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  • While Canada celebrates War of 1812, residents of U.S. town ...

    While Canada celebrates War of 1812, residents of U.S. town mark massacre and native heroism


    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/daily...215719965.html


    The Conservative government's commemoration of the War of 1812 bicentennial aims to put some polish on the Napoleonic War sideshow as a building block of Canadian identity.

    Re-enactments, TV commercials and other elements of Ottawa's $28-million bicentennial program portray the war as a defining moment — perhaps on the level of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917 — where Canadians citizen soldiers joined British redcoats and First Nations warriors to fend off a U.S. invasion.

    But Americans, if they are paying attention to the war at all, have a different perspective, especially those living in the former battleground.

    Postmedia News's Randy Boswell reports the New York village of Lewiston, across the Niagara River from Ontario, is preparing a unique commemoration of a dark part of Canada's campaign against their American foes a year into the war.


    Lewiston sits opposite Queenston, the scene of the pivotal battle where General Sir Isaac Brock died repulsing an American invasion force launched from the New York town in October 1812.

    The following year, in December 1813, a force of British redcoats, Canadian militia and aboriginal warriors crossed the river and attacked Lewiston, burning the community and killing and mutilating at least a dozen civilians.

    Now Lewiston is marking the incident with plans to erect a monument honouring warriors of the Tuscarora tribe, who raced to the rescue of their American neighbours and saved many from being killed and scalped, Boswell reports.

    "This is the only time we are aware of when Native Americans saved the lives of white settlers from a foreign attack in all of American history," Lee Simonson, a Lewiston businessman and history buff spearheading the $350,000 US memorial project, told Postmedia News.

    According to accounts, warriors from the Tuscarora village were outnumbered at least 30 to one by the invading force from Canada. They launched a diversionary attack that bought enough time to help many Lewiston residents to flee.

    Plans call for the memorial, a grouping of bronze figures depicting Tuscarora fighters helping a woman fleeing with her baby, to be unveiled Dec. 19, 2013, the 200th anniversary of the torching of Lewiston and the massacre.

    "This is kind of a forgotten piece of history," Simonson said. "This was a tremendously heroic action and a tremendously rare circumstance. The Tuscarora didn't have to do this. But they stayed and protected the citizens of Lewiston, and it's something we are forever grateful for."

    Simonson acknowledged the attack was in part retaliation for the American army's earlier destruction of the Upper Canada village of Newark — now Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    "It was a two-sided war, and there was enough blame to go around," he told Postmedia News. "Our objective is not to disturb anyone. We just have our story to tell."


    Any lingering bitterness between the two nations, however, seems to be long gone.

    In fact, Boswell reported, the New York town of Sackets Harbour is erecting a monument commemorating Canadian and British soldiers killed attacking the community in May 1813, when it was the main U.S. shipbuilding base on Lake Ontario.

    And Parks Canada, along with the City of Hamilton, have worked to preserve two U.S. warships that sank on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario a a cross-border act of commemoration.

    In much of the United States, the war's bicentennial is passing largely unnoticed. The exceptions are places at the centre of the fighting, such as Fort McHenry, overlooking Baltimore, Maryland, whose siege by the British inspired The Star Spangled Banner.

    In western New York state, researchers are working to chronicle the war dead on the Niagara Frontier battle zone, the Buffalo News reported.

    "No other place in North America saw more action," said Patrick B. Kavanagh, a historian at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, which contains about 300 graves of men and women to the war.
    ..
    "I am Groot"
    - Groot

  • #2
    Brock's Statue

    missed in that interesting article was reference to Brock's magnificent monument at Queenstown Heights, grander tham Nelson's monument; here is a video on it:

    Comment


    • #3
      Great find you two. Thanks for posting.
      "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
      -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

      Comment


      • #4
        This needs to be taken into context of the times. In 1813 and 1814, having failed to successfully invade Canada on a number of fronts, the US forces turned to raiding into Canada and setting fire to farms and smaller towns and villages. In retaliation the British and Canadian troops along with Indian allies launched reprisal raids into US territory. It was very reminicent of the warfare between the English and French in the pre-revolutionary wars ending with the fall of New france in 1763.

        Frontier warfare was never pretty.

        And no,... parts of Washington were not burned in reprisal for the firing of York. two unrelated incidents. Just in case anyone was wondering.
        The Purist

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
          And no,... parts of Washington were not burned in reprisal for the firing of York. two unrelated incidents. Just in case anyone was wondering.
          I used to, came to your conclusion years ago since the scale of the operations was so vastly different.
          What was the operational aim of the attacks on Washington and Baltimore?

