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22nd Annual Siege of Old Fort Erie

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  • pgmartinofe
    Dear Reenactor: 2 April, 2008 Preparations for the 22nd Annual Siege of Fort Erie are well underway. The event will take place August 9th and 10th following
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2008
      Dear Reenactor:
      2 April, 2008

      Preparations for the 22nd Annual Siege of Fort Erie are well
      underway. The event will take place August 9th and 10th following
      the Simcoe/Civic Holiday Monday. Please find enclosed, the event
      registration form and participation guidelines. Please forward your
      unit registration by May 31st. Units can also register on-line at
      www.oldforterie.com Only one registration per unit is necessary.

      All individual participants must fill out a General Release From
      Liability Form upon arrival. Check-in and registration available at
      the Fort Welcome Centre Friday 1pm -10pm & Saturday 9am -12noon.
      To lessen congestion and noise in the camp we have requests.
      One - if there are American units interested in staying in the Fort
      please let us know; US Regulars, travelling the greatest distance,
      with a record of past attendance.
      Two - please check-in at the Welcome Centre with site staff and the
      camp Quarter Masters before setting up tentage.
      Three - we ask reenactors to assist with the Candle-lit tours, please
      do not participate as unpaying visitors, this would relieve the
      congestion and shorten the public line up.
      Four - We invite participants to the South Redoubt of the Old Fort
      for Sat. night merry making. In the evening, the camp is for
      families and quiet time.

      For our American friends, we would advise you to cross into Canada
      at: The Peace Bridge, Buffalo / Fort Erie. We will contact Canada
      Customs in Fort Erie and this letter of invitation should assist your
      crossing. Passports are NOT required at crossings. There is no fee
      for flintlock firearms crossing the border but they must be declared.

      The age limit for handling black powder is 16. All firearms,
      artillery pieces and implements will be inspected by site staff
      before they can be used for demonstrations. Copies of the site's
      Black Powder rules are attached, will be available at the event and
      on-line. Please ensure all unit members are aware of these safety

      We will be supplying breakfast on both days, straw, firewood, and
      black powder for artillery only. Participants will receive a 20%
      discount on items in the Gift Shop and Snack Bar. Please identify
      yourself at the time of purchase if you or your family are not in
      period dress. Bottled water and musket ammo will be provided
      Saturday Evening for participants assisting with the candle lit
      ARTILLERY UNITS - Due to our shrinking battlefield, based on earlier
      verbal and written advisories, we will be limiting the number of guns
      on the field. Any cannon barrel under 3' or 90 cm in length and
      with a carriage with less then 2' or 60cm of clearance, unless
      designated a mortar or howitzer, cannot be guaranteed a spot in the
      artillery lines. If you have any questions or concerns, PLEASE
      contact Peter Martin before packing up with all your kit.

      ------Sunday Prizes------ for the individual travelling the
      furthest, the most impressive hit on the battlefield and a Sally Port
      Prize drawn from the Individual Release Forms.

      As well, we would like to invite you and your group to:

      June 14&15, 2008 Fenian Raids, The Battle of Ridgeway.

      We have hosted a number of 1812 units for weekend drills,
      just let us know if your regiment is interested.

      Looking forward to seeing you this campaign season.
      Peter Martin
      Old Fort Erie Phone/FAX (905) 871-0540 e-mail


      1. Everyone must check in at Registration upon arrival. Camp
      locations are pre-determined and must be followed to allow room for

      2. Old Fort Erie's hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and
      we ask participants to have their area open to the public during
      these times. No anachronisms are allowed in front of the public and
      we ask that you explain to the visitors your uniforms and equipment.
      Many visitors indicate this is the highlight of their visit to the

      3. Equipment, black powder and firearms are the responsibility of
      each unit and should not be left unsecured or unguarded. Flintlock
      firearms only for 18th century and War of 1812.

      4. Every Unit Commander Briefing must be attended by the unit
      commanding /safety officer / unit representative. Every unit member
      must read the Site Safety Rules for the handling of firearms and
      black powder.

      5. This is a family event and please, no consumption of alcohol is
      allowed during open hours. Late night noise or disorderly conduct
      will not be tolerated.

      6. Firepits will be designated by site staff, please ask where you
      can place your unit's firepit. Fires must be limited to the size of
      cooking fires and must not be left unattended. Each fire must have
      water buckets. A 200 ft hose is always attached and available in

      7. First Aid Kits, Firefighting Equipment and Emergency Phones are
      located in the Fort and Welcome Centre. Please inform site staff of
      any requirements.

      8. Vehicles are allowed into the period camp for unloading and
      loading. Please keep streets in the camp clear for maintenance and
      emergency vehicles. Please park in the main lot at the Welcome
      Centre. The Lakeshore lot is for modern camping. FOR EMERGENCY

      9. Washrooms are available at the rear of the Welcome Centre and
      will remain open Friday and Saturday night.

      10. Site staff will be on duty throughout the event. After hours a
      designated staff member will be available at the Welcome Centre.

      In order to make this a safe, enjoyable experience for all, we ask
      your cooperation with:
      a) Pets must be kept on a leash at all times. Please be a
      responsible pet owner and clean up after your animal.

      b) Children must be under the direct supervision of a parent or
      responsible adult at all times.


      Merchants, Pedlars, Sutlers, Craftspeople and Musicians are invited
      to demonstrate and sell their wares at the 22nd Annual Siege of Fort

      The vendor is required to work in period clothing, in proper period
      tentage and sell only related items i.e. 1800 - 1815. A separate
      area will be set aside at the site.

      Vendors are required to pay a fee of $25.00 which is payable at the
      time of your arrival. If you are a craftsperson whose activity is
      demonstrating only, the fee is waived.

