Victory or Death: Re-enacting the Revolution

The Revolution secured George’s place in history far beyond his military and political leadership. Yet his unique ascent to the pinnacle of fame in the Western world presented a stark dichotomy of sorts: even before the war, he had begun to embody the ideal of a citizen-patriot, but his rise to fame as the third son of his father was still a romantic tale of patrician connections, courageous feats, and a lifestyle that was, in many respects, Old World and elitist. Regardless, and somewhat counterintuitively, America’s old-school chevalier would become the de facto model of good behavior and manners in this New World order.



Colonial Officers, including General George Washington, Crossing the Delaware on a balmy December day in preparation for a sneak attack on Trenton

Colonial Army re-enactors rally in advance of the Battle of Trenton.


Red-coated officer readies his forces/ Battle of Trenton.

Hessian fighters assemble the morning of the fateful surprise attack led by Gen. George Washington. Moustachioed and cone-capped, they were not up to the task of defending Trenton, as I witnessed first hand.

Continental troops from the Boston area ready to take on their German foe at Trenton.

At the battle of White Marsh, Continental forces led by Gen. Washington prepare to execute a deserter, who begs for mercy

Continental forces converge for s skirmish with their British foe at the Battle of White Marsh reenactment.

British Redcoats skirmish with the Continental Army at the Battle of White Marsh, which preceded a Continental retreat to nearby Valley forge.

A camp follower prepares to entertain the Continental Army and Gen. George Washington at their camp on the plains of White Marsh. The Continental Army would later retreat to Valley Forge.

Joe Becton and Noah Lewis, along with a local pastor, rally at the Battle of White Marsh. George Washington struggled to reconcile his role as a slave owner and the leader of a Revolution that spoke of all men being created equal. These re-enactors keep the flames of that history alive.


Mount Vernon on the 4th of July. The mix of patriotic Americans is not so unlike the assembled lot that won the Revolution — and defeated British tyranny in the process.

Children in today’s Williamsburg listen with parents as the Marquis de Lafayette encourages American forces to fight the final battle for liberty at Yorktown.

Marquis de Lafayette became George’s protege during the Revolutionary War. George saw in him both the aristocratic comportment he had aspired to as a young man, but also the swashbuckling fearlessness that he had embodied during the French & Indian War


Mount Vernon. The home that George always wanted to come home to. Even at the worst moments of the Revolution, his thoughts were often about the life he had built here with Martha. When he visited his home right before the Battle of Yorktown, George remarked to his overseer that he was quite displeased with him for providing aid and comfort to British troops who had threatened to burn the home. He said he would rather to have seen Mount Vernon burned to the ground.

Fife and Drum squad makes its way through Mount Vernon on the 4th of July.

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