Skip to main content

tv   American Artifacts George Washingtons Crossing Reenactment  CSPAN  December 29, 2019 10:00pm-10:31pm EST

10:00 pm
we are not fully seeing the vision of universal health coverage and making it more affordable as some sort of single-payer or medicare for all type system. issue has allowed too much money right now in politics. >> my name is >> cardi. i am a curator here in pennsylvania. today is a exciting day and we are doing a reenactment of george washington-esque crossing of the delaware river.
10:01 pm
is on of the here most unexpected and daring military maneuvers of the american revolution. story is that washington and the continental army, after having lost battles in new york and retreating across new york came to bucks county in the of december 17, 1776. things were pretty desperate at this point for washington. the continental army really needed a win. washington was afraid that the -- he really knew that what he needed was a bold action.
10:02 pm
after meeting with his war council, he made the decision that on christmas night he would cross the delaware and march to attack delaware. in that time a snowstorm started. it was terrible, there was snow and hail, and it was basically a bad nor'easter. the weather was absolutely a part of that.
10:03 pm
>> general washington, can you tell us about your secret mission stop >> this is our final chance to make an impact on this war. the problem we have is our enlistments are expiring. days in order to make this attack. weatherfeel it with the behind us, we have the element of surprise on our side, we will take the city of trenton, raise the troops and prove to congress that we are a viable army that they should support, and hopefully enlistments will rise. >> have you done any operation like this before? >> we have not. the only operations we have done where the evacuations from new york, which was very well done.
10:04 pm
the -- -- my hats off to from massachusetts who manned the boats and we retreated to the banks of the delaware. right now we are trying to keep a river between us and the hessian mercenaries between us and trenton. we're trying to stay between them and the city of philadelphia. about your what type of men are they? >> hopefully we can keep this among ourselves but we have 3000 i have foundich 2400 are fit for duty. them further for north of the river. we have 2400 troops that are ready to go. 60 rounds of ammunition each, and we expect to give them a
10:05 pm
good fight. >> my name is frank lyons and i am portraying colonel john glover from massachusetts. colonel glover was the commander continental regiment. it was the 10th largest on the east state. intolerable acts and the british enactment's that led up to the american revolution, most of the men at marblehead were unemployed and very unhappy and they were happy to join the marblehead regiment. they never expected to find themselves down in pennsylvania. glover and his regiment
10:06 pm
stayed in washington. the first time after the disastrous model of long island, 9000r and his men drove men across the lower east river from brooklyn into what is the modern day brooklyn into lower manhattan. then again at pelz point when cornwallis was planning, he sailed up the east river and was planning to march and trap washington in manhattan. off 4000 british and hessian troops. they suffered somewhere between 700 and 800 casualties. >> we advance forward to the
10:07 pm
section of pennsylvania and around the 22nd of november glover marches into this area and camps of the hill near where the washington headquarters were. and washington called him to his headquarters and tells him what he wants to do. river.00 feet of iraqi , glover mutters to washington and says it is impossible. washington says to glover, i did not ask you. i ask you if you could do it. looks back and says colonel washington, my roughriders can do it. us that is when washington made the final
10:08 pm
decision to go ahead with this which did save the american revolution. it truly change the course of world history for us in one of them took place on this ground weep where we are standing here. >> it is one of the three iconic parts of the revolutionary war. u.s. anybody, and they will talk about valley forge which is encampment. washington crossing the delaware and the battle of yorktown. everybody knows the iconic 1850's. in the everybody knows that painting is washington crossing the delaware. you river feels solid but don't get icebergs. >> we will start by seeing
10:09 pm
washington and his officers review his trip. we will hear washington give a speech to the troops. and everybody will board the boats that we have here and cross the delaware. boats are one of the type of boats that were used during the crossing to get men from pennsylvania to new jersey. what special is that they are large, and were originally made to haul iron up and down the delaware. they were ideal. they weren't the only boats that were used. washington when he came to pennsylvania ordered all of the boats on the new jersey side brought over to pennsylvania to
10:10 pm
help with slowing down any of the crossing that the british might do. fairy was useda so that you could get artillery across. you had to beale to get any of them. ♪
10:11 pm
[inaudible] >> glover, how are the conditions? >> my bounty hunters have returned from traversing the river. they report that the river is swift and strewn with ice, but they are confident sir and are armymined to convey our
10:12 pm
can cross the delaware this very night. >> remember it is victory or death. your troops and prepare them for inspection.
10:13 pm
>> we have asked congress for many things that we are short of, food, tents, provisions blankets. we have had citizens of philadelphia coming to provide us with at least some blankets to keep you warm. it reminds me of the crisis by thomas payne. he wrote, these are the times that try men's souls.
10:14 pm
the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country. now it deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. my troops, you deserve that love and thanks. you are here with me now to continue our fight. i look forward to seeing you in trenton and remember, victory or death. troops.ant, prepare the >> interim these boats were
10:15 pm
meant to float down the river and not meant to go across, but washington knew they could be valuable for transporting troops to scary people across the river. real artform to row them up the river just to get them in position. they were meant to float down the river, to be pulled down the river and to be steered with this big sweeping motion. they are not real maneuver when you go to cross the river. takes a little bit of skill for these guys to do it. >> my name is deleon von, and i am portraying a member of
10:16 pm
marblehead. the 14th regiment out of marblehead, massachusetts. the fisherman who helped george washington get across the river. very easy. snowed andit has some years it has rained. but today they are good conditions. >> tell me about your betrayal -- portrayal. there's nothing in the history books about the 40% of colonel glover's unit. during that time black men were a large part of the wailing and fishing industry. they fished every day. they are open, suggesting casey
10:17 pm
