AUGUSTA — This weekend, 240 years after Benedict Arnold and more than 1,100 other soldiers in the Continental Army arrived at Fort Western on their ill-fated journey to attack Quebec, Revolutionary War re-enactors plan events in Augusta, Dresden and Pittston to mark the occasion.

Re-enactors in the role of Capt. Daniel Savage’s Company, a scouting company records indicate worked between Fort Western at what is now Augusta and the coast from 1778 to 1779, will host the Revolutionary War weekend of events.

The company is expected to arrive Friday evening at Old Fort Western in Augusta to set up camp for the weekend.

Saturday morning, they’ll head to the Pownalborough Court House in Dresden, built in 1761 by the Kennebec Proprietors who also built Fort Western. Then at 1 p.m., it’s on to the Maj. Reuben Colburn House in Pittston, where in 1775 more than 200 bateaux were built by Colburn for Arnold’s army in just two weeks. With such a short deadline, the boats meant to help carry Arnold’s men upriver to attack the British were made of green wood and thus were heavy and not watertight.

At the Colburn House, in a free presentation open to the public and hosted by the Arnold Expedition Historical Society, speaker Richard Wiggins will present his talk, “Who were those Revolutionary War Soldiers?”

Linda Novak, director and curator at Fort Western, said organizers were planning their own encampment at Fort Western but decided to join with others and include the other locations as well because of their shared historical significance.


Arnold stayed at the Colburn House as the last of the bateaux were being finished.

After Wiggins’ speech, the group will return to Fort Western where the re-enactors will have a fireside talk at 7 p.m. by Rick Pierce titled “March to Quebec.”

On Sunday, Capt. Daniel Savage’s Company will present activities meant to share “the sights and sounds of the 18th century,” Novak said, including raising of the colors, orders of the day, scouting, cooking, drilling and blacksmithing. Also featured Sunday will be the murder trial of James McCormick, who, angered by a quarrel, fired his gun into a house full of soldiers near Fort Western, killing Sgt. Reuben Bishop on Sept. 23, 1775.

Arnold rose to the rank of major general. His name came to be associated with being a traitor when he joined the British Army in 1781.

“This was when he was a patriot,” Novak said of Arnold’s 1775 march and unsuccessful attack on Quebec.

Events conclude at 3 p.m. Sunday.


Old Fort Western is a National Historic Landmark and museum and the oldest surviving wooden French and Indian War fort in North America.

While the events are free, admission to Old Fort Western for tours is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and veterans, $6 for children ages six to 14, $25 for a family of five and children under six free. Admission for city of Augusta residents to the city-owned fort is free.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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