Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mississinewa 1812 - 2012

This past weekend Screamin' Killer Davis joined Dudeboy and myself on a trip to witness the reenactment of the Battle of Mississinewa near Marion, Indiana.   

Mississinewa is the largest War of 1812 living history event in the United States, and this year commemorates the 200th anniversary of that battle.

The actual date of the battle was December 17-18, 1862.  I guess there is a limit as to how hardcore a  reenactor will go . . . in reality, some 300 of the US troops suffered from frostbite after the battle on the return march.

All of the above photos were from the first reenactment of the day.  While I am glad to have viewed the reenactment (Dudeboy was quite taken with all of the uniforms), I must say I am disappointed in the powers that be to not inform the spectators better about the real events that transpired at Mississinewa.  I guess a raid to attack and destroy Indian villages does not sound glorious.  Still, I imagine more than a few spectators left with a false impression of what happened two hundred years ago.    

The River Rouge Battle . . . this part of the reenactment took place upon the water and an island.  I never found out if they were portraying an actual event that took place near here, or if it was a general portrayal of events that transpired across the territory.
Not only was much of this part of the reenactment on water, but many of the reenactors portrayed civilians.

Fife and drums with bagpipes . . .

The remainder of the photos are of the last battle reenactment of the day.  In this portrayal, the US troops win the field.

Mississinewa was our first non-Civil War reenactment.  It was very encouraging to see the large turn-out of spectators.  I was beginning to feel like no one knew or cared that the War of 1812 took place.   Say what you will about the merits of reenacting, if Mississinewa 1812 can bring out those numbers on a raining day then I'd say it was a success.  


R.G. Shaw said...

Glad you had a good time-due to other horse "personality" issues and then the wet weather I was the only horseman on the field all weekend. There has been discussion in the past about portraying what actually happened or portraying the tactics (as you witnessed) and I believe the tactics win out as a way to involve as many reenactors as possible; even as a Shawnee descendant, I can appreciate that. The printed program and the folks in their camps hopefully give visitors info about what really took place.

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

I guess my worry is that given the tenuous grasp of historical facts of most people, Mississinewa could be a great learning tool. I totally understand wanting to involve as many reenactors as possible. Maybe in the future they could incorporate a small portrayal of the actual engagement as a side to the larger tactical portrayals?

historygirl said...

Love your pictures!! It would be wonderful to see if you have any more. Were you there just to visit or as a reenactor?;postID=4233332373392077572

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

Thank you for the compliment . . . I took lots of pictures, but we were just there for Sat. And then the rains came . . . I didn't get to take any of the camps. Bummer. I was there (along with my son) as a spectator. We are reenactors, but the American Civil War. However, I must say we have been getting into the War of 1812 lately. Our summer vacation all pertained to the War of 1812 in Indiana, Ohio, and Mich. Next summer we hope to get to Canada to see some of the sites up there. Thanks for your note.

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

I just looked at your blog . . . wow, you came a long way to get to Mississinewa. It appears that you had fun, so I guess the drive was worth it (even if you had to drive through Chi-town).