WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Old Fort Madison Commemorates Siege

Sep 5, 2014

The siege of Old Fort Madison during the War of 1812 was part of the largest coordinated Native American offensive in United States history.

Re-enactors during the Old Fort Madison bicentennial commemoration of the siege during the War of 1812
Credit Old Fort Madison's Facebook Page

The fort was nearly overrun during the attack.

This weekend, visitors to Old Fort Madison will hear about that siege, which occurred in September, 1812.

“They learn quite a bit about this little piece of history that is very unique but not well known,” said Dr. Eugene Watkins, the site manager at Old Fort Madison.

Saturday’s scheduled activities include:

  • Dramatic rendition of "The Star" poem at 1:00 p.m in recognition of the  bicentennial of the "Star Spangled Banner."
  • Immediately after the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will present a new 15 stars and stripes flag to Old Fort Madison.
  • War reenactment at 2:15 p.m.
  • Artillery demonstration at 4:00 p.m.

Sunday’s scheduled activities include:

  • Colors ceremony, raising of the flag and firing of the canon at 9:00 a.m.
  • Military drill and musket shooting at 9:30 a.m.
  • Soldier drills for children 10:30 a.m.
  • Canon fire at 11:00 a.m.
  • War reenactment at 2:00 p.m.

This is the first major event at Old Fort Madison since a fire in the fall of 2012.

“In 2012, we did our bicentennial anniversary reenactment,” Watkins said. “Last year was very small because we weren’t sure we would be able to be open due to the fire repairs and in the end they allowed us to be open, so it went on but it was small. This year will be bigger than last year.”

Watkins said the fort is in pretty good shape overall. He said this summer’s flooding of the Mississippi River only damaged a small portion of the wall along the riverfront. No buildings were impacted.