The Battle of Stoney Creek: Red coats to the Rescue
The Battle of Stoney Creek is regarded as one of the most important events in Canadian history. Despite the fact it took place 200 years ago, visitors to Battlefield Park in Stoney Creek got a chance to step back in time on the weekend to experience what it might have been like that early morning of June 6, 1813 when 700 British regulars from the King’s (8th) Regiment of Foot and the 49th Regiment of Foot and a small contingent of native warriors advanced from the site of what is now Dundurn Castle to surprise 3,500 American troops who were camped at the Gage family homestead (where Battlefield Park is now located). After an intense 40-minute battle, the British captured two American generals and two field guns. The Americans were forced to retreat, never to advance as far into the Niagara Peninsula again.
Close to 700 re-enactors from as far away as Wisconsin, Thunder Bay and the Maritimes re-created the famous battle to the delight of thousands of spectators. There were cannons, musket fusillades and even period music demonstrations in the main field of the park (where the actual battle took place). Situated throughout the rest of the park were more than 30 vendors specializing in period goods and historical demonstrations of what life would have been like at an encampment in the War of 1812.
Despite the less than ideal weather this year, organizers were expecting the 200th anniversary edition of what is the longest continually run War of 1812 re-enactment in North America, would double last year’s numbers of 10,000 visitors over the course of the weekend. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)