Military Subjects:  War of 1812


 

The War of 1812 Magazine

Issue 5: December 2006

Articles

Scouts Re-enact War of 1812

By Terry Honour, Scouts Canada

In mid-September 2006 members of the 2nd Sidney Scout Troop traveled to Fort George outside of Niagara-on-the-Lake to recreate battles of the War of 1812.  Each year the Scout Brigade of Fort George brings together Canadian and American Scouts for a taste of history.  Our Troop became part of the Grenadier Company of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry.

During the event, we dressed in uniforms and clothing of the era and used cap-firing replica muskets for realism.  The camp routine and military formations allowed us simulate a soldier's life in 1812, but fortunately the food was up to our standards of today.  We were drilled by the Sergeants to teach us drill and formations and then it was off into Niagara-on-the-Lake for a parade through the streets under the watchful eyes of our officers and the town's mayor.

The high point of the weekend was the battle around the fort against the American invader.  The action was intense and our leaders could barely keep up in supplying us with caps for the muskets. After a series of hard fought skirmishes the Americans conceded the field.  As the Brigade Commander closed the event, he brought us all back to the present by reminding us that we are all brother Scouts and that our countries have been friends and allies for nearly 200 years now.  This was a thrilling weekend for our whole Troop. We had a chance to actually live a bit of our history at a critical period for our nation. 

The Scout Brigade of Fort George operates an annual weekend scout camp on the grounds of historic Fort George in the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake . Always held on the third full weekend of September, it is an historically themed scout camporee which sees scouts from Ontario join together with their brother scouts from Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York States to learn about the life of a soldier of the British or US Army in 1812-1814. The event started in 1974 at Fort York in Toronto. It was moved to Fort George in 1984 and has been run annually ever since.

Participants at the camp don mock uniforms and make other equipment of the period and engage in drills, parades and manoeuvres. The youth experience what life was like on the Niagara Frontier during the time when the border was being shaped by stepping back in history and joining the Scout Brigade. The opportunity to learn about this period of history is unsurpassed. The 2006 campaign saw over 2,100 scouts and their leaders participate.

The Brigade operates four sub-camps, each named after British and American Regiments which were in the Niagara area in 1813:

British:

49th Regiment of Foot;
8th (King's) Regiment;
Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry.

American:

6th Regiment of Infantry

 

Click on the image for a larger view of the image.

 

Company Sergeant drilling Grenadier Company under the watchful eye of a member of the 89th Regiment.

 

Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry forming for battle.  Provincial Marine Company in foreground.  Regimental Colours on left.

Artillery detachments formed up in front of Fort George.


 


Newfoundland skirmishers advancing in front of the regiment towards US positions


 

 

Newfoundlanders advancing by companies and engaging US skirmishers.

 

Left Wing of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry advancing in line towards US positions.  Provincial Marine on left. Grenadier Company in centre.
Newfoundlanders engaging elements of US sixth Regiment outside south gate of Fort George.

 

 

 

 



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