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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Article Title

“A Mere Matter of Marching”: US Soldiers on the Niagara Frontier during the War of 1812

Abstract

The Niagara Frontier was as a primary location for the battles of the War of 1812. Old Fort Niagara, located at the mouth of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, served as a headquarters for both the Americans and the British military during the war. Archaeological excavations of a soldiers’ barracks at the fort revealed important material evidence for these occupations. This article reviews the ceramics, gun flints, military buttons, and a cap plate recovered from excavations in the summers of 2011 and 2013. This research seeks to distinguish between the American and British occupations of the fort and to better understand the meaning of this material culture to the soldiers living at the fort. The excavations recovered more evidence of the American, rather than the British, occupation of the fort. These excavations reveal the United States’ poor preparation for war along with the lack of adequate and consistent sources of supply.

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