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The Siege of Fort Erie The US Camp
Some of the American fighters came even from southern states. All of them slept in tents which looked to me like those used about 200 years ago. I did not see any trailers or motor homes.
The Niagara Parks Commission hat allowed camping close to "Old Fort Erie" - a wise decision.
As a thank you everybody took care of the lawn. No damage by fire pits or barbecues, no garbage was thrown around or left.
Cars were not allowed on the property. So everything looked to me as in 1814.
The American combatants consisted similar to the British ones of men in all ages and conditions. Some had already walking problems, but that was accepted. Nobody made stupid jokes. Some seemed to have more money than others what you could see not only on the size of the tent, but also on their weapons. Everything had to be paid out of their own pockets.
That did not effect the commandery and having a good time together - even with the British!
I had long talks and learned many things - this time from an American viewpoint.
It was nice to see that all the children had also a great time in the camp. I did not see any of them using electronic gadgets for entertainment. They all were fully uncharged in the event and for me they were an essential part of the success. Real life and being active is more important for their future life than wasting an essential part of their life in just watching TV or playing violent computer games.
Tent of a lonely soldier
I learned very much about the reasons why the Americans wanted to become independent from England and I had to agree.
They showed and explained the weapons which they were going to use and how to purify the bacteria laden Canadian water just by adding enough whiskey.
I told them that I would still not take any risk and drink the whiskey pure. I always did that and a Scotsman told me that I was right. By demonstrating this I considered him as a trustful expert.
However, I could not see anybody drinking "purified water" before the battle and the coffee looked like coffee.
Women did what they were supposed to do in 1814
I was told that spinning is getting popular again and that there are even clubs. Some spinner even would use cat or dog hair. I believe that because at least in Germany we still use angora rabbits wool for warming underwear.
Other women were cooking, playing music or just talking to each other.
Similar as in the "British" camp preparing lunch or dinner was one of the main activities. Everybody knew who was to win the battle and I discovered a ceramic pot filled with fruits and mysterious smelling preservatives. In Germany we call something like that a "Rumtopf", Fruits of the season are mixed with sugar and as preservative a strong rum is being used. It take quiet a wile until the fruits are ready to eat.
Other families were cooking ham, boiling potatoes or stews.
Where can you see scenes like that? Certainly in Fort Erie!
Nobody was afraid to leave a tent alone. Certainly most of the volunteers know each other and they are all honest people.
However, if more visitor would stroll through the camps I would not be any longer so trustful based on our experience. Southern Ontario is unfortunately not anymore like it was.
In Newfoundland still nobody locks the doors when leaving the house.
Especially for visitors from overseas events like this are an unforgettable highlight and they should be properly made public.
I hope that our little presentation will help to achieve this task.
I think to sleep in tents is mandatory to create the right atmosphere
In both camps groups were sitting peacefully in the grass and exchanging news. I think most of them knew each other from similar events.
Some of the Americans told me about a big event in Europe in which in which they want to play a part and that they already had started saving money to be able to do that.
I never found out more about this event but I hope their wishes became true.
Everybody was friendly like this sentry and willing to tell me many stories and details
Please do not hesitate to do the same. It is not only fun - you learn also many little things which are not easily available.
Getting the last instructions before the battle
A little reporter
The siege of Fort Erie, many thanks to all the participants and the organizers, tourism, travel guide
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