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Backus Page War of 1812 Reenactment
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British forces lost the day

Mother's Day provided perfect weather for a re-enactment of an 1814 skirmish in the War of 1812, but alas, it did not save the day for the hapless British troops wiped out nearly to a man by the invading Americans.

By the second year of the War of 1812 both British and American troops spent much of their time raiding settlers' farms in search of food, but from time to time small groups in the opposing forces would happen upon each other as they traversed the country side. It was just such a skirmish that happened on this day (in 2014).

Although cavalry had been on patrol in the area, they were no where to be found when this skirmish broke out. The British forces were trapped between the American soldiers and their native allies, who had switched their allegiance from the British.

Dragging a cannon with them, when attacked from behind the British did not run for cover; rather, they stopped to prime and fire their cannon. By the time they got one cannon shot fired, the American soldiers were firing muskets at them from what was now the British rear.

Despite being an excellent target in his bright red coat, no one shot at the British officer. Unlike modern warfare where soldiers quickly move to cut off the head of the snake to throw the troops into disarray, in those days shooting at officers wasn't done. Enlisted personnel were sacrificed but officers were spared.

The British finally fled the field when the officer was down to only 2 or 3 men left. The Americans caught them and the British officer surrendered his sword. The American officer took it, then gave it back to him as a token of professional respect for his courage in the field.

Archaic concepts and archaic methods of war from a time long gone, but faithfully and accurately re-created by this troop of re-enactment actors. Well done!


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