The Battle of Fort George

Okay everyone, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I am a history nut. Sometimes, I actually think I may have been born in the wrong era.

Then I remember all the lovely things the 21st century has –  electricity, running water, washing machines, airplanes, and women’s liberation to name just a few.  I am so thankful that my opportunities as a woman are much better than what my historic counterparts would have had.

So, I’ll stay in the 21st century, and be grateful. But when that romantic pull of the past comes back, I can always attend a reenactment.

Oh that’s another little secret. I used to dabble in reenacting. War of 1812 to be precise.

How did I get involved in this? Well, back in the late 90’s I was a member of the Fort York Regency Dancers. We performed Regency dances for many events, and I got to live out my Jane Austen fantasies. Through this group, I met many people who were involved in reenacting, so was able to attend many events. I never officially joined a group, because – well – camping. Camping and I do not mix in the 21st century, let alone with Regency attire and accoutrements.

Even though I left that world behind awhile ago, I still love to attend reenactments. Last weekend, the Battle of Fort George was held here. So Ken and I went down to indulge our love of history, gawk at amazing uniforms and dresses, and remember some of what happened in this region two hundred years ago.

We took so many pictures, that I am splitting this into two posts. The pics here are from the Battle itself. Tomorrow, I will show you the Camp.

IMG_0151

Below, the American side heading off to battle

IMG_0120 IMG_0170 IMG_0175 IMG_0229

The First Nations allies of the British

IMG_0238 IMG_0255

The British arriving on the field

IMG_0293 IMG_0302IMG_0306 IMG_0318 IMG_0333 IMG_0354

This photo below really struck me. The drummer boy standing in the smoke from musket fire, looking back, looking a bit lost, not knowing what to do. Could you imagine this? I can’t even imagine what that would be like for such a young person.

IMG_0391 IMG_0404 IMG_0445 IMG_0447

Below is one of the reenactors who portrays a Surgeon, tending to the wounded. We had quite an interesting chat  – more on that tomorrow.

IMG_0459

The British starting to retreat

IMG_0467IMG_0469 IMG_0476 IMG_0484  IMG_0489 IMG_0492 IMG_0495 IMG_0502

Some of the fallen below. When you see the battle progressing – even though it is a reenactment – it really makes you think. Could you imagine seeing one of your friends killed on the battlefield, dying right in front of you? At the same time you’re in the midst of the chaos – you need to keep your wits about you, to make sure you get out alive. It really brings home exactly what these men had to face.

I can’t even imagine.

At the end of the battle, a lament was played in their memory.

IMG_0510 IMG_0512IMG_0522 IMG_0533 IMG_0545 IMG_0555

Such a great event.

The dedication of the reenactors is what truly amazes me. This is their hobby, and they are so passionate about it. There is so much to learn about to reenact a period – what people wore, what they ate, how they lived, what music they would play, what exact kind of chair they sat on. Then there is the whole military aspect. They get their uniforms made or make them themselves, according to what is historically accurate. They learn about the battle strategies, techniques, formations. They learn how to fire muskets and cannons, which can be quite tricky.

It really is something to watch.

After the battle, we walked through the camp – which I will tell you all about tomorrow.