Dated: 12/02/2012

Views: 4398

Try a day trip to New Hope, PA with festivities beginning at Noon, Saturday December 8th. 

A free event, you can see a great show and the kids will just love it. 

If you haven't been there before, its a wonderful town to visit.

Donning 18th-century attire, re-enactors will bring history to life on Saturday, Dec. 8 as they recreate Lt. James Monroe’s crossing of the Delaware River on Dec. 25, 1776.

But the Colonial troops will have to stop short of the river — and not because of high water or strong winds. In late August, Hurricane Irene destroyed the flat-bottomed boat used during the annual re-enactment.

Monroe’s crucial trip was a military maneuver often overshadowed by Gen. George Washington’s famed crossing only a stone’s throw away down the river, the trek that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War.

“This was his darkest moment,” organizer Bob Gerenser said of Washington. “He needed to plan a strategy so that he would win something in 1776.”

Monroe, who went on to become the fifth U.S. president, and William Washington, the general’s cousin, led their men across the Delaware six hours ahead of the main army to prevent the British in Princeton from learning of Washington’s impending surprise attack on Hessian troops at Trenton.

“If the British Regulars were to hear of something going on at Trenton and reinforce the Hessians at Trenton, there’s no way Washington could have defeated that combined force,” Gerenser said. “Washington asked for a volunteer to do what almost amounted to a suicide mission.”

They crossed at Coryell’s Ferry, which is now New Hope and Lambertville. After standing their ground along what is now Route 518, the troops rejoined Washington for the Battle of Trenton, during which Monroe and William Washington each took a musket round inches above the heart, Gerenser said.

Coryell’s Ferry Militia, the borough’s group of Revolutionary War re-enactors, will assemble in the parking lot of Odette’s restaurant on South Main Street. At noon, troops and artillery will parade north and turn right onto East Ferry Street. Troops will be inspected and Thomas Paine’s “American Crisis I” will be read.

“We’ll break character long enough to explain why this is fitting in the present and how it relates to what happened 235 years ago,” Gerenser said.

Artillery will then be fired from the south end of Ferry Street.


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