log
      construction, which sits on the site's highest point, and is the
      nation's best preserved fort of the period. Fort Edgecomb was one
      four fortifications congress authorized Henry Dearborn, Secretary of
      War (1808) to build on the Maine coast to protect its vital shipping
      interests. The fortification was built under the supervision of Army
      engineer, Major Moses Porter on 3.15 acres purchased by the U.S. from
      local resident Moses Davis. All four forts were placed under the
      command of Captain John Binney in the 4th Regiment of the United
      States Infantry.

      Though the blockhouse is the only remaining original building at the
      site, the fort site included a two story brick kitchen/officers
      quarters, 2 barracks, a storehouse, 2- hot shot furnaces, and wooden
      palisade which encompassed semi-circular earthworks for artillery
      along with the waterfront battery, with two bastions (the east
      bastion holding an underground brick powder magazine). The earth
      works and stone/brick waterfront battery still remain.

      Fort Edgecomb was a place of long -remembered activity during the War
      of 1812. When war was declared on June 18, 1812, the colors were
      hoisted at Fort Edgecomb and guns were fired. Significant action did
      not begin, however, until 1814 after the English broke Napoleon's
      power and diverted their was forces to this side of the Atlantic.
      Throughout that summer, the Bulwark, an English "shop of line" and
      its flotilla of lesser vessels harried the coast of New England
      Alarm followed alarm, and bombardment of the fort and Wiscasset was
      threatened. Volunteer militia units were organized to assist Fort
      Edgecomb's garrison. By late autumn 1814 the great anxiety was over.
      On February 14 1815, news came of peace with Great Britain, which
      resulted in rejoicing and firing of cannon at Fort Edgecomb. The
      garrison remained in barracks at Fort Edgecomb until August, 1816,
      when orders came for their transfer. At the same time, Fort
      Edgecomb's cannons were ordered to be removed to Fort Independence in
      Boston harbor.

      Best Regards,

      Becky Benton
      1812 Event committee
      372 Boothbay Road
      Edgecomb, Maine 04556
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