History buffs with a penchant for travel have plenty to look forward to for the remainder of this year and into 2012.
Several states are commemorating the War of 1812, the armed conflict between the United States and Great Britain that officially began on June 18, 1812 and ended on Feb. 16, 1815. Special events are planned to recognize what the “official” bicentennial website (www.visit1812.com) calls “200 years of peace.”
In a special Southern Maryland War of 1812 travel map and guide, events leading up to the war are described this way:
“In the early 1800s, the young United States of America was politically independent from Britain, but severely hampered economically by England’s insistence on unfavorable trade restrictions with its former colonies. In addition, British troops continued to occupy disputed territory along the Great Lakes and were suspected of backing Native American raids against American settlers on the frontier…the royal Navy periodically captured and impressed American sailors into service on the high seas.”
Among the states that were involved in the war: Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, New York and Illinois.
Here is a listing of some of the events planned:
Battle of Tippecanoe, Nov. 5-7
Tippecanoe Battlefield & Historic Prophetstown, Battle Ground, Ind.
$4 adults; $1 children.
History will come alive at the Tippecanoe Battlefield as well as Historic Prophetstown during this weekend. The sites include a recreated 1812-era encampment, trollies pulled by Belgian horses wandering the prairie and a 1920s farmstead complete with livestock. Re-enactors will bring to life the battle of Tippecanoe. A commemorative service also will be held. www.tippecanoehistory.org/battlefield.htm.
Battle of New Orleans, Jan. 6-8, 2012
Chalmette Battlefield, Jean Lafitte National Historic Park & Preserve, Chalmette, La.
$5 for Friday evening tour.
Return to 1815 with troops and civilians in period dress, cannon and musket firings, military drills, American and British camps, a “night before the battle” tour by lantern light, and a reenactment of the night battle of Dec. 23, 1814. Annual wreath-laying to honor troops who fought at the Battle of New Orleans on Jan. 8. All programs free except evening lantern tours. www.nps.gov/jela/battle-of-new-orleans-anniversary-dates.htm.
Battle of Longwoods Re-enactment, May 5-6, 2012
Longwoods Road Conservation Area, Middlesex Cty, Ontario, Canada
$6 general admission; elementary school students admitted free.
Every year, the Upper Thames Military Reenactment Society presents the Battle of Longwoods. Step back in time to March 4, 1814 as British troops attempt to expel American invaders. www.royal-scots.com/id5.html.
Siege of Fort Meigs, May 28-29, 2012
Fort Meigs, Perrysburg, Ohio
$8 adults; $4 students; children 5 and younger admitted free.
United States and British soldiers, as well as Woodland Indians recreate historic 1813 battles at Fort Meigs. See the battles, musket and artillery demonstrations, and camp life. Returning this year is “1813 Patrol.” Accompany a squad of American soldiers as they scout around the fort. www.fortmeigs.org.
Port Dover Heritage Festival and 1812 Weekend, June 17-19, 2012
Port Dover Harbour Museum, Port Dover, Ontario, Canada.
Experience a weekend of War of 1812 battles on land and sea. Event includes historic tall ships, sail-training cruises, music, family activities and period encampments. www.norfolktourism.ca/index.php?option=com_eventlist&view=details&Itemid=70&id=2499.
Also there are a number of historic sites and museums related to the War of 1812 that are worth considering for an independent visit including:
• Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md.
• Fort Mackinac in Michigan
• Hull House in Lancaster, N.Y.
• Battlefield House Museum in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
For more details and additional events, visit www.visit1812.com.