March 12, 2014

Launched into eternity – Amasiah Ford

Amasiah Ford’s ordeal did not end with the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. Ford proceeded with the rest of the American Left Division to the defences at Fort Erie to await the British.

Ford writes about the British night assault on August 15, 1814 and his participation. As part of the 23rd Regiment of Infantry, Ford was stationed inside the fort during the British assault. Ford recounts,

“We took our post on the battlements in the front part of the fort where we kept our enemy off with our bayonets from scaling the walls until they forced us to retreat into the rear part of the fort when the magazine blew up & upwards of five hundred of the enemy were launched into eternity almost in an instant.”

Siege of Fort Erie Re-enactment
Ford later writes about his participation in the American sortie on September 17, 1814 where the Americans attacked the British siege positions. The 23rd Regiment was tasked with attacking battery number three and during the fight one of Ford’s messmates was shot dead. The 23rd managed to capture the position but during the fighting Ford was almost killed when, “I was in the act of discharging my piece at a Red Coat [when] a ball passed through my cap directly under my cockade. I discharged my piece at my mark at the same time & never saw my mark again.” The next day the British completed their withdrawal from Fort Erie.

After the siege, Ford proceeded with his regiment as reinforcements for the men fighting at the Battle of Cook’s Mills on October 19, 1814. The men marched through a swamp with mud up to their knees during a rainfall. The men finally stopped and settled in to a two-day and night stay near the battlefield with no tents, sleeping on wet ground with a torrent of rain falling upon them.

Eventually, Ford marched to Sackets Harbor where he remained in winter quarters. News of peace finally reached Sackets Harbor in March 1815 and Ford, “remained at Sackets Harbor until the 5th day of June 1815, having been in the service of my country two years, four months, eighteen days when I was honorably discharged from the Army of the United States and returned to my native village.”

On Saturday, March 22, test your knowledge of the War of 1812 and Fort Erie during Trivia Night at Old Fort Erie. One of the topics will be The Niagara 1814 Campaign, so start studying. Click here for more information and to sign up.

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