21st Annual Siege of Fort Erie
- August 11th and 12th Fort Erie, Ontario
Once again, we will be blowing up Old Fort Erie.
If you have not registered your unit/group there is still time - visit
However, we have received a flurry of individual registrations.
If you don't belong to a particular unit/group then you would be your
own commander and a registration is appropriate. If you are not the
recognized leader or commander of your unit/group or their designate -
please don't send a registration. With the evidence we currently have
it would appear that some unit commanders have become so frustrated
with recruiting attempts they are simply cloning themselves.
Please check in at the Welcome Centre/Picnic Pavilion upon arrival to
fill out a release for you and your family members. A reenactor
schedule with a complimentary roll of TP and garbage
bag/raincoat/groundsheet will be issued. For those asking for honey-
pot stir sticks, they are only issued to senior members of the site
Every year, we have early arrivals and late departures - it makes a
great base of operations to visit the Falls and Niagara area (just ask
Jacob Brown). Some folks have already indicated on their registration
and we thank them. For anyone else we offer the use of the site
washroom facilities. However, be aware we inform the local constabulary
and our own Parks Police but the security of your kit is your
Powder for artillerists, firewood, straw and a 20% discount in the
Musket ammunition and bottled water will be provided to those assisting
with the Saturday Night Candle light tour.
The public schedule of events follows. Hope to see you there.
Old Fort Erie
Schedule of Events
Fort Tours Start at the Welcome Centre on the 1/2Hour
10:30am - 4:30 pm
AT 11 am & 2 pm Guides will Escort Tours to BATTLES
Saturday, August 11th
Fort and Camps open to the public
11:00 am South Field
`Major Buck's Surrender'
On July 3, 1814, the American forces numbering 4,500 men under General
Jacob Brown crossed the Niagara River at Black Rock. They pushed south
and surrounded the fort. Brown demanded the surrender of Fort Erie,
allowing two hours for consideration. The Fort under the command of
Major Buck of the King's 8th Regiment surrendered shortly afterward and
at 6:00 pm on July 3rd, the British soldiers, almost 200 in number,
marched out, stacked their arms and became prisoners of war. The tenth
and final American army to enter Canada during the War of 1812 had
scored its first victory.
`Stars & Stripes' run up
12:00 Inside Fort
Uniforms of the War of 1812
1:00 pm South Field
British Artillery Demonstration
2:00 pm South Field
Following their capture of Fort Erie, the U.S. Army marched north and
defeated the British Forces at the Battle of Chippawa on July 5th.
American troops advanced as far as Fort George before withdrawing. The
British and Americans engaged each other in a vicious night battle on
July 25th at Lundy's Lane, during which each side lost almost 1000 men.
3:00 pm Camp Displays
4:00 pm Inside the Fort
U.S. Artillery Demonstration
Fort & Camps will be closed to the public
8:00 pm South Field
`Drummond's night assault on the Fort'
After an unsuccessful attempt to take over the Niagara Peninsula and
rendezvous with the American naval squadron on Lake Ontario, the
battered American forces retreated from Lundy's Lane to Fort Erie.
There they immediately started to expand the area of fortification.
Upon completion, the American lines consisted of the Fort itself, a gun
battery on the river bank, Douglass'Battery and a long fortified line
to the south with two batteries, Fanning's and Biddle's. The half mile
long line ended on the shore of Lake Erie at Snake Hill with Towson's
By August 7, 1814, the main British forces occupied the heights
approximately 1.6 km/ 1 mile north of the American position. Here they
built a series of breastworks and siege batteries for guns, rockets
The British, greatly encouraged by the capture of two American
schooners by the Royal Navy, planned an assault to regain the Fort. On
August 15, at 3 a.m, Lt. General Gordon Drummond launched a four-
pronged night attack. One column was to take Towson's Battery on Snake
Hill, the second was to take Douglass' Battery on the East Side of the
Old Fort, and a column of Native warriors was to act as a distraction
near Biddle's Battery. A fourth column was to capture the North-East
demi-bastion of the Old British Fort. Only the last column was
successful and even then for only a short period. The British gained
the bastion, turned the artillery around, but then disaster struck.
The expense magazine located directly under the gun platform exploded.
The surviving British retreated to their siege line. American losses
were less than 100. The British losses numbered 1000, but the siege
9:00 pm In The Fort
`After the Battle'
Lantern tours of the Fort
See the effects of
the Failed British Attack!
This is a not-to-be Missed, whirlwind tour of Old Fort Erie!
Separate Tickets are required and they are available at the Gift Shop
Regular Admission Applies
Tours start at the Front Gate of the Fort
Sunday, August 13th
Fort and Camps open to the public
Memorial Service at The Monument
1:00 pm South Field
For a month, the bombardment and constant skirmishing inflicted
hundreds of casualties on both sides, including the American Commander,
General Gaines. By Sept. 17th General Brown had recovered from his
wound at Lundy's Lane and he planned an attack on the British forces
The American troops succeeded in smashing two of the British siege
batteries. Losses for each side during this action exceeded 500 men.
On the night of Sept.21st, the British broke camp and retired to
Chippawa. This action was prompted by the American sortie, incessant
rain, the poor state of the roads and disease in camp. General Drummond
lifted the siege, leaving the American forces in occupation of Fort
1:30 pm In The Fort
American Evacuation of the Fort
Fort Erie continued to be the base of American operations. General
Izard arrived with another division of American troops and he tried to
outflank the British position at Chippawa but this ended in the Battle
of Cook's Mills.
In late October, with winter approaching and the eastern seaboard of
the U.S. under British attack, a decision was made to completely
remove all U.S. troops from the Canadian side. On November 5, 1814, in
the early morning, all artillery and troops were removed, the buildings
burned and the bastions exploded.
Captain James Fitzgibbon of Upper Canada's famed Glengarry Light
Infantry was the first British Officer on the site following the
American departure and witness to the almost total destruction. To
this day, Fort Erie is still Canada's bloodiest battlefield.
Awards and `Union Jack' run up
Camp closed to the public
Old Fort Erie is owned and operated by The Niagara Parks Commission.
No tax dollars are used to maintain
this National Historic Site.
Your patronage supports
Niagara Parks' Old Fort Erie.
Thank You for Visiting
The schedule is subject to change without notice.