Life-size figures of an 89th
Regiment of Foot Sergeant and a Canadian Voltiguer. Created by
figures are part
of the permanent exhibit at the Battle of Crysler's Farm Visitor Centre (part of
Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg, Ontario) Photo: R. Henderson
The Battle of North Point by John Pezzola A key turning point in the Chesapeake campaign, U.S. forces inflict
heavy casualties on the British, forcing them to abandon their hopes of
Mohawk (Kanien'kehá:ka) Warrior, 1812.
The head was cast from a member of the Six Nations
of the Grand River. This Life-like figure was created by
and can be seen
at the Battle of Crysler's Farm Visitor Centre. Photo: R. Henderson
Royal Artillery Gunner's Sword of the War of 1812
There has been confusion in the past on how the Royal Artillery were
armed and accoutred in the war. This historical description
helps to clear up this matter. (it also promotes a reproduction of
Staff of the
MilitaryHeritage.com were Historic Re-creation
Directors for this production including battle choreography,
location scouting, providing special skills extras, training, props,
weapons, costumes, etc.
US Regiment of Infantry at
the Battle of the Chateauguay (Parks Canada)
by Robert Henderson Now on Twitter
1812: For Better or
war is upon us. Well the 200th anniversary at least.
Balloons are filled. Bands are booked. Speeches are written.
Cakes are baked. Muskets are primed and cannons are ready to roar.
June 18, 2012 is the start date of when the United States declared
war on Britain and by extension Canada.
Should you care?
The short answer is it depends. For Canadians the nation has had a odd
relationship with this conflict that has slipped in and out of
fantasy for two centuries. Surprisingly in 2000 a
Dominion Institute poll found Canadians felt the War of 1812
was the third most important event in the nation's history.
Before O'Canada, the
Maple Leaf Forever was the unofficial national anthem of English
almost a hundred years. You could say it was our "Star Spangled
banner". What did Canadians sing about? The
War of 1812, of course:
Heights and Lundy's Lane, Our brave fathers, side by side, For freedom, homes and loved ones dear, Firmly stood and nobly died; And those dear rights which they maintained, We swear to yield them never! Our watchword evermore shall be "The Maple Leaf forever!"
For francophones in Quebec,
the importance of the war has almost been forgotten. It is ironic.
The slogan for the belle province is "Je me souviens" or
remember". The saying is on every Quebec car licence plate. When Eugène-Étienne Taché wrote those words in the 19th
century, he was
inspired by the statues of historic figures around Quebec's legislature.
One of those statues is Charles-Michel De Salaberry,
who was the hero of the Battle of the Chateauguay in 1813. He
encapsulates the fact that Quebec was invaded three times by American
armies and each time Quebecois stood up for home and hearth and kicked
the invaders out.
today are sensitive to glorifying war. So they should be. It
is after all a failure in resolving differences peacefully between disputing parties. However there is an exception and that is when your
country is invaded. Self-defence. If someone attacks you,
you have the right to defend yourself. Eventually you may forgive, but you
should never forget
that act. A dying father offering advise to his son in 1794 said:
"scorn to hurt any living being but for thy food or thy defence."
Wise words. Sure the excuse of defence has been used to
justify pre-emptive attacks. However this was not the case in 1812.
Canadians were attacked and they fought back.
If you are worried
about the promotion of blind patriotism during this commemoration, then scrutinize what you are told.
Separate fact from myth and challenge those who twist history for
personal or political gain. Answers are only a click away.
Times of crisis
like wars and natural disasters bring out the best and the worst of
humankind. We are flawed yet noble creatures. We try to learn
lessons from our mistakes and pay tribute to those who were the calm in
the storm. That is why commemorating the 200th anniversary of the
War of 1812 is important to me. Everyday we walk into the unknown.
Isn't it comforting to know that Canadians have faced adversity before
and gotten through it? "Whatever happens I can handle it" should
be on everyone's lips. They did it in 1812. We can too.
War of 1812
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1812 by taking one of our quizzes. Finally for the armchair general we
provide unique animated battle maps that give you a quick understanding of a
particular clash of arms during the war.