JULY 4th 2018 CELEBRATION
Christ Church partnered with the Allen House and the Shrewsbury Historical Society in commemorating Independence Day. Mother Lisa provided the Invocation at the Allen House prior to the community reading of the Declaration of Independence. Afterwards Judi and Stuart Bucher in Revolutionary era costumes led visitors across the street to Christ Church. Here we had the church open for visitors as well as conducting a graveyard tour. This latter was a guided tour but based upon the recently created Graveyard Self-Guided Tour. The tour guide was Ryan Radice, who was one of the five Monmouth University History students who fashioned the brochure. In addition, Stuart Buncher demonstrated a genuine Battle of Monmouth musket that is in the collection of the Shrewsbury Historical Society. He told the story of the Revolutionary soldier who carried the weapon as well as describing its parts and operation. Photos were taken by Jeff Veil and Kristen Kormann.
Here is Stuart Buncher’s tale of the Revolutionary War musket:
A Rare Piece of Local History Hiding In Plain Sight!
The other day, Bob Kelly told me of an old rifle at the Shrewsbury Historical Society Museum, curated by Don Burden, who is also the Mayor of Shrewsbury. Being a student of history and a gun nut, my curiosity got the better of me. Bob gave me Don’s phone number and I called to set up an appointment.
I had to climb a step stool to take what turned out to be an old musket down from the museum wall. Upon cursory investigation, the long arm looked like a long barrel fowling piece, which is a shotgun used in hunting geese and ducks. The weapon was a black powder, muzzle loading flintlock of British origin.
The most amazing part was the paperwork that came with the gun, which provided the authenticity of what we were looking at. It seems that musket belonged to one Michael Fields, born in Bound Brook, New Jersey, in August of 1758. He was killed in June, 1778 at the Battle of Monmouth. This was his personal weapon which he used to fight the British.
He now resides in a grave at Joshua Huddy Memorial Park in Colts Neck.
This was not a military weapon as it didn’t have a provision for a shoulder strap or bayonet.
I cleaned and polished the stock with Old English furniture polish. The barrel and lock plate were blued almost black while military weapons were polished metal. I tried to bring up the brass furniture with metal polish. The gun was shown at the 4th of July event on the steps of Christ Church, where it attracted much awe as it was passed round from person to person.
The musket is now safely back at the Shrewsbury Historical Society Museum where a permanent display case is being made for it. Stuart Buncher