Posted by: Sand Squiggles -- Richard Modlin's Blog | September 9, 2018

Battle of the Rim Reenactment

 

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Patriots aligned for battle on White’s Point, Machias River, Machias, ME

The actual Battle of the Rim occurred August 13 & 14, 1777, when Great Britain sought to avenge the capture the HMS Margaretta, an armed sloop, by the Patriots—rebels as the British called them—of Machias, Maine. The British sent three Royal Navy frigates and a small armed brig to destroy the city and put an end to the rebelliousness of the colonial population. Machias, located about six miles upriver from the deeper Machias Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, was protected by shallow water, shoals and Fort Foster located on the Rim, a peninsula at the confluence of the East Machias and Machias Rivers. The frigates had to remain in the bay, but the British brig, HMS Hope, was able to come up the river. So, during high tide, on the 13th, the Hope towed seven barges filled with about 700 Royal Marines upriver to the Rim. There, in the afternoon, the British force destroyed Fort Foster and burned the farms located on the Rim. On the morning tide, the Hope weighed anchor, and with the marines in tow, headed toward the City of Machias. Forewarned, the Patriots, with the aid of the Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, and Penobscot warriors pelted the British forces, causing them to retreat down river.

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The first reenactment of the Battle of the Rim was held on August 19, 2018, 241 years after this battle occurred. Reenactors from the City of Machias assembled on White’s Point where the actual confrontation between the Patriots and British took place (White’s Point is less than a mile from the heart of Machias). Several of the reenactors were decedents of the colonists whose farms located on the Rim were burned by the British marines. Others descended from the Patriots who took part in the Battle of the Rim and/or fought to capture of the HMS Margaretta in June of 1775. The two Passamaquoddy reenactors, Wilford Neptune, Sr. and his son Will, Jr. are the actual descendants of the Passamaquoddy, Chief Neptune, whose musket shot, from White’s Point, fatally wounded one of the British officers.

Wilford Neptune Sr. & Jr.

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Since my latest “Jack Hollister” novel, Battle at the Rim, describes this battle in some detail, I felt honored to attend the reenactment and to be able to meet and interact with the men who performed in this reenactment.

Due to a very rainy Saturday, the reenactment was rescheduled for Sunday, August 19; a much better day, beautiful, cool, with not a cloud in the sky. The event was a complete success. Well over a hundred city folks and tourists attended. However, I did not envy the reenactor who portrayed the British officer who was shot by Chief Neptune. This reenactor had to feign being shot and fall out the “barge” and into the cold waters of the Machias River. The redcoat reenactors fished the poor fellow out of the river and laid him in the bottom of the barge. He lay there, wet, for about an hour until the event ended. If you examine the photos showing the redcoats in the boat, you’ll notice an arm dangling over the side. This is the dead officer.

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Battle at the Rim information on my two other books in the Jack Hollister series, which also describe poorly known American Revolutionary War encounters in Maine and New England, can be found on my blog site by clicking on “My Books.” All my books are available from Amazon.com. Locally they can be purchased at the French Cellar and Machias Hardware in Machias, and Port O’ Call in Eastport.

© Copyright, Richard Modlin, September, 2018

 

 


Responses

  1. Great post 😁


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