Tension is in the air. British and American forces are mustering in their encampments around the Fort, sabre-rattling for a head-to-head clash while inhabitants of Fort William and North West Company Chief Director William McGillivray find themselves caught in the middle.
Urgent meetings happen among both the fur traders and their Aboriginal allies, while the drumbeat of war increases. The drama leads to the confrontation at the Farm pastures, where soldiers and militia draw upon field cannon and muskets to unleash salvos of loud, smoky gunfire. Wagons stand ready to rush out onto the battlefield to administer to the wounded and fallen combatants.
The event serves to illustrate many aspects of the War of 1812, from its origin and significant highlights to 19th century battlefield action and strategy, to the daily life of the rank and file soldier, to period medical techniques.
Visitors will discover how the fur trade companies were all affected by the conflict and the active role played by the North West Company in supporting British forces during the war.
Over 60 volunteer re-enactors are complementing Fort staff in the battlefield action. These individuals hail from Kingston, Winnipeg, and Minnesota, along with local participants, including the Canadian Corps of Voyageurs, who are often active both at the Fort and in the community. The event ties into numerous commemorations of the War of 1812 that are happening across the country for the next two years.
For action and excitement, be sure to witness the War of 1812 Bicentennial Salute, Saturday, July 28th and Sunday, July 29th. For more information, visit website: www.fwhp.ca, or call 807-473-2344.