“Soldiers of the Revolution,” a living history event scheduled for July 23-24 at Old Fort Niagara, moves beyond the walls of the fort to examine the wider American Revolution on the New York frontier.
Organizers said, “The British held the fort throughout the War for Independence. They used Fort Niagara’s strategic position to launch raids against the frontiers of New York and Pennsylvania, hoping to deprive George Washington’s army of much-needed soldiers and supplies.”
During the event, reenactors from the U.S. and Canada will portray original participants in New York’s frontier war. In addition to British soldiers who garrisoned Fort Niagara, visitors will meet Americans defending their homes in the Mohawk and Schoharie River Valleys as well as Native Americans who fought on both sides.
Throughout the day, storytellers will relate the experiences of real people who were caught up in the frontier war. Stories include John Powell, a young Loyalist who served in the British Indian Department; Elizabeth Gilbert, whose family was taken prisoner by a Native American war party; and Lt. Erkuries Beatty, who served in Gen. Sullivan’s 1779 invasion of the territory of the Six Nations.
“Visitors will also get a sneak peek at Old Fort Niagara’s latest project, the replication of a log dwelling that housed Native American refugees during the American Revolution. They will also learn of the hardships experienced by thousands of Native people who fled their homes and took refuge at Fort Niagara.
“Younger visitors will have the opportunity to join either the British or the American army and participate in a mock battle. The event will also include fife and drum music as well as musket and artillery firing demonstrations.”
•Saturday, July 23
•Sunday, July 24