Monday, January 23, 2017
River Raisin Reenactment in Monroe, Michigan
Once again this year I was able to attend the annual reenactment of the Battle of the River Raisin in Monroe Michigan. It's a unique event for us 1812 reenactors, since it occurs well off the normal season of the hobby and is staged on private land next door to the battlefield National Park (because of the NPS rules against opposing line tactical demonstrations). The reenactors sign in at a hockey rink, and then stage from the rink's parking lot for a brief battle in an empty lot next door, then march to a memorial program at the National Park Service visitor center a block away. It's a small event but I'm proud to be able to honor the men who fought there in this small way.
This year I was part of the British artillery crews. Since the Americans at the historical battle had no artillery with them, when we take our cannon the American artillery switches sides for the event. British Royal Artillery wore a blue coat with red facings and yellow tape, same as the Americans, so we actually look correct from a distance.
Afterwards there was a program given by the NPS ranger from Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial at South Bass Island, covering the naval campaign of 1813 on Lake Erie and the Battle of September 10, 1813. Even I learned new things.
The Monroe County Museum occupies an old post office downtown. I was interested to find a collection of old maps of the area on display, particularly an 1817 engineers survey of the military road between the Maumee River and Spring Wells. You can still visit a section of the corduroy road, as I did a few years ago.
For more information on the Monroe County Museum, check out their website: http://www.co.monroe.mi.us/officials_and_departments/departments/museum/index.php