The following day saw us back at the sally port at the English fortress built not long afterward. As you can see there was something going outside the walls of that place.

There were lots of things to do during Annapolis Royal's 68th Natal Day but the 84th Regimental Encampment is always worth a look. On Friday, the encampment of reenactors was incomplete since most of them travel here from outside points and have day jobs which delay arrival.This was the first time we encountered civilian "camp followers" with a campsite of their own following historical precedent.

However, most action was supposedly centred out on this parade ground.

The local newspaper said, "Going back a few centuries is easy at Fort Anne National Historic Site in Annapolis Royal. When the 84th of Foot, 2nd Battalion, Royal Highland Emigrants (1775 to 1783) arrives July 30, time-travel illusion will be complete... The first Highland regiment to be raised outside of Scotland, the original Royal Highland Emigrants were raised during the summer and fall of 1775 as a provincial corps for service against the rebels in America,  commanded by Lt. Col. Allan McLean.  It saw action at the defense of Quebec, and was instrumental in holding Canada for Britain." Here Frankie is seen with reenactor Greg Wentzal nicknamed "Grog."

Grog explained that the regiment was not at full strength as some had committed to a prior event at Fortress Louisbourg and had not recovered from the stress sufficiently to come to Fort Anne.

We arrived precisely at mess hour.

The following photos record this action.

That's another prime time reenactor in blue uniform. He is Francis Nickerson who commands nothing less than "a British 3 Pounder Artillery Piece."

Although most Loyalist troopers were men some women sometimes disguised themselves and were active in warfare.

The ramparts of the fortress are seen in the distance. These days they are easily crossed using those wooden stairs.

On a really good year there would be many more tents.

Sometimes the aftermath of food and drink can be tiring.

Back at the civilian encampment.

These people go to extreme lengths to find believable period props.

In my view the domestic end of things is as much fun to watch.

There's no life like it, especially for non-combatants.

One tent seems to cast a medieval shadow.

Not a bright and sunny day. Last year all that woollen and linen clothing was a bit of a curse during really hot days.

And the military encampment within the walls lacks shade.

It seemed idyllic and probably was.

On the other side of that rubble wall things were also winding down.

Mr. Shortt and the cannoneer exchange views.

What's this? A stranger scouting the ramparts.

My telephoto shows him joining a motley crew near the waterfront. Has to be Americans!

Tattletale? You bet!

Once the news gets back, the Highlanders are afling. As it happens Hugh Mackay, the patriarch of the Charlotte County clan first served with the 84th. Wounded he joined the Queen's Own Rangers and served under General Benedict Arnold.

The regiment is expected to march into Fort Anne mid-afternoon July 30, set up camp, and remain until about noon on August 1.

The 2nd Battalion of the 84th was made up of veterans of the 42nd, 77th, and 78th Highlanders who had settled in America after the Seven Years (French and Indian) War.  It was also composed of American Loyalists and recent immigrants and was the only regiment of the British Army in America in which soldiers experienced to enemy fire predominated.

In 1778, in compliance with the conditions of the original warrant, they were placed on the British Establishment as the 84th Regiment Of Foot, Royal Highland Emigrants. The 2nd Battalion was based in Nova Scotia and took part in the relief of Fort Cumberland and the chase of the Jonathan Eddy Rebels back to Maine. They provided garrison troops for Halifax, Sydney, Shelburne, Fort Sackville, Port Howe on the Saint John River, Fort Anne, and Fort Edward

Fort Anne actually was attacked by privateers (legally sanctioned pirates on both sides of the conflict) in 1781.

While the men portray the lives of soldiers, the women and children specialize in recreating the camp life, crafts, and day-to-day routine of the Revolution and loyalist time period. Sometimes they slip a few decades to reenact War of 1812 incidents when uniforms were actually quite a bit different.

In any event some associated engineers dragged their cannon into place and were obviously considering the possibility of some serious action against the interlopers.

The fife and drum band withdraws slightly while waiting for action.


Pre-combat jitters.

The foot-soldiers are ordered to load up.

First shots are exchanged, Telephoto always makes compressed the distance.

Obviously there are no sharpshooters on either side.

That American in buckskin seems impervious.

That American is like the energizer bunny!

That really is a thin red line, but the crowd on the hill  is appreciative of the protection. Suppose that pike is actually useful?

Looks like a the cannon brigade has decided to enter the fray.

Oops, a misadventure!

"It doesn't look good!"

"Neither does this!"

"Your mother wears army boots!"

Putting everything in perspective.


That canon shot seems postmature and likely to end with British casualties due to "friendly fire."

When the smoke clears the 84th is seen to be unharmed and in charge.

Make that relatively unharmed!

Prisoners have been taken. The fief and drum band leaves the field in dejection.

One Americans who have been taken is accused of murder.

Relatives of the late young musician appear at the fort.

The Highlanders and their prisoners prepare to leave the field. The band has regrouped to lead the parade.

The rebels are warned not to expect mercy.

All march back to the parade ground to stirring martial music.

The Americans say they didn't kill the redcoats.

But wait a bit!

The cannon brigade is still out there and Frankie and Graham are perhaps wondering why.

Those musket blanks shed bits of paper with each shot, and these fellows are expected to recycle that paper. that explains the bucket.

Young volunteers get all the fun!

Sometimes the ladies are allowed to carry firearms belonging to their men.

After verbal battles on the parade field it is finally agreed that this was a military engagement and the neither Americans is guilty of murder and will be held pending a prisoner exchange.

The buckskin lad has decided to swear allegiance to the king, so only one America is lead away to imprisonment.

With the cannon returned...

A general present arms is commanded.

and all of the 84th is dismissed.