Clann of the Wolf NY Sept Hosts the Labor Day weekend 2007

"I Am Come Home!" Event at Fort Ontario, Oswego, NY

 

             The Labor Day weekend 2007 “I Am Come Home!” re-enactment event, hosted by the NY Sept of the Clann of the Wolf, was by popular acclaim one of the best re-enactment events in which we have had the privilege to participate. The weather could not have been better, with beautiful blue skies, warm sunshine, mild wind and daytime temps running in the mid-to-upper 70s, a rare experience in Oswego, NY in late summer. Nights were custom-made for sleeping in an encampment, with clear starlit skies and temps in the low 50s. No misfortune, injuries, unseemly behavior, or interpersonal problems of any kind reared their ugly heads. God was certainly smiling on us both days of the event!

 

             Public attendance was the best that Paul Lear, Fort Ontario's Site Director, could remember ever having on a weekend, and this was the first event they have hosted that was not F&I or Rev War oriented. He and his staff were pleasantly surprised with how accommodating and easy to work with our fine group of re-enactors are, stating that we made his job not only much easier, but a pleasure. He and his staff joined right in the different scenarios we portrayed, donning their redcoat kits for tactical scenarios and showing a great deal of the creativity that our group enjoys practicing during our events as we adjust to the number of participants on either side, the weather and the number of spectators who show up. Paul and his staff stand out as among the most hospitable and re-enactor friendly we have encountered, and the Fort is a fine facility for our venue of re-enactment.

 

             As usual, participants from Clan Cameron feasted on sumptuous fare and fine beverages the whole weekend, and were privileged to have at our table for the weekend a couple from Hamden, CT, who we hope to see much more of at future events, and HRH Prince Charles Edward Stuart for Saturday supper.  We were also glad for the presence of surgeon Archibald Cameron (aka Clann of the Wolf NY Sept member Brian Park), brother to the Lochiel, Donald Cameron, and his 18th century surgeon’s kit.  His medical skills were much in need during the attack on Fort Inversnaid when “Coal-heap John” (Clann of the Wolf NY Sept member John Stengle) of Clan Cameron took a grazing blow to his head from a musket ball fired by a redcoat.  We were also entertained by the first appearance at one of our re-enactment events of the newest member of the household of Corporal Lewis and Tracey Curry (members of the Clann of the Wolf NY Sept) and the Clann of the Wolf, the beguiling 8-month old Aine Mae.

 

             Saturday morning the first ever re-enactment of the July 1745 landing of HRH Prince Charles Edward Stuart at Glenfinnan, Scotland, on the eastern shore of Loch Shiel utilizing a sailing vessel was successfully accomplished in spite of a contrary easterly wind.  The captain and owner, Susan Peterson Gateley, and the crew of the Sara B, a 47-foot wooden Tancook schooner out of Fair Haven, NY, were dressed in period-correct sailor's slops and shirts, courtesy of Clann of the Wolf Chief Missy Clark and Barkertown Sutlers, as they portrayed the vessel that ferried the Prince to Glenfinnan on the eastern shore of Loch Shiel. 

 

             The Sara B surely looked the part of an 18th century sailboat that might have plied an inland lake in Scotland.  The Prince and the Duke of Athol were able to make shore in a 14-foot lapstrake skiff with 2 oarsmen positions courtesy of Edgar Denton, a friend of Susan Gateley, thanks to her going above and beyond the call of duty in acquiring it for the event when all efforts of the organizers of the event had failed to produce an authentic-looking launch.

The 2-pound swivel gun of Clan Cameron also figured into the event, keeping watchful care over the Sara B as she lay at anchor while discharging her precious cargo.

 

             It was both an historical and a history-making event that exceeded all expectations, especially those of event co-coordinators Chris Timm and Bill Jeffery (Clann of the Wolf NY Sept Cadet).  We are deeply indebted to Susan Peterson Gateley and the crew of the Sara B for their stellar performance in the event, as well as to Dr. Henry Spang of the Oswego Maritime Foundation, who also went above and beyond the call of duty in getting his friend to fill in for the OMF Ontario, the originally intended ship for the event, when it was found that she would not be able to get out of her slip and depart Oswego harbor due to unusually low water in Lake Ontario and a harbor badly in need of dredging.  We doff our bonnets to you all, and hope to do many more such re-enactments with your aide.

