Captain Reuben Dow’s Coy

Col. Wm. Prescott’s Battalion

November 1998

To The Members of Prescott’s Battalion and other Friends,

Greetings, I hope this letter finds you well.

It was my announced intention to step down this fall after 7 years of commanding Prescott’s Battalion. In that time, we have come a long way towards our portrayal as an early war New England company of the Grand Army of Massachusetts Along the way, we have acted as a beacon and an example for other units, many of whom have adapted our model for their own units .. We also have, in many cases taken what we have done as Prescott’s back to our own home units and begun early war impressions there as well. In short, we have been able to help in the laying of a foundation for the 225th events to come, while aiding in the interpretation of Minute Man NHP. Truly a success.

So where do we go from here? I wasn’t really sure that there was an interest in continuing the unit, what with most of our home units doing the same type of impression. I was wrong. At the School of the 18th Century, held at Hartwell Tavern on Columbus Day Weekend, Captain Reuben Dow’s Coy, Prescott’s Battalion, was reborn. During a roundtable discussion it was decided to continue the unit, and I agreed to continue as Captain. Nelia Newell has stepped forward to assume the role of, basically, the Adjutant. She will be handling the organizational work of the unit and our events, as well as the communications. I will continue as the military "head," while Steven Taskovics and John Newell remain as Lt. and Sgt., respectively. Jane Baker has taken over from Dave Dooks as Music Master.

The unit will continue as a volunteer group within the park, although our exact role in the future may change. Our major function, as most of us see it, is one of education. The goal of the School of the 18th Century was to improve our portrayal of New Englanders on the eve of the Revolution by examining the role of community in their lives and the way that day-to-day activities were dictated by the change of seasons. Going forward, we plan to continue to find ways to delve into the minds and hearts of New England men, women and children of the mid 18th century. Hopefully, we will become a clearing house for such knowledge. We also plan to continue running evening drills at Hartwell Tavern and hope to host a fall militia muster for area groups. Please pass along any ideas to Nelia as well as information to include on a website or in future newsletters.

I am sure that this letter does not do our new mission justice. Perhaps, this is because it is new and we are still formulating and rehashing the input we have received. Those that were there as we discussed and experienced life in 1774 over Columbus Day weekend were left with a main message - "Everything for the good of the Community ... and in doing so, for our own good." That’s certainly our new spirit as well.

We’ll be discussing this more at our Winter Party ... uh meeting ... which we hope to have as an 18th C event with a working fireplace to cook in. Any suggestions for a location? Contact Nelia.

In closing, I would like to thank all the good folks who took the lead in helping to plan the Columbus Day event -- it was truly a community effort. A special thanks to Sue Felshin for planning and coordinating all the cooking; to Sabra, our tavern mistress; and to Rhonda for all the shopping. Thanks also to everyone who took the ideas we presented and expanded on them to turn the weekend into such a success.

Have a great holiday season ... see you soon.


P.S. Please pass along address changes or email addresses to Nelia: