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Photo of battle re-enactment
Parade: Spirit of Northwest Territory Alliance pose for inspection in front of the George Rogers Clark Memorial at the GRC National Park in Vincennes, Indiana, during the Rendezvous

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Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous
A Local Legacy

Have you ever called someone's bluff? That's when you see if a person meant what he or she said or was just pretending. During the Revolutionary War, the Colonists often had to bluff their way to victory. That's what happened in 1779 in Vincennes, Indiana.

The battle was over the capture of Fort Sackville. Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark, the elder brother of explorer William Clark, led the Colonial forces. Clark relied on two things. First, he counted on his troops' expert marksmanship. Second, he used a classic military bluff. Clark had only 200 buckskin-clad pioneers as troops, but he had his men raise enough flags for 600! Believing himself overwhelmed by so many troops, British Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton surrendered the fort. If Hamilton had called Clark's bluff things might have turned out differently.

The Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous is a Revolutionary War battle re-enactment held annually on Memorial Day weekend. The event celebrates the capture of Fort Sackville in 1779. Today, participants of the Vincennes Rendezvous include artisans, strolling musicians, and re-enactors portraying soldiers and camp followers. Revolution-era food is served, such as buffalo burgers, turkey legs, and homemade pies.

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