In 30 years on Revolutionary War battlefields, Ed Forte hasn’t died once.
Saturday was no different when Forte fought with his patriot peers in the 46th annual battle re-enactment at Historic Columbia’s Revolutionary War Field Days.
“It’s my way of commemorating those who went before us and provided us with the liberties we’re blessed with to enjoy today,” said Forte of Charleston. “It’s not to glorify war, but to remember and commemorate.”
Two Revolutionary War battles were fought in Camden, including one of the worst American defeats of the war in 1780.
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On Saturday, the crack of musket fire mingled with cannon booms and a haze of smoke over a wide field as make-believe British and American forces faced each other.
It ended with Redcoat soldiers and militia advancing boldly across the field after the retreating patriots. (But that’s OK – we all know who won the war.)
Arabella Brinkman, 8, of Chapin looked on, captivated. She’s a young history buff who recently finished reading a book about the role women played in the war.
It’s important for Arabella to understand her history “because we live in a really great country,” said her grandmother, Susan Brinkman.
“Freedom is fought for, and I think it’s good to teach our kids that it doesn’t come easily,” said Kassie Brinkman, Arabella’s mother.
“We weren’t born free – we fight for it. And we have men and women still today that lay their lives down for our freedom. I think it’s good to respect that and to understand our heritage.”
Reach Ellis at (803) 771-8307.
If you go
The Revolutionary War Field Days continues Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Historic Camden, 222 Broad St. The battle re-enactment begins at 1:30 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for those in the military and people 62 and older, $5 for children 6-17 and free for those under 6.