April 9, 1781: Westmoreland Militia Repels British Raid on Stratford

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

For Immediate Release

STRATFORD, VA, (March 30, 2010) – On this date two hundred and twenty-nine years ago, near the end of the American Revolution, sailors from armed British vessels anchored in the Potomac near St. Clement’s [Blackistone] Island, attempted to land at Stratford Landing as part of their mission to destroy and loot the plantation houses along both sides of the river.

From his home Chantilly, which had a good view of the island, Richard Henry Lee, Lieutenant of the Westmoreland militia, watched the movements of the ships. The British launched smaller craft to approach the shoreline while the large ships fired cannons to cover the attack. Richard Henry Lee met them with a small, ill-armed group of local citizens. In the skirmish that followed, the Westmoreland militia repelled the attackers, killing one British sailor who was buried on the Stratford beach.

The reenactment of this event, though just a small piece of American history, is only one of the exciting activities that will take place during Stratford Hall’s intergenerational summer camp program. The young campers play the parts of the British sailors and American militia while their accompanying grandparents enjoy the production, which includes a respectful “burial” on the beach. What better way to study and enjoy history?

Stratford Hall’s summer camp program includes a traditional Grandparent Camp, which will be held July 13-15, plus a new offering—a June 25-27 weekend camp open to children 8-12 and any adult relative. There is also an intergenerational Elderhostel planned for July 26-29. Information on these camp programs can be found on Stratford Hall’s web site www.stratfordhall.org or by calling Bill Doerken, Special Programs Coordinator, at (804) 493-8038 extension1026, or by emailing bdoerken@stratfordhall.org. The historic re-enactment described above is just one of many 18th-century activities that fill several days of fun and learning in Stratford Hall’s intergenerational summer programs. The camps provide a great bonding experience and include two days of lodging and all meals.