 

             Following the re-enactment of the Glenfinnan landing, 18th century Highland Games were run by Clann of the Wolf NY Sept Chief Charlie Fuller.  As usual, the winner of the games was none other than Charlie Fuller, who was later questioned by the runner up as to who the caber, stone and hammer belonged to.  That would be Charlie. Absent from the games was Vicar Abernethy (Clann of the Wolf NY Sept Cadet Bill Jeffery), who had heard frightening rumors that a new event, the paraplegic pitch, was to be included. 

 

             There was a tactical re-enactment Saturday mid-afternoon of the failed Jacobite attack on Ruthven Barracks which took place in August of 1745.  After a disastrous attempt to scale the ramparts, the Jacobites withdrew after seeking an gaining safe retrieval of their dead.  This historic event was a dubious beginning to the Jacobite campaign to take control of Scotland from the forces of the Hanoverian usurper, George II, and then to take England and the throne of the British Isles.

 

             The Saturday evening activity was a ceileadh that was open to the public during which they were regaled with Celtic humor and traditional songs featuring a gentleman and lady of the Edinburgh Volunteers on the octave mandolin and fiddle, and Chief Missy Clark on her dulcimer.  Both activities went off without a hitch and drew great appreciation from spectators. 

 

             Following the ceileidh, the fort was closed to the public, and a tavern was opened in the Clan Cameron dining tent with a half keg of a fine, dark ale courtesy of the microbrewery that is part of the King Arthur pub and restaurant in Oswego.  Next year we hope to sample some of their Scottish ale!

 

             The Lord's Day morning worship service was also open to the public and well attended by both them and re-enactors.  We met outdoors under the second floor balcony of the Soldiers' Barracks inside the Fort.  Following the recommendation of the Lochiel of Cameron (aka Clann of the Wolf Steward Larry Clark), an offering was taken at the end of the service that was then contributed to the Friends of Fort Ontario in thanks for their wonderful hospitality.  Paul Lear was as pleasantly surprised at receiving it as we were with the very fine fit of our re-enactors and re-enactment venue with the fort and its staff.

 

             Sunday afternoon's activities included the rallying of the Highland clans to the Stuart Royal standard, and the pledge of their loyalty and arms to HRH Prince Charles Edward Stuart, his father, King James III and VIII, and the Army of King James. 

 

             The tactical event of the afternoon was the re-enactment of the much more successful Jacobite assault on Fort Inversnaid which also took place in August of 1745. Some creativity in battle strategy was utilized when a couple of the women inside the Fort took it upon themselves to empty chamber pots on the Jacobites who first entered the Fort through the sallyport.  Thankfully, especially for FL Sept Cadet-elect Jeff Bills, who may now be required to bear the nickname of “Chamber Pot Jeff,” the chamber pots contained only clean water as contents, and not the real thing. 

Sunday afternoon also saw a ceremony during which Clann of the Wolf NY Sept Chief Charlie Fuller received in writing from the hand of HRH Prince Charles Edward Stuart his official commission as Captain in the Army of King James.

 

             Before we re-enactors parted company late Sunday afternoon, a most generous contribution was made by the Clann of the Wolf FL Sept, as represented by FL State Sept Cadet-elect Jeff Bills and Clann of the Wolf Cadet Jack McDonald, for the long-awaited and much needed upgrading of the Clann of the Wolf website to dramatically increase the per-hour MB data transfer restriction from 4.2 MB/hour to either 100 or 200 GB/month to prevent the site being shut down when the current per-hour data transfer restriction has been reached, to dramatically increase the disk space for data storage of files used on the website from its current low allowance of 15 MB to either 2 or 5 GB to allow for much needed additions to the website, the removal of the advertisement bar that takes up about 1/4 of the screen, the ability to change the website domain name to www.clannofthewolf.com or whatever else we would choose, email addresses for Clann officers (Chief, Cadet, Steward, Treasurer, Wolf Tracks editor, webmaster, etc.) such as chief@clannofthewolf.com, and a dramatic increase in software and tools available to make the website much more appealing and user-friendly.  Our heartfelt and sincere thanks go out to the FL Sept for helping to make the website a much more useful and available tool in communications within the Clann and in recruiting new Clann members, the future of our Clann.  Be sure to contact the officers of the FL Sept with your own personal expressions of appreciation for their generosity in support of the Clann of the Wolf and its website.

