March 3, 2011
Contact: Kelly Cardwell
Contact: William Sawyer
At Fort Stanwix, it was hard work for soldiers to survive the cold New York winter and spring. Soldiers endured the hardships of winter with ragged clothing, rotted bedding and blankets, and the knowledge that enemy raiding parties could still attack at any time. Yet the work had to continue. Throughout the winter wood was gathered and cut for fires. In spring the ground was prepared so that seeds could immediately be sewn for vegetables. Lumber was always needed to repair the fort walls. All the while every day work of the soldiers’ and their families had to continue. Work like drill, guard duty, and even clothing repair was year round routine.
On Saturday March 12, visitors are invited to get a taste of what the winter of 1778 was like as Fort Stanwix National Monument hosts late winter encampment as part of its programming. Visitors are invited to join park staff and volunteers to get a hands-on feel for the daily life of the fort’s inhabitants and to discuss the wintertime hardships they faced. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs through 3:00 p.m. Programs and demonstrations will be weather permitting.
During the event visitors will get the chance to learn two skills many civilians would have had and found necessary to endure a cold winter: knitting and fire starting. Visitors also will have the opportunity to learn the soldier's drill; experiencing some of the sights, sounds and smells of battle as the soldiers fire their muskets.
Fort Stanwix National Monument is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission to the park is free. Activities are ongoing unless noted. For more information about upcoming events please call the park at (315)338-7730. Please visit the park's web page at www.nps.gov/fost for additional information about the park and up-to-date news about park events.