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War of 1812 Battle of Prairie du Chien Bicentennial Commemoration

Prairie Du Chien
  • British War of 1812 re-enactors march in formation

    British War of 1812 re-enactors march in formation

On July 17, 1814, a British force led by Col. William McKay attacked the American-built Fort Shelby at Prairie du Chien, now the west lawn of the Villa Louis. The British force was composed of residents of Prairie du Chien and Green Bay, Michigan Fencibles, a British Artillery sergeant, and more than 300 Native Americans from tribes of the upper Mississippi. After a three-day siege, on July 20, 1814, the American troops commanded by Lt. Joseph Perkins surrendered Fort Shelby. Visitors to Villa Louis can learn all about the only battle of the War of 1812 fought on Wisconsin soil during this weeklong commemoration of the battle's 200th anniversary. War of 1812 Bicentennial Battle Re-enactment - A historic encampment and battle re-enactment on Wisconsin’s only War of 1812 battlefield, now the lawn of the Villa Louis estate. Learn about the British assault on U.S. Fort Shelby in a battle scenario on Saturday evening (July 19th) and Sunday afternoon (July 20th). Tour the camps and learn about military life in 1814. Spirits of the War of 1812 on July 12th, 7:30-9:30pm. Historic guides lead visitors through Villa Louis buildings and grounds to encounters with a series of spirits in skits that tell a story of the War of 1812. No mansion tour; the event will explore the historic site's very early history. Tours begin at dusk, flashlights recommended. This special program ends with the annual Prairie du Chien Chamber fireworks display.

History/Heritage Type

  • Re-enactments
  • State Historic Site
  • Military Heritage
  • Wisconsin History
  • Historic Homes

State Historic Sign Site

  • Yes


  • On Water