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Re: [WarOf1812] In the beginning . . .

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  • suthren@magma.ca
    Dear Erika I m no authority, but the sham battle was a regular feature of Canadian militia drills and gatherings, although almost entirely with the current
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
      Dear Erika

      I'm no authority, but the 'sham battle' was a regular feature of Canadian
      militia drills and gatherings, although almost entirely with the current
      equipment and uniforms. Lacking a Civil War, Canadians were not inclined
      either by experience or nature towards military re-enactment as such.

      It was, typically, government that introduced the first major Canadian
      effort at costumed military pageantry, and that was in 1908, when a huge
      re-enactment of the Plains of Abraham was planned for Quebec City. Hundreds
      of uniforms were made up, which still circulate and are occasionally offered
      for sale as 18th Century pieces to the uninformed buyer. Typically (again),
      the confrontation of two battle lines was at the last moment set aside, and
      instead the French and British formed a single line that advanced across the
      Plains toward the dias and audience.

      Serious re-enactment in Canada did not, as far as I know, begin until the US
      Revolutionary War Bicentennial in the 1970s, and it was led by individuals
      such as Gavin Watt in Ontario. There had been a few Canadians involved in
      Civil War re-enacting in the 1960s, but these were few in number.

      Vic Suthren
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Erika Reinhardt" <ms_civie@...>
      To: <WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 2:19 AM
      Subject: [WarOf1812] In the beginning . . .


      > Greetings!
      >
      > I recently read in a study by Jim Cullen that the first military
      > reenactments in the United States were performed by Civil War veterans
      > who would hold annual "encampments" wearing old uniforms and "recreate
      > the trappings of their soldier days" and would actually engage in mock
      > battles with National Guardsmen and later with Confederate veterans.
      >
      > I found this very fascinating as I had no idea that our hobby went
      > back over 150 years. But it did leave me wondering about the origins
      > of reenactments in Canada and for the War of 1812. Does anyone know
      > approximately when they emerged and became popularized?
      >
      > Here are the details of the book I cited above if anyone is interested:
      >
      > Jim Cullen. The Civil War in Popular Culture: A Reusable Past
      > (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995). The last chapter
      > of the book looks specifically at Civil War reenacting.
      >
      > ~Erika
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of
      square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of
      square miles...
      >
      > Unit Contact information for North America:
      > ---------------------------------
      > Crown Forces Unit Listing:
      > http://1812crownforces.tripod.com
      >
      > American Forces Unit Listing
      > http://usforces1812.tripod.com
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --
      > No virus found in this incoming message.
      > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
      > Version: 7.1.362 / Virus Database: 267.12.6/151 - Release Date: 28/10/05
      >
      >
    • Craig Williams
      As far as re-enactment in Canada goes I have to agree with Vic. The focused period re-enactment by predominantly the civilian/historian/ antiquarian in Canada
      Message 2 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
        As far as re-enactment in Canada goes I have to agree with Vic. The
        focused period re-enactment by predominantly the civilian/historian/
        antiquarian in Canada seems to start with the AWI. There is plenty of
        evidence of "sham battles" being performed in Canada during Military
        pageants in the Victorian age, but as Mr. Suthren points out, they
        were performed in contemporary uniform and equipment.
        The History of re-enactment as entertainment/education(?), can be
        documented back to the time of the Romans.
        I believe, (and some of our friends who know Roman history much
        better than I, will be able to correct me here), that it may have
        been Caligula that had a lake made for the re-enactment of a Roman
        Naval victory in which a large number of the original Roman soldiers/
        sailors from the battle, attacked a shipload of slaves and hacked
        their way into entertainment history. They likely killed more people
        than in a C.B.Demille epic but then, they were trying to.

        Craig Williams
      • Craig Williams
        I also failed to mention the centennial Tattoo/Pageant of 1967 that included Canadian soldiers dressed in reproduced WW1 uniforms recreating an over the top
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
          I also failed to mention the centennial Tattoo/Pageant of 1967 that
          included Canadian soldiers dressed in reproduced WW1 uniforms
          "recreating" an over the top attack.

