The Friendliest of Enemies

In an era of all-out-give-‘em-hell war, it’s nice to think about the days of yore when armed disputes between nations were put in the hands of gentlemen—mostly “second sons”—who, after they had done their duty and covered themselves in glory, were eligible to marry gracious young women with titles like “Lady,” and set about raising a brood of children for the next generation. Well, maybe it didn’t happen that way exactly, but it’s nice at least to contemplate such legends. One of those legends involves the battle between the hurriedly-constructed Fort George located on the Canadian side of the Niagara River and Fort Niagara, a stone fortress begun by the French in 1687, captured by the British in 1759, and lost to the Americans in the treaty that ended the Revolutionary War. The story goes that British and American military officers had much more in common with each other than
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