I wonder how many of our families, for those who have been on the Continent almost since it was discovered (my paternal family goes back to around 1750) were involved with this, when it actually happened. My paternal origins in the country were from France and were deeply involved in the fur trade at the time.
U.S. to commemorate British-Canadian soldiers killed during War of 1812 battle
By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News January 5, 2012
A magnanimous gesture by U.S. heritage advocates to commemorate enemy soldiers killed during a key War of 1812 battle on American soil is shedding fresh light on the sacrifices of Canadian, British and First Nations troops in the cross-border conflict nearly 200 years ago.
Officials in Sackets Harbor, New York, site of a major U.S. naval base during the war at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, have revealed plans to erect a bicentennial monument to about 30 fallen members of a British-Canadian assault force that tried to destroy the American port on May 29, 1813.
The attack fell short of its goal, but the rattled American defence force — convinced at one point in the battle that the invaders from Canada would triumph — set one of their own ships on fire to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy. They also torched most of their supplies, effectively ending U.S. chances of controlling the Great Lakes and thus decisively tilting the balance of power in a war that ultimately ended in a stalemate.
Now, as part of New York town's plan to mark the 200th anniversary of the event, the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance and the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation intend to pay tribute to the enemy soldiers killed by U.S. troops and hastily buried at unknown sites along the shore.
Among those to be honoured is John Maid, a member of Canadian Voltigeurs, a largely French-Canadian militia regiment from present-day Quebec that took part in the Sackets Harbor assault.
In a bid to attach names and personal stories to the proposed monument, the U.S. officials have probed historical sources to identify as many of the invading soldiers as possible. Among them was Maid, whose death from U.S. gunfire was poignantly recorded by Voltigeurs officer and diarist Capt. Jacques Viger, who would survive the Battle of Sackets Harbor and go on to become the first mayor of Montreal in 1833.
"I saw John Maid die in front of me from a bullet in his neck," Viger wrote at the time. "Tears came to my eyes when Maid rose and shook my hand, and said with emotion, 'Farewell, my captain, it is all over for me.'"
Constance Barone, site manager of the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, told Postmedia News on Thursday that a detailed picture of exactly who died in the battle — and who will be commemorated in the monument — is already emerging.
Various regiments of professional soldiers from Britain as well several Canadian-based units — including the Glengarry Light Fencibles and Newfoundland Fencibles — were involved in the attack, she said.
At least two aboriginal warriors allied to the British-Canadian troops are believed to be buried at Sackets Harbor, as well, she said.
Ted Schofield, a trustee with the Battlefield Alliance and a leader on the monument project, said the 1813 battle best would be described as "both a victory and a defeat for both sides" — a good summary, as it turns out, for the entire War of 1812.
While the objective of the assault was to "raid, destroy and disrupt" the U.S. naval base at Sackets Harbor, the invading British, Canadian and native fighters were, in the end, successfully repulsed by the American troops defending the port.
Nevertheless, the initial panic among American soldiers that led to the defensive burning of a warship and military supplies seriously curbed future U.S. invasion attempts during the war.
Schofield said the proposed memorial is not only meant to honour the soldiers who fought in the battle but also to signify the two centuries of good relations between Canada and the U.S. since the War of 1812 ended.
"We're looking for as much cross-border interest and participation as possible," said Schofield, who is helping to organize a major battle re-enactment to be held in conjunction with the unveiling of the monument in 1813.
Read more: http://www.canada.com/life/commemora...#ixzz1ighyimGM
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Thread: North american history - 1813
01-06-2012, 09:24 AM #1
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North american history - 1813
02-13-2012, 11:01 AM #2
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Commemorating the War of 1812: Canada's role
What most Canadians remember about the War of 1812 is that we set fire to the White House.
But that event was only a small part of the war. This year, historians and history buffs alike will be busy marking the bicentennial of the military conflict between Great Britain and the US that became known as the War of 1812.
Many government organizations are getting involved in commemorating the War of 1812, providing all Canadians with an opportunity to take pride in our traditions and shared history.
The War of 1812 resulted from the conflict that raged in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars and British trade blockades. Great Britain stopped US ships from trading in Europe (mainly France), and searched US vessels for contraband and British deserters. The last straw came when British captains captured US sailors to serve on British ships.
As well, in its push westward, the US was encountering strong resistance from First Nations, and believed Great Britain was behind this opposition.
On June 18, 1812, the US declared war on Great Britain and its British North American colonies (today, Central and Eastern Canada). English- and French-speaking Canadian militia and First Nations allies repelled US invaders over the course of two years.
What role did Canada play in this war? Some of the land that would become Canada, and the people who would become Canadians, constituted a colony of Great Britain, and so were swept up in the fighting. The War of 1812 was instrumental in the continued development of our military forces; the military heritage and traditions of many Canadian regiments of today began with this war.
The war was also a defining moment that contributed to shaping our identity as Canadians and, ultimately, our existence as a country. It laid the foundation for Confederation and the cornerstones of our political institutions.
Many War of 1812 battles were fought at sea, where warships and privateers of both sides attacked each other’s merchant ships. The Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River played key roles during the war, with many battles taking place on the water and along our shores and riverbanks.
Lacking naval power, US forces tried to take Upper and Lower Canada, where Canadian Governor General Georges Prevost had few options for defending the colonies. He couldn’t rely on the loyalty of many of the inhabitants, but the British had good officers such as Major-General Isaac Brock, who was considered a hero for his role in the early development of Canada.
Governor General Prevost could also count on the native alliance led by Tecumseh, a US Shawnee chief, leader of the First Nations confederacy and a military leader during the War of 1812. Help also came from Laura Secord, who risked her life to warn the British of US plans to capture a British officer.
Then there was Lieutenant-Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry, a French-Canadian nobleman who served as a British Army officer in Lower Canada (now Quebec and the St. Lawrence Valley) and won distinction for repelling the US advance on Montréal during the autumn of 1813.
The war came to an end December 24, 1814, when peace negotiations culminated in the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, which re-established boundaries that existed before the war. Had the War of 1812 ended differently, the Canada we know today would not exist.
For information, visit www.1812.gc.ca.
A War of 1812 graphic depicting Major-General Isaac Brock; Tecumseh; Lieutenant- Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry; and Laura Secord.
02-17-2012, 12:38 PM #3
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Interesting read. Thank you for sharing.
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