          Craig
          >


          > As far as re-enactment in Canada goes I have to agree with Vic. The
          > focused period re-enactment by predominantly the civilian/historian/
          > antiquarian in Canada seems to start with the AWI.
        • ray hobbs
          In Imperial Rome there were individual excesses, such as the one described by Craig. I have seen this one attributed to other Caesars besides Caligula; Nero
          Message 4 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
            In Imperial Rome there were individual excesses, such as the one
            described by Craig. I have seen this one attributed to other Caesars
            besides Caligula; Nero for example.
            However, the Romans did have a specific ritual which presented in
            regular theatrical form the change of season from campaign season to
            going back to the land. They were known as the ludi Romani (Roman
            games) in which young men, who were not regular soldiers, dressed up as
            such and performed certain ritualized processions and demonstrated
            military skills.
            The games were lengthy, lasting from 3-16th Sept., and were accompanied
            by various others forms of entertainment and enjoyment - dancing,
            racing in the circus, feasts, etc.
            The patron god, for whom the games were performed was Jupiter.
            I would call this true 'reenacting' since those involved were not
            soldiers, but civilians dressing up to act like soldiers.
            Numerous ancient texts from Mesopotamia, two thousand years before
            Rome, depict cyclical rituals of victory over the forces of chaos.
            Given that many later rituals were accompanied by theatre, it is
            possible that reenactment of this cosmic struggle was part of these
            earlier rituals. Some temple texts read just like scripts from a play.
            If the connection is sound then folk have been playing soldiers, as
            well as being soldiers, for millennia.
            My two cents' worth
            Ray Hobbs
            41st Regt




            On Tuesday, November 1, 2005, at 08:20 AM, Craig Williams wrote:

            > As far as re-enactment in Canada goes I have to agree with Vic. The
            > focused period re-enactment by predominantly the civilian/historian/
            > antiquarian in Canada seems to start with the AWI. There is plenty of
            > evidence of "sham battles" being performed in Canada during Military
            > pageants in the Victorian age, but as Mr. Suthren points out, they
            > were performed in contemporary uniform and equipment.
            > The History of re-enactment as entertainment/education(?), can be
            > documented back to the time of the Romans.
            > I believe, (and some of our friends who know Roman history much
            > better than I, will be able to correct me here), that it may have
            > been Caligula that had a lake made for the re-enactment of a Roman
            > Naval victory in which a large number of the original Roman soldiers/
            > sailors from the battle, attacked a shipload of slaves and hacked
            > their way into entertainment history. They likely killed more people
            > than in a C.B.Demille epic but then, they were trying to.
            >
            > Craig Williams
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds
            > of square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of
            > THOUSANDS of square miles...
            >
            > Unit Contact information for North America:
            > ---------------------------------
            > Crown Forces Unit Listing:
            > http://1812crownforces.tripod.com
            >
            > American Forces Unit Listing
            > http://usforces1812.tripod.com
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • lalozon
            From: Craig Williams I also failed to mention the centennial Tattoo/Pageant of 1967 that included Canadian soldiers dressed in
            Message 5 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
              From: "Craig Williams" <sgtwarner@...>

              I also failed to mention the centennial Tattoo/Pageant of 1967 that
              included Canadian soldiers dressed in reproduced WW1 uniforms "recreating"
              an over the top attack.


              ------------------------


              1967 was also the year that the "BATTLE OF THE THAMES" (Warof 1812) was
              presented at Chatham Ontario.
              It was part of the city's Centennial Project (1967 was Canada's Centennial.
              Confederation 1867.)

              The Canadian Army Reserve wore red coated uniforms and the local black
              powder club portrayed the American Forces. The Natives were from the three
              Indian Reserves in the area.


              It was repeated three years later in 1970.


