Military Subjects:  War of 1812


The War of 1812 Magazine

Issue 15: May 2011


The War of 1812 Magazine is proud to disseminate details of upcoming conferences, re-enactments and other public activity related to events between 1812 and 1815. The publication of these notices is provided as a service for our readers and does not reflect any association between the War of 1812 Magazine and the individuals or groups organizing these events. The Editor

Wasaga under Siege - “A War of 1812 Experience” July 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2011

2011 Highlights

Wasaga under Siege “A War of 1812 Experience” is approaching fast.   Please review the information that has been provided and if you have not registered yet I encourage you all to do so ASAP.  Visit our website at .  There are also some changes and new things happening this year and if you have any questions please let me know. 

Building on the huge success of past Wasaga under Siege events, the Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada in partnership with the Town of Wasaga Beach, Ontario Parks and Nancy Island Historic Site look forward to hosting you once again from July 22nd to the 24th/2011. Wasaga under Siege “A War of 1812 Experience” will once again come to life as over 300 re-enactors will take part echoing history once again through the streets and waters of Wasaga Beach and Nancy Island Historic Site.

We have put together a great weekend for re-enactors and spectators alike!  Re-enactors will enjoy a safe Grand Encampment area on Historic Nancy Island, water, food, entertainment, drinks, souvenir and 4 battles scenarios.  We will be using all our talents and proven Wasaga under Siege 1812 hospitality to make sure all re-enactors & participants feel welcomed and satisfied that it was worth the trip.

All re-enactors who portray any aspect of the War of 1812 are welcomed to participate.  They can include – British and American Regulars or Militia, Navy Personnel, Cannon Crews, Natives, Voyageurs and Men, Women & Children civilians.  Re-enactors who wish to bring cannons, bateaus and canoes can negotiate with me for travel, haulage or powder compensation.  Merchants, blanket traders and artisans are welcomed to attend free of charge.

Sunday morning will also feature the Redcoat Iron-man and Iron-women contest that has proven to be a popular event not only to participate in, but to watch as well, with prizes going out to the winners.

If you are registering on-line please register individually or as an immediate family unit.  No group registrations will be accepted unless pre-approved.  This gives us a more accurate numbers for logistics, food and actual people attending and camping on the island.

New Welcome Centre – Nancy Island Welcome Centre

Ontario Parks is excited to announce that Nancy Island Historic Site will have a brand new 3000+ square foot Welcome Centre opening this summer. This new building will become a focal point for Wasaga Beach Provincial Park and certainly help draw visitors to Nancy Island as we gear up for the bicentennial.

Website Update

We have changed the format of our website and we are still working on some of the pages and critiquing its overall look and appearance.  If you are having any difficulties looking for information while on the site please feel free to contact me anytime for help.

Change in Battlefield Location

The two long walks to the battlefield in beach area one on Saturday is now a thing of the past!  Starting this year all battles will take place in beach area two just across the street from Nancy Island Historic Site.  The battleground will be expanded to include the main beach area and the naval component will now be moved out of the river to the Georgian Bay side. 

Re-enactment of the Relief of Mackinac 1814

1814, February to April - Relief of Mackinac

Six officers and 130 men of the RNR (virtually all who remained fit for service) accompanied by 11 artillerymen, and a naval party of 21, marched overland with supplies during the winter from Kingston to the Nottawasaga River.  Moving to re-supply the starving garrison at Mackinac, in a remarkable operation that demonstrated their capability and determination both ashore, and on the water, they felled trees to build 29 bateaux, and then rowed from the Nottawasaga River across Lake Huron to the fort at Mackinac (some 360 miles) losing only one boat crushed in the ice choked waters.

Nottawasaga River – Edenvale, ON (Glengarry Landing) to the mouth of the Nottawasaga River (Nancy Island Historic Site) – 25 – 30 km River Run

Friday, July 22nd – Starting at 9:00am to 1:00pm – Edenvale to Jacks Lake
Saturday, July 23rd – Starting at 9:00am to 1:00pm – Jacks Lake to Nancy Island

Wasaga under Siege 2011 is excited to announce that a re-enactment of a portion of the Relief of Michilimackinac, February to April 1814 will be added to the list of great activities taking place in 2011.   The Upper Nottawasaga River is basically the same way it looked like in 1814 and is a great opportunity for those hearty re-enactors to experience the environment and hardships soldiers and sailors experienced firsthand on this historical journey.  This river excursion will not be a leisurely float down the river as all participants will be expected to pull their weight on an oar, potentially cut paths through fallen trees and log jams and getting your feet wet as low fast running water may dictate guiding the boat by hand and feet.