      **PLEASE NOTE** As you are well aware Sutler/Merchant Row has
      reached capacity. We will assign spaces for your tentage and
      displays. When registering please indicate the EXACT space required
      including tent ropes, displays, firepits etc...


      We will try to accommodate everyone as best we can and thank you for
      you patience and understanding. Please return your registration:

      Niagara Parks Commission, The Siege of Fort Erie
      7400 Portage Rd. Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2E 6T2

      Or Register on-line at www.oldforterie.com

      Questions or inquiries please call Peter Martin at (905) 871-0540


      All participants, including non-combatants, should read these field
      safety rules. Attendance by a Unit Representative at all safety
      briefings and walk-throughs is compulsory. Any unit that is not
      represented will be asked to stay in camp.

      1. Black powder must be kept a minimum distance of eight (8)
      metres/yards from open fires. When not in use powder must be secured
      and out of the reach of children or visiting public
      2. Any theft of black powder should be reported to site staff
      whether actual, suspected or attempted.
      3. Preparation of ammunition should be done before arrival.
      Artillery unit members will remove wool coats and period footwear
      when preparing charges in the fort powder lab.
      4. Participants under 16 years of age will not handle black
      5. If disposal of black powder is necessary, it is to be done by
      designated site staff.

      1. Only proofed reproduction firearms can be used.
      2. All ammunition and firearms will be subject to examination by
      designated site staff.
      3. All firearms should be in proper working order and have a
      functioning half-cock mechanism.
      4. No firearm, loaded or unloaded, shall be pointed towards
      another person including spectators or re-enactors.
      5. No member of the public (including press) shall handle a
      firearm, loaded or unloaded.
      6. All firearms must be secure at all times, either held in hand
      or locked away.
      7. Any necessary licenses or permits should be readily available.

      1. All edged weapons including bayonets, knives, swords,
      tomahawks, etc., must be sheathed on the field with the exception of
      approved weapons during demonstrations with no opposing sides.
      2. No edged weapons may be thrown at any time with the exception
      of approved weapons during demonstrations with no opposing sides.


      The safety of the viewing public and reenactors is paramount and will
      be the determining factor in the location and extent of

      Any person found violating stated rules and regulations will result
      in his/her immediate expulsion from the site during the remainder of
      the program.

      Any unit that does not abide by the rules or cannot control their
      unit members will be removed from the program and will not be invited
      to future reenactments at the site.


      NO Firing, in any direction, within six (6) metres/yards of
      viewing lines.
      NO Firearm or Artillery piece is to be discharged towards or
      over viewers.
      NO Participant will cross viewing lines during demonstrations.
      ALL Unit commanders must clear and safety check their unit's
      firearms before leaving a demonstration area. All units must check
      their area for cartridges and percussion caps.
      STOP will halt marching, loading and firing until cleared by
      Safety Staff to continue. FIRST AID - Trained Site Staff are on and
      around the field with water and first aid kits. Safety Access Routes
      will be indicated. If you are a medical or emergency professional
      it would be helpful if you identified yourself at registration or
      officer call.

      1. During any opposed side demonstration, firearms will not be
      deliberately aimed at `enemy forces', regardless of distance/range to
      the opposing line.
      2. Ramrods are not to be used at any time during a tactical
      demonstration. At the beginning and end of a demonstration they will
      be used to ensure the firearm is unloaded.
      3. Muskets must use black powder in pre-measured paper
      cartridges. Loading from a powder horn is not permitted. Revolver
      chambers should be pre-loaded and reloading will be done with paper
      4. No projectile, including wadding, may be fired from a musket
      at any time.
      5. Firing will cease within twenty five (25) metres/yards of two
      units and no closing with edged weapons is allowed. Any closing must
      be pre-determined with Safety Officers and Opposing Force Commanders.
      6. Firearms will be unloaded - fired or the powder dumped -
      before crossing obstacles.
      7. No demonstration of rapid fire or speed loading will be
      8. Frizzen covers (hammer stalls) to prevent accidental
      discharge are strongly recommended. Flashguards fitted to priming
      pans are strongly recommended. Earplugs are strongly recommended.
      9. All mounted units must keep their horses under control at all
      10. On the word of command STOP. All participants will stop
      marching and stop firing until cleared by Safety Staff to continue.
      11. Infantry will stay a minimum distance of fifty (50)
      metres/yards from firing artillery. Infantry will not advance on a
      gun position with a misfired artillery piece.

      1. Firing and loading intervals will be confirmed by Site Safety
      2. All artillery blank charges will be made of aluminum foil,
      rolled and formed with a distinct bottom and top, filled with black
      powder and no wadding.
      3. Each artillery piece, its implements and the gun
      detachment 's drills will be inspected by the Site Safety Officer.
      4. Detachments will double worm and double sponge for all blank
      5. Loaded artillery pieces will not be moved.
      6. Any misfire will be cleared in place. After a minimum of 5
      minutes, the detachment will be given the opportunity to prime and
      attempt firing a second time.
      7. Artillery pieces will be spaced a minimum of five (5)
      8. Artillery will not be fired if there are any re-enactors
      within fifty (50) metres/yards, inside a left and right arc of thirty
      (30) degrees (550 mils), from the piece.
      9. Artillery will be placed a minimum of twelve (11)
      metres/yards in front of or to the side of the viewing public. No
      person will be within the arcs and minimum safe range of a piece.
      10. Earplugs are strongly recommended.
      Recommendations For Gunners - Spare firing implements and equipment.
      Charge form fit to the breech of your piece. Flashlights for night
      firing. Appropriate clothing and footwear for work in powder lab
      (i.e. small clothes and rubber soled shoes). Gun drill will be
      assessed for safety and not precision appearance.
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