New Virtual Tour Takes Viewers Inside a Recreation of George Washington’s Field Headquarters from the Revolutionary WarAugust 19, 2021
Viewers Get an Immersive, 360-Degree Look Inside Full-Scale Replicas of the Tents that Comprised Washington’s Mobile Headquarters
What did General George Washington’s Revolutionary War field headquarters really look like? And what would life have been like for Washington and the soldiers, servants, and enslaved people who traveled with him and lived in the encampment? A recently launched virtual tour from the Museum of the American Revolution allows digital explorers from across the globe to experience a recreation of Washington’s wartime field headquarters to learn more about life on campaign during the Revolutionary War.
Through 360-degree panoramic images, viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at the recreated encampment—including handsewn, full-scale replicas of Washington's headquarters, dining, and baggage tents, as well as soldiers’ common tents—from their classroom or home at any time. Viewers can also watch a timelapse of the encampment set-up, see aerial views of the encampment, and zoom in on images of the artifacts and paintings that inspired the replicated furniture and equipment. The virtual tour is free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
Washington’s office and sleeping tent, called the “rock star" of the collection by the New York Times, is the cornerstone of the Museum’s collection. The tent served as Washington’s command center throughout much of the Revolutionary War and was present at many pivotal moments, including the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, the last major land battle of the war. At the Museum, the tent is dramatically revealed as part of a powerful multimedia presentation in the state-of-the-art Alan B. Miller Theater.
In 2013, the Museum created a “stunt double” of the tent as part of the First Oval Office Project for research and education purposes. In the virtual experience, viewers can “step inside” this replica tent to view replicated artifacts and wartime equipment that Washington would have used. The experience was filmed on a private farm in Chester County, Pa.
“Washington’s War Tent is one of the most iconic surviving artifacts of the Revolutionary War and the crown jewel of the Museum’s collection,” said Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, President and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution. “We’re delighted to be able to provide this up-close look inside our exact replica of Washington's tent as well as other aspects of the encampment. We hope that this serves as a valuable resource for visitors, educators and students, researchers, and anyone else who is interested in delving deeper into this story.”
To navigate the recreated encampment, viewers can use their mouse, trackpad, or finger to move left or right and up or down for a full, immersive experience. A helpful how-to video provides additional tips for navigating the experience.
Also recently launched is “Picturing Washington’s Army,” an interactive virtual version of a watercolor painting of the Continental Army encampment Verplanck’s Point, painted by army engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant. The painting includes the only known wartime eyewitness image of Washington's headquarters tent in the field and was discovered by Museum curators in 2017. Users can also explore a 1782 painting by L’Enfant of West Point, the administrative and strategic center of the Continental Army.
The Virtual Tour of Washington's Field Headquarters was made possible by a generous grant from the State Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania. Additional thanks to Richard and Terry Corkran for their in-kind support. Photography by Brandon Hull (HULLFILM). Thanks to the Landenberger Family Foundation for their support of the Verplanck’s Point watercolor.
About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.