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Siege of Fort Erie 2009

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  • pgmartinofe
    Hello All, It s good to be back and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! We will be mailing out the event registration (snail mail) for the 23rd annual
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2009
      Hello All,

      It's good to be back and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! We will be mailing out the event registration (snail mail) for the 23rd annual Siege of Fort Erie with in the next week.
      I have included that information in the rest of this posting so you can have a look at it now. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you and here's to a great season!


      Peter Martin
      Old Fort Erie
      Niagara Parks Commission
      (905) 871 0540

      Dear Reenactor: 9 April 2009

      Preparations for the 23rd Annual Siege of Fort Erie are well underway. The event will take place August 8th and 9th 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 rules.

      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 tours.
      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.

      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 pgmartin@...


      1. Everyone must check in at Registration upon arrival. Camp locations are pre-determined and must be followed to allow room for everyone. EVERY ADULT MUST SIGN AN INDIVIDUAL RELEASE FROM LIABILITY FORM.

      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 event.

      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 camp.

      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 ACCESS - NO PARKING IS ALLOWED ALONG LAKESHORE ROAD.

      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.


      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 powder.
      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 demonstrations.

      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 cartridges.
      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 permitted.
      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 times.
      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 Officer.
      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 firings.
      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) metres/yards.
      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. `09
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