              Yrs.,

              L2
            • Colin
              Down here in the Boston area we have an abundance of AWI reenactments and reenactors. The history here is very interesting. In 1825, the men of Lexington
              Message 6 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                Down here in the Boston area we have an abundance of AWI reenactments
                and reenactors. The history here is very interesting. In 1825, the men of
                Lexington re-enacted the Battle on Lexington Green for the 50th anniversary.
                Some of the actual participants in the battle took part...though much slower I
                imagine.

                Colin Murphy
                USS Con
                1812 MG
              • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                ... Actualy re-enactments are far older than that, gladiatorial combat started as re-creations of aincient battles to honour the dead. I think the first
                Message 7 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                  In a message dated 11/1/05 1:20:48 AM, ms_civie@... writes:


                  > I found this very fascinating as I had no idea that our hobby went
                  > back over 150 years.  But it did leave me wondering about the origins
                  > of reenactments in Canada and for the War of 1812.  Does anyone know
                  > approximately when they emerged and became popularized?
                  >

                  Actualy re-enactments are far older than that, gladiatorial combat started as
                  re-creations of aincient battles to honour the dead. I think the first
                  re-enactments of the type we do took place in London during the Napoleonic wars
                  where Peninsular war actions wouild be re-staged to encourage the public
                  (sometimes by newlt returned regiments). Then of ciourse there was the Eglington
                  Topunament of 18(35?) where medieval re-enactment was born.

                  Cheers

                  Tim



                  Timothy Pickles



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Terry Lubka
                  I read somewhere that at one of the first recreations of an ACW battle was having veterans of Pickett s charge actually walk across that field. When the old
                  Message 8 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                    I read somewhere that at one of the first 'recreations' of an ACW
                    battle was having veterans of Pickett's charge actually walk across
                    that field. When the old Rebs made it to the small stone wall or
                    Highwater mark some of them actually started fistfights with the Union
                    vets!
                    In Canada interest from the general population in reenacting started
                    during the centennial year when numerous 1812 forts did mock battles.



                    Terry
                    22nd US
                  • Terry Lubka
                    I read somewhere that at one of the first recreations of an ACW battle was having veterans of Pickett s charge actually walk across that field. When the old
                    Message 9 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                      I read somewhere that at one of the first 'recreations' of an ACW
                      battle was having veterans of Pickett's charge actually walk across
                      that field. When the old Rebs made it to the small stone wall or
                      Highwater mark some of them actually started fistfights with the Union
                      vets!
                      In Canada interest from the general population in reenacting started
                      during the centennial year when numerous 1812 forts did mock battles.



                      Terry
                      22nd US
                    • suthren@magma.ca
                      Dear Terry I read an account of an 1893 restaging of Pickett s Charge at Gettysburg. The veterans took up their respective positions and as the Confederates
                      Message 10 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                        Dear Terry

                        I read an account of an 1893 restaging of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg.
                        The veterans took up their respective positions and as the Confederates
                        approached, the Union veterans rose up with a roar of approval and went down
                        to meet them for handshakes and embraces. Many tears flowed.

                        Vic
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Terry Lubka" <tlubka@...>
                        To: <WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 11:26 AM
                        Subject: [WarOf1812] Re: In the beginning . . .


                        > I read somewhere that at one of the first 'recreations' of an ACW
                        > battle was having veterans of Pickett's charge actually walk across
                        > that field. When the old Rebs made it to the small stone wall or
                        > Highwater mark some of them actually started fistfights with the Union
                        > vets!
                        > In Canada interest from the general population in reenacting started
                        > during the centennial year when numerous 1812 forts did mock battles.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Terry
                        > 22nd US
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of
                        square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of
                        square miles...
                        >
                        > Unit Contact information for North America:
                        > ---------------------------------
                        > Crown Forces Unit Listing:
                        > http://1812crownforces.tripod.com
                        >
                        > American Forces Unit Listing
                        > http://usforces1812.tripod.com
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --
                        > No virus found in this incoming message.
                        > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                        > Version: 7.1.362 / Virus Database: 267.12.6/152 - Release Date: 31/10/05
                        >
                        >
                      • PEGGY MATHEWS
                        And we can t forget, however much we might try, the episode in I think Sharpe s Regiment where he recreates the mythical taking of the Eagle at Talavera to
                        Message 11 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                          And we can't forget, however much we might try, the episode in I think "Sharpe's Regiment" where he "recreates" the mythical taking of the Eagle at Talavera to get the Prince of Wales to make them his own regiment, thereby saving them from being broken up. Ah Sharpie, e's a clever boy.

