Napoleonic War Reenactment at Old Fort Erie
August 22 & 23, 2020 • 10 a.m. • Free admission
Experience history brought to life with a thrilling reenactment of the Napoleonic War at Old Fort Erie. Witness the fort transform into a European fort as hundreds of reenactors from across Ontario and the United States take over the grounds to set up camp and man the walls and siege lines. This weekend-long event features a full schedule of reenactment activities, including battles, military encampments, demonstrations, historic merchants and more.
All camp and battle reenactments at Old Fort Erie are free to the public. Regular admission applies for entry into Old Fort Erie, except for Old Fort Erie Season Pass holders. Free parking is available in front of the Old Fort Erie Welcome Centre.
Old Fort Erie Admission: Adult $13.27 +HST, Child $8.41 +HST
Reenactment participants: Please submit your unit registration by July 29, 2020 by clicking here. One registration per unit is necessary and updates are allowed – please indicate any updates.
6th Regiment of Foot
The 6th Regiment of Foot, also known as the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, served for 283 years from 1673 until 1968 when it was amalgamated into other regiments. The regiment arrived in Upper Canada in July 1814 and sent to Niagara as British reinforcements in the Siege of Fort Erie. Arriving late to the two-month long siege, the 6th were primarily involved in pushing back the American sortie on September 17, 1814. The regiment earned the Niagara battle honour for their involvement in the sortie during the siege.
Regiment de Watteville
The Regiment de Watteville was one of several foreign regiments in British service during the Napoleonic Wars. Raised in 1801 by soldiers who served in early Swiss regiments, the regiment served in Egypt, the Mediterranean and throughout Europe. It was sent to Upper Canada after arriving in Quebec in May 1813. The regiment lost nearly half of its numbers during the Siege of Fort Erie where men were killed on the front lines of the assault and sortie. The Regiment de Watteville disbanded in 1816.
Major Buck’s Surrender
Aug 3, 11:00 A.M.
In 1812, two attempts were made by Americans to capture Fort Erie but failed due to poor weather and administration. On July 3rd, 1814, more than four thousand American forces under the direction of General Jacob Brown crossed the Niagara River. It wasn’t long before the Fort, under command of Major Buck, surrendered and at 6PM nearly 150 British soldiers became prisoners of war. General Brown’s success along the northern border during the war made him a hero.
Chippawa and Lundy’s Lane
Aug 3, 2:00 P.M.
Following the American capture of Fort Erie, on July 5, 1814, US soldiers marched north and defeated the British in the Battle of Chippawa. The armies met again during a vicious battle on the night of July 25 at Lundy’s Lane. This was one of the bloodiest and deadliest battles ever fought in Canada. In the end, each side lost almost 1000 men.
Drummond’s Night Assault
Aug 3, 8:00 P.M.
Battered American forces retreated from Lundy’s Lane to Fort Erie and by August 7, 1814, the main British forces began to prepare their siege line and plan the next attack. Early morning on August 15, Lt. General Gordon Drummond launched a 4-pronged night assault to retake the Fort. Four columns were set up on each side, but disaster struck when 600 pounds of black powder stored in a magazine directly under the gun platform, exploded. Surviving British troops were forced to retreat. Their losses were significant and outnumbered American casualties.
Aug 4, 1:00 P.M.
Hundreds of lives were lost between August 4 and September 21, 1814. On September 17, an attack was launched by General Jacob Brown on British forces. American troops stormed the British siege lines and succeeded in smashing two of the British batteries before a counter attack pushed them back into the Fort. On the night of September 21, prompted by the Sortie, constant rain, poor supply lines and disease, the British broke camp and retired to Chippawa. General Drummond’s Siege of Fort Erie was over, and the Fort remained in American hands.