Niagara Gazette —
Mohawk tribesmen showed up to continue the slaughter of the civilians, scalping and clubbing those unfortunate to not be fast enough. But the town's heroes of the day, the Tuscarora people living in a village a few miles away, temporary drove the much more terrifying British forces back enough to allow more people to flee.
The tension built up leading to a scene where a mother, carrying a baby, reached for the outstretched arm of her Tuscaroran hero. As they grasped hands, the monument cover was pulled off and the scene was forever immortalized in bronze.
Chief Leo Henry, the present leader of the Tuscarora people, took an active role in the performance for a second consecutive year. He said the history of the event that he's read and heard makes him wonder what it was like in 1813.
"Our village was burned by the British shortly after," he said. "Our people went and lived with the Oneida for a while, but we came back.
"Whenever I portray this character, it touches my heart deep."
While Henry lent a bit of authenticity to the event, Claudia Carnes provided her own even if she didn't think she'd ever do it.
Carnes, for the third year, took on the role of one of those fleeing civilians. She was "killed" by a Mohawk as she ran down Center Street. But as the Tuscarora moved in, she said she felt a hand touching her.
"I opened my eyes and he was leaning over me asking me to get up," she said of the unplanned moment. "That really happened. There were people who pretended to be dead in the street to avoid being killed."
Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.