Coast Guard to support War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration events in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — The Coast Guard is scheduled to participate in events to celebrate the commemoration of the War of 1812 at various venues in Milwaukee, Aug. 8-12, 2012, as well as in other cities across the Great Lakes region, through August and September.

The Milwaukee commemoration will include performances by War of 1812 reenactors in the Coast Guard Historic Ship’s Company, performances by the Coast Guard’s silent drill team, tours aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay, and special events recognizing the Coast Guard, America’s premier 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 US 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 Milwaukee.

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.  In western Lake Michigan, Prairie du Chien, Wis., was a small settlement with residents loyal to both Britain and America.  It was highly prized due to the fur trade and strategically located at the intersection of the Mississippi River and the Fox-Wisconsin waterway, linking the Mississippi with the Great Lakes.

The Battle of Prairie du Chien commenced July 17, 1814, and resulted in a British victory over the American-defended Fort Shelby.  The battle commenced when the British opened fire on the Americans using their brass field cannon, which destroyed the American gunboat that carried a cannon, goods and ammunition.  On July 20, the Americans officially surrendered and vacated the fort.  The Battle of Prairie du Chien resulted in no deaths and only minimal wounded on both sides. After the war, the British destroyed the fort and left the area.  The Americans returned and built Fort Crawford, which still stands today.

Some events will feature the Coast Guard’s 1812 Historic Ship’s Company, reenactors delivering performances in uniforms exactly like those worn in the early 19th century.  Click here to read a blog post and see photos of the Historic Ship’s Company.

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.  Click here for important safety information regarding naval vessel protection zones enforced around transiting and moored U.S. naval vessels.

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

Aug. 9
Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay tours 8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
noon – 7 p.m.
Port of Milwaukee Liquid Pier,
1701 S. Lincoln Memorial Drive,
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Coast Guard Silent Drill Team performance 11:45 a.m.
3 p.m.
7 p.m.
Discovery World,
500 North Harbor Drive,
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Aug. 10
Historical Ship’s Company reenactment 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Discovery World
Coast Guard Silent Drill Team performance 10 a.m.
11:45 a.m.
Discovery World
Aug. 11
Historic Ship’s Company reenactment 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Discovery World
Aug. 12
Historic Ship’s Company reenactment noon – 7 p.m. Discovery World

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

For more information, contact the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan public affairs officer, Lt. Maria Wiener, at 414-747-7085.

U.S. Coast Guard Station Milwaukee was first commissioned as Life-Saving Station No. 10 in 1878. When Station Milwaukee was initially constructed, it was the largest smallboat station on the Great Lakes and fourth largest in the Life-Saving Service. The original location was in McKinley Park.  However, by 1886, the station had been relocated to Jones Island. The station remained on Jones Island until April 17, 1916, when a new station was built in McKinley Marina. The McKinley Marina Station was operational until 1970 when Coast Guard Base Milwaukee was established.  Click here for more information about the Coast Guard’s history in Milwaukee, as well as the service’s history throughout Lake Michigan.

Click here for more


* Click here for the Coast Guard’s press release on commemorating the War of 1812 on the Great Lakes

Click here for a report on the Coast Guard’s role during the War of 1812

* Official 1812 site:

* Official 1812 site for Milwaukee:

* Milwaukee Navy Week:

* Blue Angels:

Social Media:

* Official 1812 Facebook:

* Official 1812 YouTube:

* Official 1812 Twitter:!/Navy1812

* 9th Coast Guard District Blog:

* Coast Guard YouTube:

* 9th Coast Guard District Twitter:

* Coast Guard Flickr:

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