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Published: Thursday, 8/26/2004

Fort Meigs get role in an 1812 war movie

BY JACK BAESSLER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Don Carter of Perrysburg, who saw the film with about 200 people at Perrysburg High School, said the film was well done and portrayed the blunders and miscues that often accompany war.

"It showed the greed and how people think of themselves and what they could get rather than what they could give for the effort," he said.

The movie showed some Federalists in the young country who quickly became frustrated with a few early setbacks and gathered in Connecticut to ponder a secession movement. It was troubling to view that, Mr. Carter said.

Some of the film footage was shot on the grounds of Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, but several people in the audience were disappointed there was no portrayal of the fort's role in the War of 1812.

Gary Foreman, who helped produce and direct the dramatization, said there wasn't time to include the skirmishes at Fort Meigs and the ship battles on Lake Erie during the war.

"It seems like there was a lot of footage that showed the area around Fort Meigs, but nothing significant about its part in the war," Bill Tailford, a Sylvania-area resident, said. "Once again, the big cities like Baltimore and New Orleans got the big stage."

In the film, the area around Fort Meigs was used to show troop movements during the British invasion of Washington. Mr. Foreman explained the site was a versatile location for several events he needed to illustrate in the film. He said he may make another film that will better tell the story of how the western Lake Erie area figured in the war.

In a question-and-answer session that followed, the filmmaker was gently chided for not going into some detail about the war's aftermath and the strain put on U.S. economy.

Bart Susor, a Toledo resident, said he enjoyed the film.

"It was interesting to see all the white hairs here," he said, referring to the mostly older audience that was in attendance. "There weren't any young people here, but it was a pretty good turnout."

Sandy Nuzum, a Bowling Green resident, called the film excellent and very well produced. It drove home to her how anti-war feelings often are part of the public debate during any military conflict.

"I didn't know there were anti-war protesters back then," she said. "This film put a lot of things in perspective. People haven't changed all that much."

The film will air on the History Channel at 9 p.m. Sept. 12.

Contact Jack Baessler at:

jbaessler@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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