Sep 21, 2008

Double Duty Weekend

1st Sgt Fred Minus and Cpl Leon Brooks participated in two weekend events. The first was Connecticut 29th Civil War Regiment Monument Dedication Ceremony.

Two members of the 3rd USCT out of Philadelphia came up with us to celebrate and remember the heroism of the 29th Connecticut Colored Regiment C.V. Infantry. Contingents of reenactment groups attended from as far away as Atlanta. The USCT's combined regiments to form up as the 54th Massachusetts. Also, contingents of the Irish 9th Regiment, the 9th Mass., and the 9th & 10th Calvary Association/10th Calvary Buffalo Soldiers were represented. Individual reenactors also portrayed historical figures at the festivities. The event was held in Criscoulo Park, New Haven Connecticut, the historic regiment's original encampment site. It is the culmination of a ten year herculean effort by The Descendants of the 29th Colored Voluntary Infantry Regiment, Inc.

It was well publicized and well attended. Various state and local notables spoke, and the assembly was treated to a musical selection by Varrick Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church. of Comedian and activist Dick Gregory gave the key notes speech. The Monument is by renowned sculptor Ed Hamilton. To find out more about the 29th and the event, visit the website .

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Last weekend was also Raising Day — 250th Anniversary of the Trenton Barracks Rafters Raising in 1758. Colonial craftsman used authentic hand tools to build exact full-size replicas of the original rafters as you watched. There was a debate in the 18th century among Trentonians for and against building a barracks in Trenton. Visitors at the event could participate in the reenactment by signing with a quill pen on the petition to the Colonial Legislature if you are a supporter.

Colonial merchants sold authentic replica products, and colonial musicians played music.

Fresh bread was baked in the colonial clay oven, and period dishes and beverages were served.

Archeologists Richard Hunter and Ian Burrow of Hunter Research gave lectures on and tours of the ongoing archeological dig behind the barracks where artifacts have been excavated from the 1735 Trenton steel plating mill. There is also a paper mill and other structures being unearthed.

Because of our trip to New Haven, we didn't arrive until the second day. Fred Minus, who is on the Old Barracks staff prepared the oven for baking. As a regiment we usually only do Rev War and Civil War interpretations, but the Old Barracks 250th Year Celebration gives us the opportunity to portray African-Americans in the French and Indian War.

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Cpl Leon Brooks - 6th USCT

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