          Any lingering bitterness between the two nations, however, seems to be long gone.
          Glad to see the tone of the posters here has not damaged international peace beyond any hope of repair.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
            What was the operational aim of the attacks on Washington and Baltimore?
            The attacks were for diversion. They were intended to draw US troops away from the northern border with Upper and Lower Canada. The British government did not order an attack on Washington. That decision was made by Cochrane, Cockburn, and Ross. They almost did not attack Baltimore as they were prepared to leave the Chesapeake soon after the attack on Washington. As for why they burned the public buildings in Washington, I've read three different reasons and I don't believe we will ever know definitively why unless some new information is found in the archives.
            To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman. - George Santayana

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by taco View Post
              The attacks were for diversion. They were intended to draw US troops away from the northern border with Upper and Lower Canada. The British government did not order an attack on Washington. That decision was made by Cochrane, Cockburn, and Ross. They almost did not attack Baltimore as they were prepared to leave the Chesapeake soon after the attack on Washington. As for why they burned the public buildings in Washington, I've read three different reasons and I don't believe we will ever know definitively why unless some new information is found in the archives.
              One of the primary reasons for attacking Baltimore were its shipyards that turned out dozens of swift, clipper-rigged privateer ships that so successfully preyed upon England's ocean commerce, world wide.
              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

              Comment


              • #8
                The attack on Baltimore made more sense, there were many things of actual value there, but it was also defended appropriately.

                Washington was just over a decade old, a few meeting halls and office buildings ... ah, but the symbolism!

                I was just wondering why the operation itself was launched. A diversion on a grand scale sounds about right.
                Maybe it even worked.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                  The attack on Baltimore made more sense, there were many things of actual value there, but it was also defended appropriately.

                  Washington was just over a decade old, a few meeting halls and office buildings ... ah, but the symbolism!
                  .
                  Yup. All set in the setting of a vast drained swamp. How appropriate is this today!
                  "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Terrific incident, I thought..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                      This needs to be taken into context of the times. In 1813 and 1814, having failed to successfully invade Canada on a number of fronts, the US forces turned to raiding into Canada and setting fire to farms and smaller towns and villages. In retaliation the British and Canadian troops along with Indian allies launched reprisal raids into US territory. It was very reminicent of the warfare between the English and French in the pre-revolutionary wars ending with the fall of New france in 1763.

                      Frontier warfare was never pretty.
                      Duncan MacArthur's raid into Upper Canada in late 1814 was an attempt to burn all of the flour mills, in the hope that British troops would be unable to occupy the land because of a lack of flour for their bread, keeping the region a "no man's land". The raid hurt the civilian populace there more than the British Army.
                      "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                        This needs to be taken into context of the times. In 1813 and 1814, having failed to successfully invade Canada on a number of fronts, the US forces turned to raiding into Canada and setting fire to farms and smaller towns and villages. In retaliation the British and Canadian troops along with Indian allies launched reprisal raids into US territory. It was very reminicent of the warfare between the English and French in the pre-revolutionary wars ending with the fall of New france in 1763.

                        Frontier warfare was never pretty.
                        Very true.

                        One interesting angle that seems to be but a footnote in history books about the 1812 War is the cold local reception received by British troops arriving in Canadian border towns and of American troops on the US side.

                        As commercial and social links were established between border towns (including family links through marriage), many locals saw the arrival of troops as a threat to the established relationship.

                        In some case, troops were "kick out" of town by the locals.

                        I have to find the references, but there is some writing about this in many border town local history.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Today the border between the province of New Brunswick in Canada, and the state of Maine in the USA runs down the center of some towns, bisecting streets and even buildings.

                          As might be expected, the two areas have long shared ties of family and business. Here is one family's story of "privateers" and running supplies to British garrisons in occupied Maine towns:

                          http://open.salon.com/blog/bills_dub...didnt_work_out
                          Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This was the war no one won. Britain they were winding up Napoleon's
                            years of war.
                            The Canadians held the line reinforced by a few British regular forces
                            American forces were expecting an walk over they got a fight and in a number of places got handled by inferior in numbers foroces.
                            Yes the Americans burnt York (now Toronto) and the British burnt Washington DC .HOWEVER the 2 events outside of being part of the war of 1812 were unrelated. Then peace happens with the treaty of Ghent at
                            Christmas 1814 . But the last battle happens in 1815 outsiide of New Orleans , and the British lost.

                            "To all who serve , have or will serve , Thank You"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We don't mind that the Americans burnt Toronto

                              Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                              This needs to be taken into context of the times. In 1813 and 1814, having failed to successfully invade Canada on a number of fronts, the US forces turned to raiding into Canada and setting fire to farms and smaller towns and villages. In retaliation the British and Canadian troops along with Indian allies launched reprisal raids into US territory. It was very reminicent of the warfare between the English and French in the pre-revolutionary wars ending with the fall of New france in 1763.

                              Frontier warfare was never pretty.

                              And no,... parts of Washington were not burned in reprisal for the firing of York. two unrelated incidents. Just in case anyone was wondering.
                              The real crime is that somebody rebuilt it....
                              The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

                              Comment

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