Lakehead University Visit

CCV members delivered a ‘hands on’ session about the War of 1812 for Professor David Ratz’s Canadian History Class at Lakehead University on February 15th 2013. Professor Ratz did a brief introduction and a question and answer session took place for 1 1/2 hours. We had an enthusiastic reception.

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Living Canada’s history today – it’s a thrill!

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December 2012 Issue of Kayak takes a look at the War of 1812

Kayak is the version of Canada’s History Magazine (formerly, “The Beaver”) for kids.  The historic Canadian Corps of Voyageurs gets honourable mention of page 27 – check it out here.

Lovers of history should visit Canada’s History website often, and the CCV suggests we all especially check out the War of 1812 Special Features where several articles, and links to reading lists as well as other informative resources may be found.

Read about it and celebrate – it’s your history, Canada.

Official Unveiling of the War of 1812 Commerative Banner

As indicated on the Canadian Government’s War of 1812 website, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces have developed several War of 1812-themed initiatives to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812.   One of the key activities is the presentation of a War of 1812 Commemorative Banner, approved by Queen Elizabeth II, to CF units, formations and establishments whose heritage embraces service in the War of 1812, as well as First Nations and Métis communities identified by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

The banner was received locally by the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment (LSSR) at the annual St Andrew’s Day Regimental Ball on 16 November 2012.

Members of the CCV were invited and honoured to attend this special and unique occasion.

Battle for Fort William – Day 2

British drill in preparation for the return of the Americans.

NWC partners continue to debate their position on whether to fight the Americans on open ground or not.  British regulars, militia and Native warriors stand by, anxiously.

American reinforcements arrive by boat and exchange fire with British on the warf.

photo courtesy FWHP

photo courtesy FWHP

 

photo courtesy FWHP

 

the battle field

The Americans, determined to gain the Fort as their prize, advance onto the field and fire upon the British.

Both side close in on each other quickly, with the British slowly gaining the upper hand.

During the battle, a tent on the British side catches fire, temporarily pushing back the voyageur militia until the fire can be extinguished.

photo courtesy FWHP

 

photo courtesy FWHP

The British dispense with the annoyance of the fire and continue to beat back the American assault.  Eventually the Americans realize their effort is fruitless and they offer their surrender to the British.

photo courtesy FWHP

photo courtesy FWHP

British stand by to ensure the battle is over and their casualties can be collected and brought to the surgeon.

The Americans collect their casualties and leave the field.

photo courtesy FWHP

British camp after the battle.

Cleaning muskets in the Armourer’s shop after the battle.

Still looking for more pictures?  See Day 2 Gallery post.

Battle for Fort William – Day 1

It’s 1814 and the Northwest Company has endured the loss of several cargo schooners. Supplies and warehouses at Sault Ste Marie have been burned and now the Americans, camped just outside the palisade at Fort William are planning to attack.

British Camp

The partners must decide what to do – do they fight for their lives and property or do they order their employees to stand down in an effort to avoid bloodshed. This of course is a scenario that we can only speculate about, as no battle at Fort William with the Americans ever did take place historically.

Spotting the Americans

However, Fort William Historical Park has portrayed this event in an effort to celebrate the War of 1812 Bi-centennial and to illustrate period military tactics to visitors.  Corps members were just happy to show up and shoot at Americans – or should we say, to shoot at each other as CCV members were needed to provide re-enactors on both sides of the battle field.

British take cover as skirmish begins

Day 1 began with the spotting of the Americans camped outside the Fort. British forces within the Fort mustered quickly and before they knew it, were drawn into a skirmish with the Americans, who were determined to test their resolve.

Americans attempt to advance, then fall back

British watch while Americans fall back

With the initial skirmish over, each side returns to their respective camp.

American camp

Later, an American boat is seen on the river, bringing reinforcements. British Credit union order and Canadian Corps of Voyageurs assemble on the warf. The Americans initiate another skirmish and both sides continue to return fire until the American boat passes by completely.

American reinforcements on their way

Marching to the warf

One last volley

The Native leaders have already pledged their assistance in fending off the Americans. The partners meet in the Great Hall and have a heated discussion regarding the events of the day and the pending battle. At last they decide to fight – British regulars and militia are mustered to defend the Fort, whatever the cost.

Americans prepare to advance

British return fire

Each side closes in fully and casualties increase. Eventually, the commanding officers meet and discuss a truce. The Americans believe they have taken the field and issue an ultimatum – the Fort must surrender by the next day or the Americans will return and complete their task of taking the Fort by force.

Both sides close in despite their casualties (photo courtesy FWHP)

A truce is discussed (photo courtesy FWHP)

Both sides collect their dead and wounded and retire from the battle field.

Removing the casualties (photo courtesy FWHP)

 

Want to see more pictures? See the Day 1 Gallery post.

 

Prepare for Battle!

CCV member assists Fort Staff rolling musket tubes for Battle

The Americans have declared war and it is only a matter of time before Fort William is likely to be attacked.

Well, it’s actually just two weeks away!  Staff at FWHP and members of the CCV have been making ready for The War of 1812 Bicentennial Salute, set for July 28th and 29th at Fort William Historical Park.

 

There is still time to volunteer for this event – please see the FWHP site for contact information.