In Colonial Williamsburg’s 301-acre Historic Area stand hundreds of restored, reconstructed, and historically furnished buildings. Costumed interpreters tell the stories of the men and women of the 18th-century city—black, white, and native American, slave, indentured, and free—and the challenges they faced.
One of the highlights was the drum and fife parade.
With the onset of war in 1775, Virginia began to train an army to defend against a British invasion. Fifers and Drummers were an important part of the 18th-century military. Just as Virginia enlisted soldiers and stockpiled arms and ammunition, it also trained fifers and drummers to work with soldiers in the field. In the 18th century, fifers and drummers tended to be boys ages 10 to 18. Today, in the Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg, members of the Fifes and Drums are boys and girls ages 10 to 18.
In 1778, Virginia needed soldiers to protect the Capitol City of Williamsburg. The General Assembly established the Virginia State Garrison Regiment, which served in the Tidewater area of Virginia, stationing troops at Hampton, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. Fifers and drummers served with the enlisted men of this regiment. According to the Williamsburg Public Stores accounts, the field musicians numbered some 22 players.