As 2012 winds down so will the commemorations and remembrances of the War of 1812. I attended such an event earlier in October. The Sons of Union Veterans and the Auglaize County Historical Society in my area sponsored a tribute at Ft. Amanda State Park. Just miles from my home, the state park is a memorial to the fort built there in 1812.
Although no actual fighting took place in this area, Ft. Amanda was vital in the war effort. Built on the banks of the Auglaize River, it was accessible to troops who were moved up and down the river. Many disembarked at the fort to travel on foot north to the fighting in Detroit. Ft. Amanda served as a supply station, contained a stockade and was a ship building center. 75 boats were built here to supply other forts along the river.No remnants remain today from the fort except a small cemetery. There among the couple hundred graves rests 75 soldiers from the war. Their identities are unknown. Records kept in Washington were burned in 1814. These soldiers buried at Amanda were men wounded in the war and brought to the fort’s hospital. These 75 died of their wounds.
A monument was erected in 1915 and stands today as a silent and often overlooked monument to the importance of this area of Ohio in the War of 1812.
The Sons of Union Veterans and the Auglaize County Historical Society did a fantastic job with displays and tours of the park. There were several stops where volunteers in period dress, gave fascinating accounts of historic events and general information from that era. It was a wonderfully presented commemoration. They did an excellent job.
A friend of mine commented that my participation was “celebrating” war and I responded that this wasn’t a celebration but a remembrance. A time to honor and recall those who set aside their daily lives to give of themselves to a fledgling nation. 200 years later the least we can do is thankfully remember.