Fenian Raid Reenactment at Old Fort Erie This Weekend


Fenian Raid reenactment at Old Fort Erie, Ontario (provided by Niagara Parks)Between 1866 and 1870, the Fenian Brotherhood, an Irish Republican organization, launched a series of raids into Canadian territory to bring pressure on Britain to withdraw from Ireland. Most Fenian troops were experienced soldiers, having served in the Federal or Confederate armies in the recent American Civil War.

Armed with surplus American Army weapons, the Fenian Brotherhood gave Canadian provinces a terrible shock during the Fenian Raids. Fear generated by the Fenian raids helped lead to the Confederation of Canada in 1867.

In the early hours of June 1, 1866, approximately 1,300 men of the Fenian Brotherhood crossed into Canadian territory at Ridgeway, a small village in Fort Erie, in the Niagara Region of Ontario. The men occupied the town before setting up headquarters in the ruins of Fort Erie.

On June 2, Canadian military advanced into a Fenian ambush at the Battle of Ridgeway, forcing the Canadians to retreat in disorder. After the battle, Fenian forces returned to their headquarters at the Fort Erie docks to find a small group of Canadian troops had seized the docks.

The outnumbered Canadian forces were completely overrun with many killed, wounded or captured, ending the brief Battle of Fort Erie.

Though successful, the Fenians were disappointed as promised reinforcement and local support had failed to materialize.

On June 3, Fenian forces withdrew to Buffalo during the night, ending the largest of the Fenian Raids.

A dramatic reenactment of the 1866 Fenian Raid at Fort Erie will take place this weekend. Reenactors from across Ontario and the United States will demonstrate how Canadian forces and Irish American Fenians came into conflict.

Visitors can also explore the grounds of Old Fort Erie, where the historic invasion of Canada West took place.

The scheduled events begin at 10 am on Saturday, June 15th and Sunday, June 16th, with the main commemoration beginning in the south field at 1 pm on both days.

The reenactment is free to view for the public. Regular admission applies for entry into Old Fort Erie for all other activities. Free parking is available in front of the Old Fort Erie Welcome Center. As the events will take place outdoors, guests are encouraged to dress for the weather.

To learn more visit niagaraparks.com/fenianraids.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Source link

You may also like