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September 9, 2013

Walking Tour of the 1814 Battle of Oswego Set for Sept. 21

"Storming Fort Oswego by the 2nd Battalion Royal Marines and a Party of Seamen; 15 past Twelve Noon." By John Hewett. Etched by Robert Havell, London, 1 May 1815. The many aspects of the Battle of Oswego will be discussed at a battlefield walking tour led by Fort Ontario Superintendent Paul Lear Saturday, Sept. 21.

OSWEGO, NY - Fort Ontario Superintendent Paul Lear will lead a battlefield walking tour of the War of 1812 Battle of Oswego at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. The tour will begin at the entrance of the old stone fort and is free and open to the public. Participants are advised to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

"Lake Ontario was the main theatre of action during the War of 1812 and Oswego was a major forwarding point for supplies and ordnance used to support the fleet at Sackets Harbor and army operations on the Niagara frontier," said Lear, who chairs the Oswego County War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee.

Lear said that "vast amounts of foodstuffs, sails, rigging, cannon, ammunition, powder, anchors, ropes, etc… moved slowly along the traditional Mohawk River-Oneida Lake-Oswego River route to storehouses in Oswego; from Oswego these goods were loaded aboard schooners or rowed or sailed to ports along the lake. The British, with an eye to capturing stockpiled goods and food for their hungry troops and native allies, planned and executed an amphibious raid on Oswego in the spring of 1814. Heavily outnumbered and outgunned, a small American force stubbornly defended Fort Ontario which guarded Oswego and bought time to move most of the targeted goods out of reach of the British."

Following the tour, attendees will have the opportunity to share their opinions about the preservation of Oswego War of 1812 battlefields with staff from WCNY, which is producing a documentary on the preservation of War of 1812 battlefields in Oswego, Ogdensburg, Plattsburgh, and Sackets Harbor.

The walking tour is sponsored by WCNY, the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, the Oswego County War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee, Friends of Fort Ontario, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The event is made possible, in part, through a grant from the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program.

For more information about the event, contact the WCNY education department at (315) 453-2424, or Paul Lear at (315) 343-4711.

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