Free Concert by 380th Army Band Will Highlight Lees and Independence Event

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Media Contact: Jim Schepmoes
804-493-8038 ext. 8119

For Immediate Release

STRATFORD, VA, (May 19, 2010) – A free evening concert by the 380th Army Band, a revolutionary war encampment by the First Virginia Regiment with firing demonstrations, a special appearance by Richard Henry Lee, a book signing by Albert H. Tillson, Jr., and many free activities for children are among the featured activities at Stratford Hall on June 5 beginning at 3 p.m. Admission is free. The event is being partially sponsored by The Rust Foundation.

The Lees and Independence event commemorates the date that Richard Henry Lee presented his resolution to the 2nd Continental Congress on June 7, 1776, making a motion to formally declare the independence of the colonies:

“Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

The resolution led to the writing and subsequent adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

The Lees and Independence event also highlights the important roles that other Lees, including Francis Lightfoot, Arthur, William, Thomas and Lighthorse Harry had in fighting for independence.

The schedule of activities includes:

Activities for children will be available from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and include signing the Declaration of Independence with a quill pen, taking pictures in colonial clothing, and doing a Lee interactive activity and receiving a prize in the Gift Shop. Children can also try out their aptitude for military drilling and shoulder their wooden muskets and march to the drummer’s beat and the musical strains of “Yankee Doodle,” giving them a taste of upcoming summer camp activities at Stratford Hall.

Revolutionary War Encampment by the Second Virginia Regiment with firing demonstrations at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., outdoor cooking, and a number of other activities. The Second Virginia Regiment is a recreated Revolutionary War history group. The organization is composed of volunteers who authentically clothe and equip themselves to portray the soldiers and families of this historic military unit. Richard Henry Lee, as portrayed by Frank Megargee from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, will talk at 4 p.m. in the Visitor Center about the Lees’ (William, Arthur, Thomas, Francis Lightfoot, Richard Henry, and Lighthorse Harry) contributions towards independence as well as their efforts during the war years. After his talk he will answer questions from the audience and also will be available throughout the event to meet with visitors.

Book Signing and talk by Albert H. Tillson, Jr., will take place in the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m. Tillson’s talk will be entitled “The Abduction of Atwell: A Northern Neck Incident of the Revolutionary War.” Tillson’s lecture is based upon a small set of documents he found after completing his book, Accommodating Revolutions: Virginia’s Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810. These documents deal with two deserters from the British army who made their way into Westmoreland County in September 1779 and met two local loyalists who urged them to kidnap the commander of the Westmoreland militia and steal a sizable quantity of money from Squire Richard Lee of Lee Hall, then join a group of John Tayloe’s slaves, seize Robert Carter’s ship the Atwell, and sail off to rejoin the British forces. Although ultimately unsuccessful, they did in fact implement much of the plan.

Free Concert by the 380th Army Band at 7 p.m. The Army Band will play on the south lawn of the Great House. Please bring your lawn chair or blanket for seating. The 380th Army Band was initially constituted on August 2, 1943 as the 80th Infantry Division Band and activated on August 12, 1943 at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The band received the Meritorious Unit Citation for service in the European Theater during World War II with Campaign Participation credit in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. The Band was relieved from assignment to the 80th Division, re-organized, and re-designated October 16, 2008 as the 380th Army Band.

The Band is stationed in Richmond, VA and provides musical support for both military functions and community events by performing as a concert band, marching band, jazz band, and specialized small ensembles throughout Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Food and Drink will be served on the Oval by the Stratford Dining Room from 12 noon to 7 p.m. There will be a limited menu of food items at reasonable prices including hamburgers, hotdogs, BBQ, cole slaw, potato chips, ginger cookies, bottled water and soft drinks. The Dining Room facility itself will be closed that day. Visitors can signup for a free giveaway of a Stratford Hall gift basket in the Gift Shop.

Please Note: Great House tours (last tour begins at 4:00 p.m.) will be the regular price of admission and are not included in the special event activities. Please bring your lawn chairs or blankets to sit on for the concert. Please do not bring pets, coolers, knapsacks, backpacks, baskets or food or drink. In event of rain, the concert will move into the Council House where there is limited seating and it will be on a first come first served basis.

For more information please contact Jon Bachman, Educational Program Coordinator, at or by calling 804-493-8038 ext. 1039. For a complete calendar of upcoming events, please visit