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Needham students to relive the Revolutionary War

Posted by Evan Allen  October 1, 2012 10:18 AM

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The Revolutionary War is coming to Needham.

On Oct. 5, soldiers will hunker down and set up camp at Hillside Elementary School, laying out their weapons, building campfires and treating the injured.

The encampment comes courtesy of the Rehoboth Minute Company, and is funded by a grant from the Needham Education Foundation, according to a release from the school.

Students in grades 3-5 will get the chance to explore the camp from 8:45 a.m. to about 2 p.m. The actors are Revolutionary War experts, and they’ll spend the day talking to nearly 250 students, explaining topics like the origins of colonial militias, the motivations of soldiers to join the Patriot cause and the role of Needham soldiers in the Revolution.

The students will tour replicas of Revolutionary War tents, listen to period music played by soldiers whiling away the hours playing the fife, and watch soldiers work with hot wax over campfires. Musket fire will boom throughout the camp, and one team of actors will portray a war doctor and a wounded soldier. Students will be able to examine colonial weapons like muskets and bayonets.

The reenactment is designed to reinforce curricula that the students are already learning about New England colonial history.

The Rehoboth Minute Company was formed in 1774 as a militia unit for the town of Rehoboth. Militia members fought in the early days of the Revolutionary War.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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