Coast Guard to participate in War of 1812 Bicentennial commemoration events in Chicago

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCHICAGO —The Coast Guard is scheduled to participate in events to celebrate the commemoration of the War of 1812 at various venues in Chicago, Aug. 15-19 as well as in other cities across the Great Lakes region, through August and September.

The Chicago commemoration will include performances by War of 1812 re-enactors in the Coast Guard Historic Ship’s Company, performances by the Coast Guard’s silent drill team, tours aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, a helicopter search-and-rescue demonstration and special events recognizing the Coast Guard, America’s maritime first responder for more than 200 years.

The Revenue Cutter Service, originally named the Revenue-Marine, was established in 1790 and played a significant role in the War of 1812. The modern Coast Guard was established in 1915, when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the United States Life-Saving Service.

Just as the current Coast Guard’s role in homeland security drastically increased as a result of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, so did its role in national defense operations as a result of the War of 1812.

Since then, the Coast Guard has played a role in every major war, and the bicentennial commemoration provides an opportunity to recognize that history in Chicago.

The War of 1812 began because Britain continued to interfere with American trade and shipping on the waters and on the frontier following the Revolutionary War. At that time, the city of Chicago was gearing up for a battle of its own.

The Battle of Fort Dearborn (also known as the Fort Dearborn Massacre) was an engagement between U.S. troops and Potawatomi Indians that occurred on Aug. 15, 1812 near Fort Dearborn in Illinois Territory, near present day Chicago.

The battle followed the evacuation of the fort as ordered by William Hull, commander of the U.S. Army in the Northwest. During the evacuation, the Potawatomi Indians, who were armed with weapons by the British, attacked the evacuees. In a battle that only lasted 15 minutes, 86 of the 148 soldiers, women and children who evacuated the fort were killed in the ambush. The Potawatomi burned the fort to the ground the next day.

Some of the commemoration events will feature the Coast Guard’s 1812 Historic Ship’s Company, re-enactors delivering performances in uniforms exactly like those worn in the early 19th century.

U.S. Navy crews aboard the USS De Wert and USS Hurricane are scheduled to transit the Great Lakes to take part in bicentennial commemoration events as well.

The scheduled list of dates of Coast Guard events in the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration celebrations in Chicago are:

Aug. 15
Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay tours 8:45 – 11 a.m.
noon – 5 p.m.
Navy Pier
Historic Ship’s Company re-enactment noon – 7 p.m. Navy Pier
MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter demonstrations 3 p.m. Navy Pier
Aug. 16
Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay tours 8:45 – 11 a.m.
noon – 5 p.m.
Navy Pier
Historic Ship’s Company re-enactment noon – 7 p.m. Navy Pier
Coast Guard Silent Drill Team performance TBA Navy Pier
Coast Guard Historian event 3 p.m. Navy Pier
1812 Color Guard 6:30 p.m. Kane County
Cougars game,
Geneva, Ill.
Aug. 17
Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay tours 8:45 – 11 a.m.
noon – 5p.m.
Navy Pier
Historic Ship’s Company re-enactment noon – 7 p.m.
Coast Guard Silent Drill Team performance TBA Navy Pier
Coast Guard Historian event 3 p.m. Navy Pier
1812 Color Guard 6:30 p.m. Kane County
Cougars game
Geneva, Ill.
Aug. 18
Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay tours 8:45 – 11 a.m.
noon – 7 p.m.
Navy Pier
Historic Ship’s Company re-enactment noon – 7 p.m. Navy Pier
Coast Guard Silent Drill Team performance TBA Navy Pier
Coast Guard Silent Drill Team performance TBA Navy Pier
1812 Color Guard noon
2 p.m.
Navy Pier
Aug. 19
Coast Guard Biscayne Bay tours 8:45 – 11 a.m.
noon – 7 p.m.
Navy Pier
Historic Ship’s Company re-enactment noon – 7 p.m. Navy Pier
Coast Guard Silent Drill Team TBA Navy Pier
1812 Color Guard TBA Navy Pier

Specific information about public events and media opportunities will be released when it becomes available.

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