I think I have become a reenactment junky. In fact, my whole family seems to be going down that road. I’m not sure I can tell you precisely what it is that attracts us to these events. Well, actually, I think the thing that propels me the most is bringing live history to my kids. And the venues…the venues are always perfect. These are the places I like to visit anyway. Small towns with loads of history (Spencerville or Sackets Harbor) or pioneer villages (Upper Canada Village). After spending an entire day in Spencerville a few weeks ago, immersed in history, there was no going back. I really have to hand it to the re-enactors too. Boy! Do they know how to put on a show!
Yesterday, late afternoon, we went to Upper Canada Village for their version of the a War of 1812 reenactment called the Battle of Crysler’s Farm. There, there were more than double the number of participants we saw in Spencerville. They had full forces fighting for the U.S. side and for the Crown. At dusk the battle began with a cannon barrage. At the time we were eating our dinner and nearly choked on our food when the first cannon went off! After that the two sides moved onto the battlefield with muskets and the infantry battle began. It wasn’t long before the air filled with smoke from the firing muskets. It became very clear (in a smoky way) how difficult it would have been in battle back then. Not just because the muskets’ aim was very imprecise, not just because the soldiers had to wear wool in the heat and humidity of July…but because you can’t bloody well see what you’re shooting at with all that smoke!
It all ended well anyway. The Crown forces managed to move forward and keep the Americans back…true to history. It will be interesting to see how the story ends in Sackets Harbor on the American side. We will be going there in a few weeks and the kids are already excited. First because it’s their first trip to the United States, and also because they get to see yet another battle. My daughter has asked me to sew her a period dress for the event. Gulp. We’ll have to see about that.
I’ll leave you with some photos of the events from last night. Have a wonderful week.