Military history enthusiasts will not want to miss the special living history event taking place at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, Ohio on May 3 through May 5 where you can commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first siege on this War of 1812 fort. Perrysburg is approximately a one hour, 50 minute drive from Cleveland.
A Bit About Fort Meigs Established by then Major-General William Henry Harrison (later the 9th President of the United States) on the south side of the Maumee River on February 2, 1813, this 10- acre fort was constructed over a three month period by 200 men using only hand tools, shovels and pick axes to dig through the frozen ground. The fort was meant to serve as a temporary supply depot and a staging area for an invasion by American troops into Canada.
First Siege Commemoration Visitors to Fort Meigs’ First siege Commemoration will be able to tour period military camps where they will get a glimpse of what life was like for the soldiers at Fort Meigs.
Other activities include musket and cannon demonstrations, a morning formation and parade (where troops stand for inspection and receive their orders), an artillery duel across the Maumee River (depicting the week-long bombardment of Fort Meigs before the big battle) and fife and drum concerts by the 41st Regiment of Foot Fife and Drums.
Kid-friendly activities include a Recruitment Party where kids can “enlist” in the militia and participate in a Drill with American Soldiers. Kids will receive a wooden musket and a set of mini-crossbelts and they will learn how to fire a musket and to march.
For the ladies there will be a period fashion show and a Ladies’ Tea.
At the Speakers’ Tent there will lectures on The war of 1812 in Northwest Ohio, The War of 1812 from a British Perspective and Kentucky in the War of 1812.
The commemoration will also feature two special traveling exhibits containing displays of artifacts. The Canadian War Museum exhibit will explore the war from the perspective all warfare participants and the Ohio National Guard will have a collection of Ohio militia uniforms worn throughout all Ohio militia conflicts over the ages.
Fort Meigs’ Museum will feature a special artifact exhibit highlighting never-before-seen items like letters, personal items, a fragment from the Brig Niagara, the Greenville Treaty Wampum Belt and a piece of the HMS Mindon (the ship Francis Scott Key was on when he wrote the ‘Star Spangled Banner”.
A highlight of the commemoration will be the Battle Re-enactments including one on Sunday, May 5 representing the bloodiest day of fighting during the actual First Siege at Fort Meigs 200 years ago.
Hours for the Fort Meigs First Siege event are 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $4 for students. Children 5 and under are free.
For more information on the First Siege event or about Fort Meigs call 419-874-4121 or get online at www.fortmeigs.org.
Fort Meigs is located at 290100 W. River Rd. in Perrysburg, Ohio. Perrysburg is 111 from Cleveland and it is approximately a one hour, 50 minute drive.