                          On the serious side, I recall reading about a big ceremony called something like "The Presentation of the Eagles" in England in 1811 or 1812. But there was no mention in the bit I read about a reenactment.

                          Michael M.


                          "We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it --
                          but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor." -- Oliver
                          Wendell Holmes
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: BritcomHMP@...<mailto:BritcomHMP@...>
                          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com<mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 9:15 AM
                          Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] In the beginning . . .



                          In a message dated 11/1/05 1:20:48 AM, ms_civie@...<mailto:ms_civie@...> writes:


                          > I found this very fascinating as I had no idea that our hobby went
                          > back over 150 years. But it did leave me wondering about the origins
                          > of reenactments in Canada and for the War of 1812. Does anyone know
                          > approximately when they emerged and became popularized?
                          >

                          Actualy re-enactments are far older than that, gladiatorial combat started as
                          re-creations of aincient battles to honour the dead. I think the first
                          re-enactments of the type we do took place in London during the Napoleonic wars
                          where Peninsular war actions wouild be re-staged to encourage the public
                          (sometimes by newly returned regiments). Then of course there was the Eglington
                          Topunament of 18(35?) where medieval re-enactment was born.

                          Cheers

                          Tim




                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Richard Feltoe
                          Erika, In Carl Benn s book, Historic Fort York published in 1993, page 152 has a photo of the Fort York opening day celebrations on Victoria Day 1934. In
                          Message 12 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                            Erika,
                            In Carl Benn's book, "Historic Fort York" published in 1993, page 152 has a
                            photo of the Fort York opening day celebrations on Victoria Day 1934. In
                            this image, as well as various dignitaries, a sailor in "modern" uniform and
                            a two groups of ladies from what appears to be in the first instance an
                            Ukranian and in the second, a Highland dance group (OMG multiculturalism was
                            there then too!!!); there are a pair of ladies in quasi late 18th century
                            dresses (perhaps a la Simcoe?) and a pair of infantrymen wearing an
                            identifiably redcoat /dark pants / white crossbelts / stovepipe shako, kit.

                            I think this is the earliest identifiable image that I'm aware of for an
                            "1812 reenactor" in conjunction with that site or any other in the Ontario.
                            however, you do pose an interesting question and I'm going to see if
                            anything else crops up in some of the picture collections I have links to.
                            Regards
                            Richard Feltoe
                          • spikeyj@crosslink.net
                            ... Polish; my daughter s dance costume is virtually identical. Spike Y Jones
                            Message 13 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                              On Tue, 1 Nov 2005, Richard Feltoe wrote:

                              > In Carl Benn's book, "Historic Fort York" published in 1993, page 152 has a
                              > photo of the Fort York opening day celebrations on Victoria Day 1934. In
                              > this image, as well as various dignitaries, a sailor in "modern" uniform and
                              > a two groups of ladies from what appears to be in the first instance an
                              > Ukranian...

                              Polish; my daughter's dance costume is virtually identical.

