Ever imagine what it would be like to ask Revolutionary War soldiers about their life and times? The Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell, Vermont, will bring to life the Revolutionary War at the site tomorrow Saturday, September 4, at 2:00 p.m. with the program, “An Investigation into the Revolutionary Mind: What Were You Thinking, Isaac Kendall and Benjamin McCool?”
Modern day historian and site interpreter Paul Andriscin will interview two soldiers so he and the audience can find out first hand from two American soldiers what happened 233 years ago at Mount Independence and during the Northern Campaign of the American Revolutionary War.
“Paul will interview two soldiers who were garrisoned on and helped build Mount Independence,” said to Elsa Gilbertson, Regional Historic Site Administrator for the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. “He’ll ask them, ‘What were you thinking?’ as they served on Mount Independence and in other locations after the leaving the fort in 1777.”
“What was their work? What was their life like? What did they think about their officers and fellow soldiers?” Gilbertson said. “These re-enactors really help humanize these historical figures in a way that textbooks simply can’t.”
Isaac Kendall will be portrayed by Mike Austin, Castleton State College history professor and president of the Vermont Alliance for Social Studies. Benjamin McCool will be portrayed by Karl Crannell, Chimney Point State Historic Site interpreter.
The men will discuss what happened as British General John Burgoyne and his British troops advanced and the Americans abandoned Mount Independence and nearby Fort Ticonderoga.
On July 5, 1777, faced with a British force more than twice his size that had occupied a position from which they could bombard him with impunity, General Arthur St. Clair withdrew from the fortifications without firing a shot.
Though his actions helped preserve the army, Congress was outraged and censured St. Clair for the loss. He later argued that his conduct had been honorable; demanded review by a court martial; and was ultimately exonerated.
Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children under 15, and includes visiting the museum and access to all the trails on the over 300-acre site.
The Mount Independence State Historic Site is one of the best-preserved Revolutionary War sites in America. It is located near the end of Mount Independence Road, six miles west of the intersections of Vermont Routes 22A and 73 near Orwell village; carefully follow the signs. Regular hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily through October 12.
Call (802) 948-2000 for more information or visit: www.HistoricVermont.org/sites.
Photo: Karl Crannell, who will play Benjamin McCool.