Saturday, August 04, 2007

Invasion of Canada

Summer of 07, the pesky blue coated American troops took it in their heads to cross the St. Lawrence and try to effect a regime change in the little town on the outskirts of Crysler's Farm. Opposing them were three regiments of New Yorkers (we're just as "American" as they are!) the 78 Highlanders, and a few green coated members of the "1st American Regiment" (Roger's Rangers) based in York. (what is now Toronto) Our correspondents were there to catch all the action!
78 Highlanders mustering at Crysler's Farm. They are on the front lines, to prevent the invasion. Off in the distance you could hear the shots and cannons of the invading army coming towards the town..

The previous night, the troops had thought long and hard about the efforts which they would be called upon on the morrow. Their tents are all ready for the evening, and you see these gentlemen without their usual red coats, their argyle socks and red vests are plenty enough to ward off the evening chill. They brushed the coals off the lid of the dutch oven, and served beans and bacon to the troops. Candle lanterns were all that was allowed, and the evening was very restful and "period".

The commander of the 78 Highlanders, Jock W. Looking smug and happy to be in battle again! That little church in the background had been removed from what is now the bed of the St. Lawrence River when they put the dam in to create the seaway. The whole town is made up of such salvaged buildings.
The Sergeant Major is co-ordinating with a red coat regiment from New York. Loyalists all! The fellas in the high boots and white pants are from Albany.

Here you see a cannon being pulled onto the battlefield by the King's Loyal New Yorkers...a blue coated regiment from Lake Champlain. As always they fight for Britain, even though their countrymen have mostly decided to throw their lot in with that upstart Washington. For their loyalty, they will have their lands, property and bank accounts seized, and will be forced to move north of the St. Lawrence.

A red coat in the gathering dusk, preparing an ambush. By his tri corner hat, you know he is from Albany.

This is what he is facing. As he reloads after trying to pick off one of the cannoneers, the cannon goes off, (and if it was real) sending hundreds of musket balls like a great shotgun towards the British lines.

After it was all over, both sides assembled in the mess tent, the dead rose again to shake hands and have a wee dram together, and the fireworks went off to celebrate the eternal friendship of two great nations. Next year, we'll do it again!

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