On Saturday, the 250th anniversary of the Devil’s Hole massacre was commemorated.
“There might have been one native warrior wounded and some 80 British troops killed” said Bob Emerson, the executive Director for Old Fort Niagara.
The historic ambush took place on September 13, 1763, but the anniversary is being remembered over the weekend.
“The newspaper accounts of the time said it was the 14th so there's always been a little bit of confusion” said Emerson.
On that bloody day, the Seneca’s hid along portage road in Niagara Falls, which is now along State Route 104, and they ambushed a British wagon. Three men survived. While the attack was taking place, the 80th regiment heard the commotion and rushed to save their fellow soldiers. The Seneca’s ambushed the 80th Regiment killing the whole company.
“It was the greatest British defeat of the so called Pontiac's War” said Emerson.
Seneca, Al Parker said “In a conflict there are two sides to a story”.
For the Seneca’s the attack was a victory. They say their warriors were fighting to protect their families.
“After the French and Indian war the invasions into our homeland just wouldn't stop” said Elmer John, Seneca.
During the event, participants wore garb from that time period.
“Our apparel today is identical to what was worn back in 1763” said Parker
An 80th Regiment Re-enactor, David Austin said “What I'm wearing today is actually the second uniform that was a single breasted waist coat with buttons. No lace details of the traditional British uniform”.
Each carried a piece of history with them.
Austin said it’s important to have commemoration events like this so generations today never forget what people went through.
“I think you learn a lot by going back and looking at history seeing what was happening then and to try to learn from that for the future” said Austin.
Old Fort Niagara and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation organized the commemorative event.
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