For those re-enactors who would like to get some real first hand river negotiating experience this is your opportunity.  To date we have three bateaux that have confirmed to take part in this great historical re-enactment and we are looking for more boats and crews to take part.  We are also looking for voyageur canoes and crews to take part in this great event as well.  If you or your group is interested in participating as many boats/canoes will need extra rowers and crew, please contact me anytime at  More information will be forthcoming as we confirm the river schedule and boats attending.

New Coordinator of Naval Activities

I’m happy to announce that the Penetanguishene Ship’s Company has volunteered to take over the coordination of naval activities during the battle scenarios.  They have some great ideas to help enhance the naval activities and will be in contact with all the naval units participating in this year’s event for input and feedback.  If you are bringing a boat or canoe to the event I encourage you to contact the Penetanguishene Ship’s Company.

Book Releases & Signings

Brock’s Agent - Tom Taylor

 It’s the eve of the War of 1812, and the United States is aiming to seize British North America. Thomas Jefferson declares that it will be a “mere matter of marching,” but he hadn’t counted on British Major General Isaac Brock. While Britain battles Napoleon in Europe and considers abandoning Upper Canada altogether, Brock begins forging the province into a fighting force and in the process engages the services of a young secret agent.

 After witnessing the Battle of Tippecanoe, Jonathan Westlake, a young man “ready to make his mark,” returns to the town of York [now Toronto] from a fur trading expedition bringing hard intelligence of the American preparations for war. Intervening in a scuffle to save a young woman’s life, he appears to have unwittingly killed her stepfather. To escape arrest for murder, Westlake is now forced to join the British Army and pose as a fur trader while undertaking a vital secret mission for General Brock.

In a frantic search for the girl he rescued, down Georgian Bay to Fort Detroit, Westlake discovers treachery in his own family circle. But his friends, a French Canadian named, Danny Lapointe, and a Shawnee Indian called Paxinos, will stand by him in a clash that may cost all of them their lives.

As nations and men battle for military supremacy in North America, these principal characters will fight to the death over love, independence, and a fortune in furs.

Tom Taylor will be present during Wasaga under Siege 2011 to answer questions, sign copies of his book and read passages.  For more information contact: Tom Taylor at:

Searching for the Forgotten War 1812

Patrick Richard Carstens & Timothy L. Sanford

 The forgotten war started out with an American invasion of what is now Canada and ended with a British invasion of the United States, neither one successful. The vast majority of the books telling the story of the War of 1812, are often told chronologically, the events leading to this war, the battles and aftermath or the biographies of the leaders on both side of the conflict.

The book “Searching for the Forgotten War 1812" unfolds geographically as told in two volumes (Canada- 21 chapters- USA -35 chapters) and tells the story of the war using what can be found today in both the Canada and the United States. With the use of photography and directions to find the historical markers, plaques, monuments, gravestones, graveyards, battlefields, fortified locations, naval battles on the Great Lakes and the Oceans of the world to tell the stories behind the historical evidence in what was British North America and the United States in 1812. The vast majority of the location can be found along the United States borders with Upper (Ontario) and Lower (Quebec) Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the British Colony of Newfoundland in what is Canada today, and in the United States original colonies, territories and emerging states along the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean.

Each chapter deals with the war in different geographical areas of North American and their  involvement, either as a contributor or direct involvement in the battles fought. Political turmoil is not overlooked and its roll in the eventual outcome of this war. The war itself proved nothing. The aftermath created positives that both Americans and Canadians enjoy today, without knowing the role the War of 1812 played. 

The book is enhanced by the use of sketches by Benson Lossing, a nineteenth century history who traveled extensively and captured with pencil and paper the remains of the war, fifty years after the fact. The battle scenes are brought to life with the artistic impressions by modern artist and those of period renditions of the battles available in many Archives and in Public Domain today.  Within the covers of these books the reader will have access to seven appendices (Chronology, Biographies, Treaties, Nineteenth Century Weapons, Battle Sites, Bibliography and Reference Index) to help the reader to understanding this war. Two appendices, biographies of key to relatively unknown individuals who fought and in some cased died in War of 1812, and the weapons and military terminologies in use during this war are given the attention it deserves to understand the people, offensive and defensive strategies used by both sides in this conflict.

Patrick Richard Carstens & Timothy L. Sanford will be present during Wasaga under Siege 2011 to answer questions, sign copies of their book and read passages.  For more information contact Patrick R. Cartens at:  

Invitation to Tea

Wasaga under Siege 2011 invites the ladies & gentlemen of the Nancy Island Historic Site Grand Encampment to take tea on Saturday, July 23rs in the hospitality tent hosted by the ladies of the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada.  Please bring your own tea cup, plate, spoon and chair.  To satisfy the appetites of our guests, we shall be serving treats from the Georgian Period, baked by the finest camp followers of the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada.  The afternoon will also include presentations and discussions on various topics.

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."
(Henry James)


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