Sometimes it’s fun to play tourist. With going away the next weekend I decided to take Heather and a camera (or two) to the 35th Annual battle of Stoney Creek Reenactment, rather than dress in wool and carry a musket. Both are fun ways to enjoy a 19th-century military reenactment. Battlefield Park is home to two impressive monuments. The first being the Gage House, which not only was present during the battle 203 years ago it stands as the oldest museum in Canada having been established later in the same century. There is also the Stoney Creek monument, unveiled in 1913 on the 6th of June it stands 100 feet tall and marks the 100th Anniversary of the Battle.
By the end of May in 1813 the Americans had control of the entire Niagara peninsula, following their capture of Fort George the British went into full retreat pulling back to Burlington Heights (where Dundurn Castle sits today in Hamilton, Ontario). A young resident of Stoney Creek noticed the American army on approach to lay siege to the massive fortifications there. If they did succeed they would have a clear path to Kingston, even Montreal. The young man, Billy Green went to the British at Burlington Heights to warn them, having learned the American’s password to get past their pickets from his cousin who had just been released from imprisonment by the Americans. General John Vincent gave Colonel John Harvey the authorization to lead a force of 700 men on a daring night assault. Under cover of darkness the British forces silently dispatched of the American sentry posts. The surprise was lost when it appeared that an entire unit moved their camp, with the alarm raise the brutal fighting began. In the darkness, it was hard to tell who was a friend and who was a foe. The brave men on the 49th stormed the American artillery battery capturing it, along with both American generals. In disarray the Americans retreated to Forty Creek, the British also fearing in the early morning light the Americans seeing inferior numbers would rally, retreated back to the Heights. The Americans would be later that month forced all the way back to Fort George later in July and would quit the colony at the end of 1813.
Of course, it’s not just history you see at a reenactment there are vendors where you can buy anything you need really for the hobby and things you really don’t need or just look cool. And the folks who run Battlefield Park always put on a good show. From displays of regency era dancing to musical performances by the Fife and Drum Corps of the Crown Forces. It really is fun for the whole family. And while I missed the fighting, I can always do that next year. You can see all my photos from the day on flickr (including battle shots!)
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 7:00 @ 20C
Meter: Gossen Pilot
Scanner: Epson V700
Editor: Adobe Photoshop CC (2015)