Now here's the odd thing: I took no photographs during the whole thing! All the photos I'm using are courtesy of Laughing Devil Photography, Old Fort Erie, Deb Lewis Brown, Steve Zronik, Thomas Walters, and my wife, Beth.
We attempt to be historical in our camping and I think we do pretty well. We set up in the "cook's line" at the back of the camp since we have a wall tent. We cook our meals over the open fire and Beth does a great job. Friday was roast chicken and corn on the cob, Saturday lunch - grilled cheese sandwiches, Saturday dinner - marinated steak, roast potatoes and green beans. Breakfasts were oatmeal and some sausage. We treated ourselves to a snack-bar lunch on Sunday.
|Looking down the company street toward the major's marquee|
|The cook fire with LOTS of cast iron.|
Not the easiest to clean but well worth the trouble.
|Cook tent, Croghan's Company, 17th US Infantry, Army of the Northwest.|
|Somebody else's camp furniture|
|Tents of the 2nd Artillery|
|A wide view of the US camp|
|Troops of the Royal Scots (I think) and riflemen of the 60th of Foot defend the fort on Saturday morning.|
The next exercise was an afternoon battle that is supposed to be the battles of Chippewa and Lundy's Lane. Andy and I became the Garrison Company and took charge of the main gate of the fort for the duration of the battle. The various units take turns garrisoning the fort, but it's usually vacant except for artillery crews.
|The US infantry advances with the 17th in the lead. Nick is in the white smock with Kevin to his right and First Sergeant Ed to his left. Major Marty, 2nd Artillery, give orders.|
|Another view of the advance, this time with the drummer.|
|The firing line keeps up a lively fire.|
|Major Phil leads the charge of the Canadian Volunteers.|
This unit was made up of Canadians fighting on the US side, serving as guides and fighters in the "war of outposts" all along the Niagara Frontier in the War of 1812
|The British Indian Department, the 19th Light Dragoons, and the 60th of Foot, all serving as light infantry skirmishers, exchange fire with the US troops.|
|The medical staff work with the wounded. Henry and Nate actually did bandage up one fellow who cut himself, but their major duty and wonderful contribution is carrying a bucket of ice water, which can be heaven on earth on a hot day.|
|Another view of Major Phil and his Canadian volunteers.|
Their uniforms were a calculated insult to the British, with the green hatband of the United Irishmen and the white cockade of the Jacobites.
|Worth a thousand words, indeed!|
|Big Jim oversees the 6 pounder in the fort's redoubt.|
The gun packs quite a punch.
|The gun of the 2nd Artillery from Fort Meigs, Ohio - stopping the vent|
|The Michigan Legionary Corps artillery gets off a shot.|
|The Kentucky Volunteer Rifles and the 19th Infantry skirmish in front of the fort.|
|The guns at the low wall above the ditch|
|The Fort George Guard fires a volley.|
This outfit is part of the interpretive staff of the Fort and they drill like a machine.
|Prior to the attack, the 22nd Infantry, some Canadian Volunteers, and members of the 1st Rifles and a uniformed militia unit stack arms. It's not hard, but it's tricky|
|The skirmishers retire and slide into the ditch to join up to the fort's defenders.|
|The assault troops slide into the ditch and bounce up to climb the wall onto the terre- plein.|
|Your humble blogger takes aim...|
|... and fires!|
Cap'n Ollie took the photos and was gracious enough to share them with me.
Note the fine form, the nice flash, the mis-tied sergeant's sash.
|The assault troops climb the ladder from the terre-plein to the redoubt.|
Since some of the guys are close to my age (or older), I tried to help as many as I could over the wall.
Sunday morning, there is a memorial service for all the fallen of the battle. Both armies attend and speeches are made. This year, a cabinet minister spoke and, truth to tell, he got it! He spoke for 4-5 minutes, thanking all the volunteers and reenactors and memorialising the men of both sides who fought at the fort. Then some of the First Nations reenactors, many of whom are people of the First Nations, did a tobacco tie ceremony to remember the dead. It was quite moving.
|Many Strings and Hunter lead the ceremony.|
|The Brigade Adjutant and Sergeant Major enter the field.|
|The Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles, a Canadian regular unit, seen here in their proper Rifle Regiment type |
uniforms but with muskets. This was a hard fighting unit that saw lots of action in the war.
|"They must be reg'lers,sir. They're all in the shade."|
Smart soldiers know where the shade, the water, and the beer are.
|Our battalion surgeon follows the action, alert for the wounded and the thirsty.|
|The US Regulars begin their withdrawal at the end of the sortie.|
|The Tennessee Rangers and the Canadian Volunteers follow up, while the US Marine contingent covers them.|
|The British and their Mohawk allies advance on the US skirmishers.|
|Sergeant Colin of the Tennessee Rangers is taken prisoner by a sergeant of the 19th Light Dragoons, but...|
|The Crown colour party.|
British Sergeants carried spontoons in Europe,but often laid them aside to carry a musket in North America.
US sergeants carried muskets.
|The Mohawk warriors advance to the edge of the shade.|
|White Turtle and Hunter look for targets in blue.|
Colin is still dead behind them. Note as well that he "died" in the shade.
|A "wounded" reenactor from Asquith's Rifles, Maryland Militia surveys quite a few downed Canadian Volunteers.|
|The Crown forces advance to meet the sortie.|
Personally, I think I need new boots.
Now a few other photos to give the sense of the weekend.
|Captain Ollie of the 22nd Infantry and his broken leg.|
He showed up and did all he could, game trooper that he is.
|Our good friend Kevin in a fine photo.|
|A sergeant of the 19th Light Dragoons skirmishing.|
|Major Marty, 2nd Artillery, taking the pause that refreshes.|
|Lieutenant Tammie, Cushing's Company, 2nd Artillery (Married to the guy above)|
If a woman is reenacting a soldier, it's "he." "Sir" if the impression is an officer.
|A nice detail of the US drummer's drum|
|Many Strings cuts loose with a war whoop and a musket shot.|
|The Fifes and Drums of the Crown Forces.|
After every action or field exercise, the fifes and drums play a lament for the dead. It's proper, appropriate, and well done.
|The US line fires a volley.|
|Matt and Many Strings at the memorial service.|
|My beautiful daughter Katie, at her weekend job.|
She gets her looks from her mother.
|Last but not least, Private Pooka of Croghan's Company, 17th Infantry.|
"THEY'VE ALL COME TO SEE ME!"
He's a happy dog and a good camper. His tail is never still if he's awake, so Beth did her best to take this photo.