                              Spike Y Jones
                            • Richard Feltoe
                              I stand humbly corrected Richard
                              Message 14 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                                I stand humbly corrected
                                Richard
                              • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                                In a message dated 11/1/2005 5:12:27 PM Central Standard Time, ciefranche21e@msn.com writes: And we can t forget, however much we might try, the episode in I
                                Message 15 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                                  In a message dated 11/1/2005 5:12:27 PM Central Standard Time,
                                  ciefranche21e@... writes:

                                  And we can't forget, however much we might try, the episode in I think
                                  "Sharpe's Regiment" where he "recreates" the mythical taking of the Eagle at
                                  Talavera to get the Prince of Wales to make them his own regiment, thereby saving
                                  them from being broken up. Ah Sharpie, e's a clever boy.

                                  On the serious side, I recall reading about a big ceremony called something
                                  like "The Presentation of the Eagles" in England in 1811 or 1812. But there
                                  was no mention in the bit I read about a reenactment.



                                  >>

                                  As you know Michael Mr. Cornwell usualy gets his best ideas from history
                                  books and the the 'Sharpe' thing is based on an actual 're-enactment' of the
                                  period but I can't remember wether at Hyde Park or Windsor. I do recall it was
                                  at the Prince Regent's instigation and I think most of the troops were
                                  volunteers. As I have just got back home I will be able to look this up shortly.

                                  Cheers

                                  Tim


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • PEGGY MATHEWS
                                  The event I was trying to remember (tune out now folks if Napoleonics put you off) was May 18, 1811. A big procession with the Foot Guards decked out in their
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Nov 1, 2005
                                    The event I was trying to remember (tune out now folks if Napoleonics put you off) was May 18, 1811. A big procession with the Foot Guards decked out in their finest paraded assorted French trophies along a long route, ending with the "formal act of obeisance and humiliation of the vanquished" (General Regnault "Les Aigles Imperiales et le Drapeau Tricolore). The highlight was the Eagle taken at Barossa, though the others were much older. Five taken in the Antilles, a flag captured in Egypt, a fortress standard taken in Spain, a pennon of the 2nd Bttn. 5th Ligne, two flags w/o Eagles of the 2nd and 3rd Prussian (taken at Walcheren), and a color of a provisional regiment. Certainly could have been more ceremonies than this though. I don't recall in which year Mr. Cornwell set his event.

                                    In "Napoleon's War in Spain" by Henri Lachouque, Jean Tranie and J-C Carnigniani they assert that "in seven years of campaigning in Spain the French took 387 trophies, among which were 320 Spanish colours, 45 Portuguese colours and 22 British colours. The French army had lost only 11 Eagles, 8 of which had fallen to the British." p.125. There is no documentation of the numbers however. I can only think of a little over a half dozen British standards lost. Perhaps some were unofficial pennons or markers. The work otherwise is fairly balanced IMHO and numbers typically jive with other sources.

                                    Sincerely,
                                    Michael


                                    "We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it --
                                    but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor." -- Oliver
                                    Wendell Holmes
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: BritcomHMP@...<mailto:BritcomHMP@...>
                                    To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com<mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 9:54 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] In the beginning . . .



                                    In a message dated 11/1/2005 5:12:27 PM Central Standard Time,
                                    ciefranche21e@...<mailto:ciefranche21e@...> writes:

                                    And we can't forget, however much we might try, the episode in I think
                                    "Sharpe's Regiment" where he "recreates" the mythical taking of the Eagle at
                                    Talavera to get the Prince of Wales to make them his own regiment, thereby saving
                                    them from being broken up. Ah Sharpie, e's a clever boy.

                                    On the serious side, I recall reading about a big ceremony called something
                                    like "The Presentation of the Eagles" in England in 1811 or 1812. But there
                                    was no mention in the bit I read about a reenactment.



                                    >>

                                    As you know Michael Mr. Cornwell usualy gets his best ideas from history
                                    books and the the 'Sharpe' thing is based on an actual 're-enactment' of the
                                    period but I can't remember wether at Hyde Park or Windsor. I do recall it was
                                    at the Prince Regent's instigation and I think most of the troops were
                                    volunteers. As I have just got back home I will be able to look this up shortly.

                                    Cheers

                                    Tim


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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