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Fort Massac

We travel to Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis, Illinois, which hosts the Fort Massac Encampment each fall. This is one of the last major gatherings each year for Colonial era re-enactors and is well attended by hundreds of people portraying explorers, settlers, and military units. We meet reenactors from southern Illinois who portray the Illinois Territorial Rangers, a company that was established in 1811 to protect settlers.

We also meet a few members from arguably the most popular group of reenactors: the 42nd Royal Highlanders Band of Lafayette, Indiana. These talented musicians not only dress in authentic Revolutionary War era Scottish military uniforms, but also perform period Scottish music using the pipes, fifes, and drums. Taylor Strim joined the band at age 8 and is now, at age 20, in charge of the bagpipe section. Strim shows us how a bagpipe works and explains the difficultly of keeping all the pipes of the different performers in tune with each other. Although the bagpipe is a "picky instrument," according to Strim, it is well worth the effort as the 42nd Royal Highlanders' performance is always a huge crowd pleaser.

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