For the last two days I have taken advantage of too longish drives (Montreal to Ottawa on Tuesday, then Ottawa too Oshawa today) to pick up on a couple of historical sites related to the war of 1812 and its consequences. That meant Fort Lennox on Tuesday and Fort Henry today. Unfortunately time didn’t allow me to take the scenic door on the Quebec side of the river to Ottawa or the Loyalist Parkway today. I’ve been reading up on the war of 1812 over the last couple of years and aspects of it are both fascinating and depressing. The needless provocations, the total betrayal of Native Americans by the British in the Treaty of Ghent, French Canadian loyalty to the Crown and the whole catalogue of accidents that affected the outcome. Its also one of the great What Ifs of history; what would have happened by Wellington had taken the Peninsular War Army to the Americas? As it was the escape of Napoleon prevented that particular event.
As an added bonus at Fort Henry I arrived in time to see an hour long parade in which various battlefield drills were enacted with great seriousness by students in residence for the summer. The thin red line reenacted above, the famous anti-cavalry square (see below) and a whole range of drillings including a full firing of the cannon really brought things to life (or possibly death). Its one of the upsides of a life of travel, you do get to see things. I’m also pleased with my new Nikon camera. I left the SLR at home as a result of certain people tidying things up, but I used that as an excuse to get a small digital that can stay permanently in the bag, and is easier to carry around. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the quality of the pictures, especially in poor light conditions. More photos, including the complete cannon firing sequence on the Flickr stream.