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Article Title

Occupied by the Enemy: The Skirmishes at the Butler Farm during the War of 1812

Abstract

The American army landed near the mouth of Two Mile Creek on 27 May 1813 to continue its campaign on British territory, with an eye to capturing Fort George in present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Americans established one of their piquets at the residence of Johnson Butler, whose father, Colonel John Butler, oversaw the Loyalist settlement of Niagara in the 1780s. The Butler farm became the location of three skirmishes between the Americans and British that took place during the summer and fall of 1813, and, ultimately, the Butler house was destroyed when the Americans surrendered Fort George and retreated from Niagara in December of 1813. The partial excavation of the Butler Homestead site in 1999, which included the hand excavation of 361 m2 of topsoil, affords the opportunity to discern what constitutes the archaeological evidence of the War of 1812, given the array of lead balls, lead shot, gunflints, gun parts, and uniform accoutrements in the assemblage. In this article, particular attention will be given to the material culture of war and its distribution across the site.

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