Niagara Gazette

War of 1812

September 29, 2012

Preparing for a big battle in Lewiston

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Andrew Auer, principal of the Intermediate Educational Center in the Lewiston-Porter School District, said he is looking forward to a visit that his third, fourth and fifth graders will make during "Education Day" at the observance. More than 300 children who have been studying about the War of 1812 and its impact in the Niagara area, will spend nearly three hours at the local bicentennial site to learn more from the re-enactors staffing various stations.

"All of this happened in our backyard," said Auer, alluding to the events surrounding the major invasion in the fall of 1812. "It's important the students know what took place and what that meant in history," he added.

Auer said that starting Monday and continuing through the bi-national observance, the school will fly the 15-star American flag (symbolic of that era). Also, during his morning announcements to the classes, he plans to read short passages from materials provided through the War of 1812 Bi-National Commission. Meanwhile, Lew-Port teachers have been incorporating related information about the war, its causes and effects in their curriculum. Linda Harvey, a social studies teacher in the middle school, has been helping sixth graders to prepare for their visit which will include working alongside some of the performers at the site.

The battle fought along the river and on Queenston Heights marked the first major invasion of U.S. troops into Canada (then a British colony in North America). It was destined to be known as the place where Major Gen. Isaac Brock was killed trying to recapture the high ground in Queenston, directly across from Lewiston.

It also would be remembered as a day when the U.S. assault was hampered by inept and confused leadership, inadequately equipped forces and even the unpredictable currents of the lower Niagara River. To compound matters, a number of American troops arriving along the shore refused to cross the border, claiming their primary mission as state militia members was to defend the homeland. 

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