ELIZABETHTOWN — The Patriots again sent the Loyalists scurrying for cover along the Cape Fear River as the sounds of cannon fire an musket volleys could be heard during the third annual Battle of Elizabethtown re-enactment held in Tory Hole Park.
A brief rain shower during Saturday’s festivities did little to dampen the enthusiasm as the crowd swelled to fill the park just prior to the re-enactment.
Sunday Allen, one of the organizers of the events was busy giving instructions to youth and grown ups alike for a scavenger hunt. The hunt included finding evidence of mammals, seeds, spiders, plants, and even birds. After receiving their instructions, the participants scurried off and quickly returned with their treasures for Allen to explain to them.
Jacob Lewis gave the history lesson of the Battle of Elizabethtown and the names of those patriots who fought in the battle were read aloud.
“A decisive Battle took place here in 1781,” read Lewis.
According to Lewis, 180 men, mostly river planters and merchants, made up a group of Patriots who hid out in the swamp and along the river, hoping and waiting for re-enforcement’s. After about three weeks of hiding, they decided they decided they had to take action.
“They were all Bladen County had,” read Lewis.
Thanks to the ingenuity of Sally Salter, who secretly entered the Tory encampment selling eggs and listening to the Tories make their plans, she risked her life to gain information and headed to the Patriot encampment to share what she had learned, according to Lewis’ script.
The Patriots attacked the Tory encampment and chased them al the way to the Cape Fear River, according to Lewis.
After the history lesson and the reading of the names of the Patriots who fought, the crowd then gathered for the actual re-enactment which was fought under the canopy of the Tory Hole. Furious musket volleys, loud war cries, and a saber charge on horseback all thrilled the crowd.
Phyllis Williams of Kinston and her family attended the event.
“We came and picnicked here on July 4th weekend. My brother-in-law is a Civil War, Revolutionary War enthusiast. He looked it (Tory Hole) up on the computer and learned about the re-enactment,” said Williams.
She added they were impressed with the event.
“I’ve been to re-enactments before. I haven’t been to a Revolutionary War re-enactment,” said Williams.
The Huckleberry Brothers also kept the crowd entertained playing bluegrass music.