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21st Annual Siege of Fort Erie

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  • Jim Hill
    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 -
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2007
      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
      Welcome Centre.
      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.

      to the

      21st Annual
      Siege Weekend
      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
      10:00 am
      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

      6:00 pm
      Fort & Camps will be closed to the public

      Saturday Evening

      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
      and mortars.

      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
      10:00 am
      Fort and Camps open to the public

      10:30 am
      Memorial Service at The Monument

      1:00 pm South Field
      `U.S. Sortie'
      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

      4:00 pm
      Camp closed to the public

      5:00 pm
      Fort Closed

      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.

      Niagara Parks
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