Let your mind drift back in time to the 18th century; the year is 1775. The times were different then. There was no United States. There were 13 colonies, under crown rule from Great Britain. There was no President. There was a king - King George III. There was no Congress, with a House of Representatives and Senate. There was, however, a Parliment with a House of Lords and House of Commons.
Relations between mother England and the colonies were strained since the French War (the French and Indian War). England, strapped for cash since waging the expensive French and Indian War, looked to the Colonies to help pay for the war. In 1764 and 1765 Parliment had passed both The Sugar Act and The Stamp Act, upsetting the colonists. Due to the protests and riots staged by the colonists, the Acts were repealed the next year.
Then in 1767 Parliment passed the Townshend Acts, which set up import duties on paper, lead, glass and tea. Again opposition was fierce from the colonists. During this time the Boston Massacre occured when British soldiers fired on an unruly mob. Due to the violent protests and boycotts Parliment repealed the Townsend Acts, except for the tax on tea. This was kept as a reminder to the colonists that Parliment still had the right to tax them.
Though the Townsend Acts were repealed (except the tax on tea), the colonists were still up in arms. They staged a boycott on tea, leading up to the Boston Tea Party. Due to the Boston Tea Party, and the colonists increasingly vocal opposition and economic boycotts, Parliment in 1774 passed the Coercive Acts (known as the Intollerable Acts in the Colonies). These group of Acts were the final straw for many colonists, as they closed the Port of Boston (the seat of opposition) to regular commercial traffic, authorized the quartering of soldiers in private homes (without compensation) and gave the Governor the power to move the venue of trials of soldiers and officials out of Massachusetts. The worst Act gave the Governor the power to appoint or dismiss law officials, outlawed Town Meetings unless approved, disolved the state Assembly and allowed the Governor to appointed members to a governing council and to remove election of juries by freeholders.
This obviously did nothing to bring order back to the colonies. England, feeling the colonists' anger and fearing an uprising, undertook the task of discovering and confiscating stashes of arms and munitions. Then on April 19, 1775, the unthinkable happened. Several hundred British soldiers went to Lexington on their way to confiscate a cashe of arms. The local militia at Lexington stood waiting for them. A shot was fired (by whom to this day remains a mystery). Then more shots were fired by both sides. Within seconds 8 colonists lay dead, and several others wounded. Word rapidly spread of the shootings, and by the time the British soldiers arrived in Concord, a group of militia met them at North Bridge. More shots were fired and the British retreated from Concord. As word of the battles spread through the countryside, the militias in and around Boston poured in. During the remainder of the day the militias and the British engaged in a running battle as the British retreated to Boston. After the militias had forced the British back to Boston, they then surrounding the city and set up camps.
The 13 colonies were now in chaos, as was England. Some of the colonists approved of the rebellion. Others were hesitant, feeling that the differences between the colonies and England could still be peacefully resolved. The Crown response was to declare the colonies in open rebellion. The colonists responded by sending militias from the other colonies to help in Boston. The tension was incredible and the colonists began to choose sides. What side would you choose... if any?
Welcome to the 2nd Regiment - Albany County Militia (Schenectady) home page. We are a group of Revolutionary War reenactors who are dedicated to recreating a little known and often forgotten part of the Revolutionary War - the "civil war" that took place in upstate New York between the Loyalists (those supporting the King of England) and the Patriots (those who wish to break relations with England). As members of the BVMA (Burning of the Valleys Military Association) we endeavor to recreate the look and feel of the militia that was based in Schenectady during the war. We hope that as you read through these pages you will remember the sacrifices that our forebearers undertook when they decided to rebel against England and form a new country.