On Jan. 19-20, the Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 invites you to Monroe, Mich., to “Remember the Raisin!” Join the commission and community in commemorating the 200th anniversary of two War of 1812 battles fought right here.
In the same month exactly 200 years ago, British and American forces fought for control of the Great Lakes. American forces defeated the British outpost in Frenchtown – current-day Monroe – on Jan. 18, 1813, but a British and Native American counter-attack four days later resulted in the defeat of American forces. This led to one of the great rallying cries of the War of 1812: “Remember the Raisin!”
An array of activities is planned in the community to commemorate these battles. On Saturday, Jan. 19, enjoy the following events:
10 a.m. – Trace General James Winchester’s march to the battlefield (begins at the Sawyer House, located on the south bank of the River Raisin, three blocks east of the downtown Monroe)
Immediately following the march – Enjoy a flag-raising ceremony (Battlefield Visitor Center)
11:15 a.m. – Experience a tactical demonstration by more than 100 re-enactors (Monroe Multisports Complex)
Noon – View the documentary “Michigan at War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1812-1815,” with commentary by executive producer and War of 1812 commissioner Jim McConnell (Battlefield Visitor Center)
1 p.m. – Enjoy a discussion, “Widder’s Landing: A Kentucky Historical Novel” by Kentucky historian Eddie Price (Battlefield Visitor Center)
2:30 p.m. – View a wreath-laying ceremony, presented by War of 1812 Commission Chairman and Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Phil Porter (Kentucky Monument, downtown Monroe)
3:30 p.m. – Participate in a discussion by Brian Leigh Dunnigan, author and associate director of William L. Clements Library, “Uncorking the Truth: Spirits of the 1812 Military” (Monroe County Historical Museum)
3:30 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. – Listen to the concert “Musical Remembrances of the War of 1812 (Monroe Community College)
4:30 p.m. – Enjoy the discussion by Larry Lee Nelson, Fort Meigs retired director, “The Northwest Campaigns of the War of 1812″ (Monroe Country Historical Museum)
The culmination of festivities takes place at noon, Sunday, Jan. 20, with a veterans’ salute to the fallen at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park, the nation’s newest national park.
“The bicentennial of the War of 1812 has marked a turning point in Monroe’s recognition and awareness of its storied past,” said War of 1812 Commission Vice-chairman Ralph Naveaux. “Come help us commemorate our heritage and look forward with us to the gradual rebirth of historic French Town.”
The governor-appointed Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is charged with encouraging, planning and developing activities, events, programs, observances and services appropriate to commemorate Michigan’s role in the War of 1812. More information, including a complete list of War of 1812 bicentennial events, can be found at www.michigan.gov/war1812.
Source: News release from Michigan Department of Natural Resources