 

             Those members of the Clann of the Wolf who were not able to participate in this event surely missed a great one and were definitely missed.  Make plans for next Labor Day weekend when we hope to return to Fort Ontario for another fantastic weekend.  And we would love to see many more of you at the Culloden event next May as well.

 

“Chlanna nan con thigibh a so’s gheibh sibh feňil” (“Sons of the hounds come here and get flesh”—battle cry of Clan Cameron)

 

Alba aye!

 

(link to write up and photos on the Sara B's website)

Missy Clark (Wolf XIV) and Audrey Jeffery make bread pudding

The newest member of Clan Cameron, wee little Aine Mae Curry

Even Brownie, the fort mascot, was in uniform!

Clann of the Wolf piper and NJ Sept Chief Rick Young

Captain Charlie Fuller (NY Sept Chief) and Corporal Lewis “Skeeter” Curry (also of the NY Sept) and a Fort Ontario staff person maintain vigilant watch  over the Sara B and her crew (Captain Susan Peterson Gateley and friends) laying at anchor with a 2-pounder swivel gun at the ready while HRH Prince Charles and the Duke of Atholl make for shore during the Glenfinnan landing re-enactment

HRH Prince Charles Edward Stuart offshore of Glenfinnan (Fort Ontario) on Loch Shiel (Lake Ontario) awaits the return of Sara B’s launch with Lord Athol aboard so that he may come ashore

The Bonnie Prince about to make shore in the Sara B’s launch, a 14-foot lapstrake skiff fitted for two oarsmen borrowed from Captain Gateley's friend Edgar Denton, to the salute of Clan Cameron’s 2-pounder and piper, and the welcome of his loyal Highlanders

Saturday supper is served in the encampment of Clan Cameron, and HRH Prince Charles is a special guest of honor, along with many other guests who shared our sumptuous fare.

English troops garrisoned at Fort Inversnaid (Fort Ontario) try to fend off the attack of Jacobite Forces at the sallyport (Sunday afternoon tactical re-enactment)

The English troops garrisoned at Fort Inversnaid are overpowered as the Jacobite Forces take the sallyport and prepare to take the fort

After a valiant defense, the English troops at Fort Inversnaid are forced to surrender to the Jacobite Forces

Terms of surrender are negotiated and agreed upon and the English troops are paroled and allowed to march out of Fort Inversnaid

Part of Clan Cameron’s encampment at Fort Ontario

(Picture on the right) Archibald Cameron, brother of the Lochiel of Clan Cameron (Brian Park of the Clann of the Wolf NY Sept) sets up shop as the surgeon for the Army of King James

(Picture on the left) Ladies of Clan Cameron (l-r: Sandra Fuller and Missy Clark of the Clann of the Wolf NY Sept, and Kathryn, a guest for the weekend) prepare a hearty and oh, so delicious Saturday supper for their clanfolk

(pipe tune playing: The Flowers of the Forest)

 

Want to see a lot more photos of this event?  Click on this link:

http://s456.photobucket.com/albums/qq288/wolfwebmaster/I Am Come Home 2007

 

If you have more photos of this event and would like to have them added to this album, please email them to:

jeffery2@stny.rr.com or burn them to a CD and mail them to:

Bill Jeffery

543 Holmesville Hill Road

South New Berlin, NY 13843

(Please include your name, State Sept, and rank (if applicable) to ensure proper crediting for your photos in the album)