As you know, we held our event this past weekend and it went extremely well. Fort Ontario in Oswego NY has become somewhat of a staple and this weekend did not disappoint. Fresh sweet corn was donated for us to enjoy, another keg of fine ale was provided from a local micro brewery and as always Paul Lear and the staff at Fort Ontario did an excellent job of ensuring we felt welcome.
The weather was excellent, the crowds were good and very attentive to what we're doing. The sunsets over Lake Ontario were spectacular and the sight of an orange full moon rising over the ramparts Saturday night will stick in my mind.
The program formally began Saturday when the Prince was expertly landed in choppy water by the tall ship Lotus. This was the first time we worked with the Lotus and it turned out to be truly a fine vessel to sail on. As with all our events, there were a number of interesting activities going on throughout and much first person interaction.
Saturday's battle was a loose intepretation of the assault on Ruthven Barracks. We were able to successfully capture the picquet encampment the Hanoverians had set up and the outer earthworks but were unable to breach into the stone fort and heavy gates. So under the taunts of the English troops we marched off with honor to return another day.
Later in the day, an excellent ladies tea was held by Lady Murray of the Atholls and a nice addition was the marquee it was held sat on the edge of the green where the highland games were held. So the ladies were able to enjoy the refreshments while being entertained by the excellent sport the men put on. A spirited competition was held by the juniors and the seniors and some tremendous exertions were put in. That evening, under a brilliant full moon a very diverse ceileigh was enjoyed. Thank you to the Atholls for allowing themselves to be pressed into hosting the event.
Sunday morning, as usual, the chaplain of the Army of Kings James, Vicar William Abernethy, held a period service. His message with a nautical theme was very appropriate considering the ship landing yesterday.
One potentially alarming note was the attempted assasination of HRH Prince Charles. Fortunately, his personal guard was up to the challenge. One attacker was slain in the exchange and another captured. Led off in manacles he was given a fair trial presided over by Col. MacFarlane and then executed.
Sunday's battle featured the premiere of the new clan Cameron field piece and it was truly a great addition. Now fielding two guns we returned to repay the insults of the previous day. After successfully repelling their skirmishers, including the brilliant capture of two prisoners by Dr. Archibald Cameron and members of his clan the fortification was invested. Under the steady fire of our artillery the front gates were successfully breeched. Led by Clan Chattan, the fort itself was rushed, forcing the red coats back into the barracks. A few rounds of artillery and steady musket fire showed them resistance was futile so a flag of surrender was eventually raised. Huzzah for the Army of King James, the day was ours!
On a personal note, it was so sweet to be back here after missing last year due to a sudden issue that arose. It was truly a joy to return. After our successful event at Fort Plain we end the campaign season on solid footing. There seems a renewed interest and vigor which excites me. With planning already well at hand for our "Road to Culloden" event in Port Rowan Ontario next May and Fort Ontario as well we have a solid start to the year.
A mighty huzzah and a huge thanks to Clan Cameron, host for the event. Whether it was shucking corn (a lot of corn!) so that others could enjoy it or the many other things they did to make the weekend special they showed the meaning of highland hospitality. Thank you!!
Our new Lord George Murray (Bill Cooper) debuted and while perhaps a bit ahead of the historic record he was just excellent and a great addition to the org chart. I could go on and on with the great memories of the weekend but suffice it to say, this was a FANTASTIC way to end the summer (despite what met me at the border when we returned but thats another story!).
Participating was clan Cameron, the MacGregors, MacFarlane's company, the Atholls, Clan Chattan, MacDonalds, HRH's household staff and several guests who were exploring our unique time period. We looked good in camp and in the field. Thanks to all who do so much to make it a special event. There was a solid redcoat force which allowed us to field all our own people and not have to flip anyone which is always nice. They were provided by the 24th RoF and the Ft. Ontario garrison. Thanks again to Paul Lear and his great staff for their hospitality and all they do make us welcome.
Best wishes as we enter into fall.
I am and remain,