Showing posts with label Western Campaign. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Western Campaign. Show all posts

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Fighting Malcolm Clan

The forces that shaped the Upper Canada rebellion in the Western District often affected whole families. The best example is the Malcolm clan, which spawned 13 rebels spread across two generations. Despite two being sentenced for treason and two having rewards on their heads, all survived with great stories to tell.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Henry S. Handy: The Great Western Threat

During the Patriot War, few of the US-based civilian armies that amassed to attack Upper Canada had the luxury of a competent leader or posed any real threat to that British colony. The principal exception was Henry S. Handy and the regiments he formed and armed in 1838.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Colonel John Prince: Battlefield Executions

On December 4, 1838, a band of about 160 Hunters and Patriots crossed from Detroit in the predawn darkness and took over the village of Windsor in western Upper Canada. They were ultimately chased out by the local militia.

When the local militia commander, Colonel John Prince arrived with four more companies of defenders, nothing remained of the battle but smoke and casualties. Upon hearing details of the attack, Colonel Prince began a ruthless campaign of summary justice, executing five prisoners.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Elijah Woodman: From Pacifist to Rebel

Of the 10 published personal accounts by Patriot War rebels, the biography of Elijah Crocker Woodman appeared last, 113 years after his death. Unlike the other Patriot War chroniclers transported to a distant penal colony, he never made it home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Samuel Snow: An Everyman Freedom Fighter

During the Patriot War, tens of thousands of Americans pledged money and materials to help the Canadian rebels win political freedom in Upper Canada. A smaller number—I estimate between 1000 and 2000—actually took up arms and risked their lives by invading Canada. Most of these were the so-called "ordinary guy"—farmers, laborers, and tradesmen. Samuel D. Snow was one of these. The only difference being that he wrote about it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Robert Marsh: Unrepentant Freedom Fighter

Robert Marsh participated in three of the nine raids into Upper Canada during the Patriot War, including the first and the last. In his 1848 memoirs—the short title is Narrative of a Patriot Exile—he demonstrated an unflinching belief in American-style democracy and an unbending dislike of British colonial rule. Despite seven years of hard times, he never regretted his actions.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Edward Theller: Friend to any Underdog

Irish-born Edward Alexander Theller (1804-1859) arrived in Montreal in 1826. Though there less than a year, he learned about the deep animosity the French-speaking populace had for the English government—a feeling any Irishman understood. That exposure set the stage for his later actions.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thomas Jefferson Sutherland: Lots of Feathers But Not Much Chicken

The story of Thomas Jefferson Sutherland's (1801-1852) exploits in the Patriot War reads like a comedic adventure. As an idealist, the plight of the poorly governed Canadians drew him to their cause. As a writer and one-time sergeant in the US Marines, he had both the power of the pen and sword at his disposal. His skills at oratory brought him to center stage in the pro-Canada movement in Buffalo, New York. He looked like a winner.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Uncle Tom Fights for Canada

Updated February 2014
In January 1838, Canadian militia repulsed Brigadier-General Thomas Jefferson Sutherland at Fort Malden. The militia also captured the Patriot's schooner and her commander, Brigadier-General Edward Alexander Theller.

One of the curious footnotes of the Patriot War is the makeup of the militia. It included an all-black company, with Rev. Josiah Henson, 48, as the senior black officer. Like many, he was an escaped American slave. Canada gave the black militiamen freedom and the opportunities available to free men, and they were grateful.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Battle of Windsor: 3. Prisoners Executed

Executions of the Hunters and Patriots captured at the Battle of Windsor began in London, Upper Canada, in early 1839.

An American, Hiram Benjamin Lynn, 26, was the first to fall through the scaffold's trap door. A rebel leader accused of leading the bloody assault on the Windsor barracks, he hanged January 7, 1839.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Battle of Windsor: 2. Prisoners Go on Trial

The Hunters and Patriots captured at the Battle of Windsor faced a trial by court martial in London, Upper Canada, under the same rules and restrictions as their fellow combatants imprisoned in Fort Henry at Kingston. Convictions were almost guaranteed and hanging a likely result.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Battle of Windsor: 1. The Final Campaign

While all eyes were riveted on the trials and executions of captured Hunters at Kingston in eastern Upper Canada, a new army of Hunters and Patriots prepared to attack the colony’s western border near Windsor. It turned out to be the final organized invasion of the Patriot War and a bungled bloody affair like all the raids before it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lester Hoadley: Leads Patriot Capture of Pelee Island

After General Donald McLeod's rout at Fighting Island, the remnants of his army joined another Patriot army forming in Ohio. Under the command of Colonel Edwin D. Bradley, Major Lester Hoadley and Captain Henry Van Rensselaer drilled recruits from Canada, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, preparing them for another assault on Canada--the fifth and largest so far.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Donald McLeod: British War Hero Becomes Rebel General

After hatching out a battle plan with Admiral Bill Johnston, William Lyon Mackenzie, and other Patriot leaders at the Eagle Tavern in Buffalo, General Donald McLeod departed that city January 18, 1838. His mission—take an army and attack Canada near Windsor to draw British attention to the western front.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Handy, Sutherland, Theller, Roberts: The Four Stooges Go to War

Long before the Three Stooges and brother Shep entertained the North American masses, four Patriot generals staged their own dark slapstick comedy near Detroit in 1838.