The 242nd anniversary of Leslie’s Retreat was marked by a spirited reenactment in Salem yesterday, with the central “characters” reprising their roles earnestly and enthusiastically amidst an equally enthusiastic crowd. I stopped over at Hamilton Hall first, where I heard the British were gathering, and was not surprised to encounter Colonel Leslie himself there, with his adjutant and a few supporters in scarlet. I was surprised to run into Major Pedrick from Marblehead on my way out (well, I knew they knew each other…..), but he (in the form of my old friend David Williams, whom I understand is a Pedrick descendant) walked on ahead to the First Church to give the alarm. There we waited a while for events to unfold, but once they did some serious parleying ensued between Colonel Leslie, Colonels Pickering and Mason from the local militia, and the Reverend Thomas Barnard, who had burst out of his church and rallied his congregation to the bridge (or rather a convenient parking lot adjacent to the present-day overpass) so that he could mediate. The discussion was heated, but eventually Colonel Leslie was allowed to cross over the bridge/overpass– a much dicier endeavor in 2017 than 1775 owing to traffic. When no cannon was found on the other side, the ever-gracious Reverend Barnard invited the Colonel–and all of us– to retreat to the First Church parish hall for refreshments, which made for an appropriate end to an event of compromise and commemoration.
Colonel Leslie (Charlie Newhall) and The Reverend Thomas Barnard (The Reverend Jeffrey Barz-Snell) face-off in 2017; a great day for community and picture-taking.
February 27th, 2017 at 11:17 am
I took 9 or 10 pictures in Town House Square and Riley Plaza areas at the Bicentennial re-enactment of Leslie’s Retreat in 1975. I would be happy to scan them and send them to you or post them here, but it looks like we can only post comments here. Let me know how to send them to you, if you’re interested.
February 27th, 2017 at 4:57 pm
Gosh I would love that! I was looking for some desperately !. My email is in the “about” section: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much.
February 27th, 2017 at 1:45 pm
Well done you, and all involved!! Soon we shall see the militia reenactments on te common as per the George Ropes painting
February 27th, 2017 at 4:56 pm
Oh that would be a lovely reenactment, Jean!
February 27th, 2017 at 5:50 pm
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