School of Instruction March 10-12, 2017

10th Annual 18th Century Surveying, Cartography & Engineering School of Instruction at Cacapon State Park in West Virginia

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George Washington's MOUNT VERNON

May 6-7, 2017

Revolutionary War Weekend

Our unit has been invited to participate in this limited event held at General George Washington's estate.

Contact Captain Tony Holbrook if you plan to attend.

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Purpose

The purpose of the Department of the Geographer is to accurately portray a working interpretation of the Department during the period from 1777 to 1783.

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History of the Unit

By the summer of 1777, George Washington had identified a definite weakness in the Army's ability to produce adequate topographical data in order to plan and execute theater operations. In July of that year, Washington wrote to Congress, "A good geographer to Survey the Roads and take Sketches of the Country where the Army is to Act would be extremely useful... ...I would beg leave to recommend Mr. Robt. Erskine..."

"Young gentlemen of Mathematical genius, who are acquainted with the principles of Geometry, and who have a taste for drawing, would be the most proper assistants for a Geographer. Such, in a few days practice, may be made expert surveyors. The instrument best adapted for accuracy and dispatch is the Plain-Table; by this, the Surveyor plans as he proceeds, and not having his work to protract in the evening may attend the longer to it in the day. One of these instruments, with a chain and ten iron-shod arrows, should be provided for each of the Surveyors it may be thought proper to employ."  Robert Erskine to George Washington, August 1, 1777

18thC Surveyor Painting

Join Us

The Department of the Geographer is a military living history unit of the Brigade of the American Revolution, and is seeking recruits.