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45640Re: 1812 Re: Women in Camp

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  • Ron
    May 26, 2012
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      The War of 1812 for British troops in the Canadas was a different experience than the experiences of the Peninsula War. In Upper Canada, the women stayed at the garrison when the men marched off. Undoubtedly women and children also went with their men on the retreat to from Niagara to Burlington Heights in May and from Amherstburg up the Thames in September 1813. They must also have accompanied the troops when the men were shipped from one theatre to another, like the march of the 100th from Quebec, or the 8th etc. I cannot recall a mention of women and children in the march of the 104th in February.

      It seems that the soldiers marched or were shipped with as much baggage as would fit in their packs. With women and children I suppose it would be what they could carry. Tents seem to have been a rare luxury that were primarily used in garrisons when there were more troops than barracks space. On campaign, the troops, unaccompanied by women and children seem to have taken shelter in barns etc.

      The Peninsula, where soldiers would be on campaign for weeks rather than short forays from their garrisions, was different and there are several accounts of the women and children setting up a bivouac (again tents were rare) throughout that war.

      I think that anyone in tents at a Stoney Creek or Crysler's Farm is incorrect and women would not be seen in these rough bivouacs. However, the War of 1812 reenactments are educational opportunities and recreational opportunities for re-enactors. I think that the women could demonstrate the various things women did in garrisons and should explain to the public that women were not usually in encampments with troops on campaign in Upper Canada and go on from there to bring the 19th century to life.


      > I am looking for a resource book that explains the roles of women in camp, what we were expected to do and where did we sleep?
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