Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How's the War of 1812 going, 200 years ago?

Today sees the first significant confrontation of British and American arms since the declaration of war a month ago. A small British force with some Canadian volunteers and a mass of First Nations auxiliaries, forces the surrender of Fort Mackinac in the Strait of Mackinac (between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron).  The unfortunate Americans garrisoned there had not yet been informed that there was a war on.

It's hardly an epic setback to the Americans, but important to the Canadian economy because it helps ensure that the Montreal-based fur trade will not be much threatened by the Americans for most of the war. It's important to the British plan for the war because it helps consolidate First Nations support more securely, by showing that the British actually will fight the American enemies of the Great Lakes First Nations.

Wikipedia account here, but the Toronto Star story by Kenneth Kidd, who seems to be thriving in the gig of  1812 war correspondent, is impressive.  That's their picture above.

Must say I'm having a hard time falling in love with Real Time War of 1812 (@Warof1812Live).  They are tweeting constantly for sure, and there is a lot of work behind it, but with so many bits, each so cryptic and brief, it's hard to separate signal from noise.  There must be a reason millions love Twitter, but it fails again with me.

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