Reenactors did their best to be fierce while keeping the Yankees in line. Photo Anne O’Connor

The Redcoats are coming!

By Anne O’Connor All Images by Anne O’Connor
April 20, 2023

Over 100 people waited, peering up Barretts Mill Road, waiting for the Redcoats to appear.

The British Regulars showed up in formation. They quick-timed two-by-two into the farmyard, demanding that folks “make a hole” so they could get through.

The National Park Service recreated the April 19, 1775, search of the home of Col. James Barrett. British soldiers diverted from the North Bridge went through the home and grounds looking for war supplies said to be stored on the farm. They found nothing, anything not moved to Groton was well-hidden.

Reenactors involved the audience, at one point having some of the children help remove barrels from the house to hide under a tree. They were to tell the Redcoats they knew nothing about supplies.

And, the soldiers asked. On April 16, 2023, no one spilled the beans.

The farmhouse, purchased and renovated by Save Our Heritage, was given to the Minute Man National Park in 2012. Costumed docents were on hand to tell visitors about the building built around 1740 and its restoration. 

At the conclusion of the program, the audience gave a hearty cheer to the reenactors, including the Redcoats, who came off high alert and relaxed, after they realized there was, again, nothing to find at the farm.