you would'veater had water in your pants. easy.uld not drown that and the hat if you would have it pulled you would have it pulled over your ears. youeverything was made what -- we were here from day one. he did extensive research on for my father ask about mother. he went back to one of the 20 and odd africans that was on the boat that landed it port comfort
10:18 pm
in virginia, 16 -- 1619. i can trace my family back 400 years. internet has helped also. i picked up a book out of a a painting i found of george washington crossing the river, the man rowing the boat to the right of george washington is a black guy. he was a servant of one of george washington's aids. he is the black guy rowing the boat on the painting.
10:19 pm
in 1776. if we had to wait for 2400, it took nine hours. but today we have about 300 people on 48 boat cruise. crewsuise come out -- the come out and practice on a lake and then on the river. the planning goes on all year. i had advanced training. my father never owned a motor. bay.e chesapeake
10:20 pm
we rode into the bay. i started rowing a boat at 10. rowing is a reflection of my childhood. >> as a reenactor i have been doing george washington for nine years now. here and youround see hundreds of visitors that come to this part to see this one event, it's an iconic event. victory, the army would have collapsed. >> as an amateur historian i have been doing reenacting for 26 years. up, you work your way
10:21 pm
say i think i could do a better job or something different. i've taken on the role for last nine years and have had many successful crossings. fact that you cannot only educate the public on what took place here, but it keeps this site viable. inches ofe had six snow in four hours. launched my boat to go across he couldn't see the other side. they canceled it right after i got out there. it was deemed unsafe. it started as a day like today. sunny and a little bit cool. by the time of crossing you had six inches of snow on the ground. rained,een here when it slated and snowed on the same day, and the troops are
10:22 pm
grumbling and complaining, standing ready to cross and i have to look at them and say these are the conditions that the troops crossed under. i'm sure they were complaining with the same discomfort. staff and weral have our standard bearer. that is how you know where the general is in the battlefield. museum.inal is in the
10:23 pm
>> the officers were aware of where they were going, where they were marching to and that they were attacking the hessian outpost. the men in the boat did not know exactly where their destination they were aware something significant was about to take place. they were cold. many of them were sick, they were hungry. they didn't have the equipment as far as appropriate clothing that they needed to protect them from this weather. they did this under great hardship. they were very brave and did accomplish something that i know i certainly couldn't do under those circumstances. they marched nine miles after this crossing in a snowstorm. they marched nine miles south to trenton and they attacked the hessians, who were not expecting
10:24 pm
to be attacked for a number of reasons. first of all because it was just after a major snowstorm. it was also the time of the year, wintertime, when most armies went into their winter camps and stopped fighting, and the hessians had actually been engaged several times by some of the local militias in new jersey and were really on edge. this wasn't the type of fighting they were accustomed to. by the time -- it was christmas and there had been a major snowstorm. they were hoping to have the opportunity to rest a little bit, and of course, that didn't happen. they were attacked by the continental army, who was able to defeat them in pretty short order. the army stayed in trenton for just a short amount of time,
10:25 pm
and then brought prisoners, about nine hundred or so prisoners, back. officers were kept overnight at the tavern here and enlisted, and eventually the officers were taken a couple miles from here. >> it is always good to know your history, know from where you come. that way you know where you are going, and you try not to repeat some of the same mistakes. when i was in school, i hated history. it was always teaching me about what somebody else did, not what my people did. now i have this hobby to learn what i didn't learn in high school, nor in college, about real american history, all-inclusive american history.
10:26 pm
one time, i was giving a lecture at an office of homeland security. it was their black history month program. after i gave a short speech on the black involvement in the civil war, one of the white men in the audience stood up and said, why are you here teaching us black history? i said, sir, i am not teaching you black history, i am teaching you american history that just happens to be about black people. >> most people are probably familiar with the painting. what do you think of that painting? >> i think it is a lovely painting. he was not trying to provide a snapshot of the actual historic event.
10:27 pm
leutze was not trying to provide a snapshot of the actual historic event. he was telling a story. in that painting, you see the story of the american revolution that he was trying to inspire people in germany at the time in their quest for revolution. so you see washington crossing the sea. james monroe, who ends up being a president. you see a flag, what we call the betsy ross flag, that was used in the painting. that flag was not being used in 1776, but we already know how the story ends, so he includes that. you see a variety of people in
10:28 pm
that boat, which was just like the makeup of the army, a variety of different types of people. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
10:29 pm
>> hi, everyone. i'm the 2018 c-span studentcam winter. i'm here to encourage you to continue to wrap up this competition is getting close. this is about the time that i started filming my documentary the first year that i entered it. i am in the d.c. offices. c-span studentcam is an incredible opportunity for me to express my thoughts and my views about the political climate in the current days while connecting with vocal -- local and state leaders. i'm excited you all are interested in this and are pursuing this. it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. >> there is time for you to enter the studentcam video competition. you have until january 20 create a five minute documentary that explores the issues you want a presidential candidate to address. we are giving away a total of
10:30 pm
$100,000 for cash prizes with a grand prize of $5,000. for more information, go to our website. .org. announcer 1: civil rights pioneers fred gray and congressman john lewis talk about rosa parks and her long history of civil rights activism. they highlight her influence in activating boycotts and nonviolent protest against segregation and discrimination. this was held to open the new exhibit "rosa parks, in her own words" at the library of congress. >> please welcome the librarian of congress, dr. carla hayden. [applause] carla: good evening. good evening. and welcome to the library of congress. it is our pleasure to have everyone here for a very special night as w


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on