1812: The Forgotten War

Sat Sep 2nd, 2023 to Sun Sep 3rd, 2023 - All Day

Reenactors bring the War of 1812 to life as they garrison the fort.

At 2:00 p.m. Saturday, Dr. Richard V. Barbuto will present a special talk on the 1813 Campaign. 

Ongoing Program Activities: (both days unless otherwise noted)

Early 19th Century Soldier Life; Field Surgeon; Military Music, Blacksmithing (Sunday only); Laundry; Dress-Making/Tailoring; Silversmithing; Cooking & Foodways; Children’s Games.

Scheduled Program Features: (both days unless otherwise noted)

10:30 Infantry Drill and Firing

11:00 Artillery Firing Demonstration

11:30 Uniforms of the War of 1812

12:00 Musket Firing Demonstration

12:30 Regency Women’s Fashions

1:00 Musket Firing Demonstration

1:30 “Hot Shot” Artillery Demonstration

2:00 Musket Firing Demonstration

2:00 (Sat only) Lecture, Visitor Center Theater — “The 1813 Campaign on the Niagara Frontier” by Richard V. Barbuto, Ph.D.

2:30 (Sun) Battalion Weapons Program

3:00 (Sat) Musket Firing Demonstration

3:15 (Sun only) Tour: Fort Niagara in the War of 1812

3:30 (Sat) Battalion Weapons Program

5:00 Musket Firing Demonstration

5:45 All visitors to exit fort

The 1813 Campaign by Richard V. Barbuto

Saturday, September 2 - 2:00 p.m. in the Visitor Center Theater

In 1812, Congress declared war against the British Empire to redress grievances such as seizing American ships, cargoes, and sailors.  The U.S. invaded Canada in three widely separated locations but was turned back with heavy losses.  In 1813, the Madison Administration focused its main efforts on Lake Ontario.  Initially, at York (now Toronto) and Fort George (across from Fort Niagara), the Americans enjoyed success, largely due to excellent Army-Navy cooperation.  However, American momentum was stopped cold in a meadow near Stoney Creek.  This presentation outlines the strategy, tactics, personages and results of this failed American campaign.

Rich was born and raised on the shores of Lake Erie in Dunkirk, New York.  Graduating from West Point in 1971, he served as an armor officer for twenty-three years in Germany, Korea, Canada, and other U.S. posts.  He earned a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Kansas and was the deputy director of the Department of Military History at the Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for twelve years.  Rich has written several books and numerous articles on the War of 1812 and is a frequent speaker at history conferences and public venues.  His fourth book, New York’s War of 1812: Politics, Society, and Combat, was recently published.  “The 1813 Campaign” is Rich’s eighth presentation at Old Fort Niagara.

General Events Event

Hours of Operation


January 13 through March, Open Wednesday-Sunday  10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

April 1- June 30, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

July and August, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

September 1 - October 15, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 16 - December 31, Open Wednesday through Sunday (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The fort will be open daily during Christmas week, December 26 - 31. 

Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 


General Admission



Children (6 to 12 years) 


Children (5 and under):






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Old Fort Niagara is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1927. We do not rely on tax dollars. Instead, the Fort is funded through a combination of admission fees, museum shop sales, and charitable contributions.

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