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47190Re: 1812 Bicentennial events in 2014-15

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  • Aaron Marcavitch
    Jan 31, 2014
      If you want to be on the Potomac river for the surrender of Alexandria I can facilitate that conversation. 

      Aaron Marcavitch

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Jan 31, 2014, at 11:04 AM, "Tom Hurlbut" <hurlbut8646@...> wrote:




      I have waited patiently for objections to the position of Commodore to surface but it just occurred to me that there are no practical submersibles yet. Military aviation is confined to hot air balloons, so that means all opposition will come at me via surface ships only. With my loyal crew, I feel armed enough to withstand any attacks.. So, steady as she goes..


      We have entered the final year of the War of 1812 Bicentennial and it behooves us to examine the opportunities for naval themed events and focus on those that offer the best chance for meaningful re-enactment. As such, I have been looking at what information I have and have some in mind. Your input on these and others would be welcomed.


      The Royal Navy campaigns in the Chesapeake became quite intense in 1814 and there are a few events listed. The June 21-22 event “The Battle of St. Leonard’s Creek” at Jefferson-Patterson Park Maryland promises to be spectacular with preliminary plans listing a significant tallship presence. I know I shall be making it my major southern event this year but I have heard of some others, not least is the “Star Spangled Banner” event in Baltimore in September. Maritime artist and Crown Forces Commander Peter Rindlisbacher will be bringing his cutter-rigged Which of Amherstburg up from Texas to act as a British gunboat during the festivities. Myself, I’m hoping for a berth aboard her but I know there are many local boats that could participate. This iconic US battle victory will be done up right, I’m certain, and I wouldn’t care to miss it.


      There are undoubtedly other Chesapeake area events planned but I have no or little data to relate. My focus with this post is Naval themed events.


      Of course, the fleets on the lakes were active and I know of two events in the Northern theatre that are worthy of attention. US vessels went into Lake Huron to finish the task of dominating the upper lakes begun the previous September at Put-in-Bay . After the failed attack at Mackinac, the US Fleet turned to destroying remaining British naval capacity in the area. In August, the “last” British vessel on the Upper Lakes , the former Northwest Company Schooner Nancy was cornered and destroyed at Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay . This led directly to supply of Mackinac and the campaigns on the upper Mississippi by long boats and canoes emerging from the voyageur routes of the French and Nottawasaga Rivers . It also led to the capture of two US armed schooners from boats.


      There are plans to re-enact some of these events including a flotilla of longboats undergoing a week long trip under oar and sail from Owen Sound to Wasaga with planned stops at Meaford, Thornbury and Collingwood, ending at Wasaga in time for their re-enactment of the burning of the Nancy . I welcome any interested participants queries on participating.


      I have heard of two possibilities for events concerning the capture of the two US schooners Scorpion and Tigress but details are still sketchy at this time. Again, information on these would be welcomed.


      I have heard of nothing concerning Naval events on Lakes Erie or Ontario that would be specific to the bicentennial although I know the annual celebrations/commemorations of Put-in-Bay and Sacket’s Harbour will take place. I had hoped for news about Oswego or that the cutting out of vessels at Buffalo might be planned.


      Not to be outdone, the annual Plattsburg event in September will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the battle that stemmed the invasion from Canada and the Naval battle will be re-enacted as well. I expect that local organizers are pulling out all the stops to make this an exceptional event. Again, I have few details but hope that more are forthcoming and will prove to be the incentive to encourage boats and other appropriate vessels to attend. I would like to go myself.


      Finally, that other iconic battle, that of New Orleans , has attracted a great deal of attention, inspiring re-enactors from all over the world to be there. I have enquired about re-enacting the Battle of Lake Borgne but do not have any information as yet. I’m sure this will be cleared up in the near future and we’ll know about trucking our boats to the area to demonstrate that very important element of this campaign.


      So, shipmates, that is the latest as I have it. Funding is up to the local organizers and you would do well to inquire of them as to compensation but I suspect that what was feared in 2012 has happened, that the public purse would close because of the perception that the war was only of 1812. Still, these will be amazing anniversary events and I would hope that organizations, both in planning events and for groups attending events, would feel that it is important to be there and participate and that the costs are manageable because of the significance of these historical occurrences. I will do all I can to make as many as possible.


      Your Humble Servant


      Thomas Hurlbut,

      Commodore pro tem,

      Crown Forces North America Naval Establishments





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