Showing posts with label Windmill Battle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Windmill Battle. Show all posts

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Windmill Battle: 9. Hunters Surrender

The morning of Friday, November 16, 1838, again dawned cold and clear. Hungry, sleep-deprived, and disillusioned, 117 Hunters prepared for the final battle they knew they could not win. As the day progressed, the trapped raiders watched the force of British regulars and Canadian militia surrounding their stronghold steadily grow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Windmill Battle: 8. Trapped Hunters Given One Escape Chance

The morning of Thursday, November 15, 1838, dawned cold and clear. For once, no cannon barrage greeted the dawn. The small steamer Experiment patrolled alone, the other British gunboats being upriver. Desultory sniping from both sides shattered the morning’s rare peace. The day began low key but unfolding events gave the trapped Hunters a brief opportunity to escape.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Windmill Battle: 7. Hunters Fortify Their Position

The morning of Wednesday, November 14, 1838, dawned cold, windy, and clear. The wet snow that covered the bodies the day before had hardened to icy coffins. Shortly after dawn, the three British gunboats returned and lobbed 18-pound balls of iron into Newport, doing little physical damage but rattling the Hunter raiders’ nerves. Both sides traded shots at each other, more to stifle boredom than for military value.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Windmill Battle: 6. Trapped Raiders Get Message to General Birge

As the first attack on the windmill petered out on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 13, 1838, snow began to fall, soon shrouding the unclaimed bodies in the no-mans-land of the battlefield. As night approached, Hunter Colonel Nils von Schoultz made two attempts to get a message to General John Birge on the American side of the river.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Windmill Battle: 5. Hunters Trapped and Besieged

The Hunter raiders trapped on a wedge of Upper Canada woke in the cool, bright dawn of Tuesday, November 13, 1838, to see three armed British steamers moving into firing position on the misty St. Lawrence.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Windmill Battle: 4. Small British Gunboat Stymies Hunter Invasion

While Colonel Nils von Schoultz unloaded raiders and munitions from the Charlotte of Toronto at the windmill mid-morning, November 12, 1838, the other Hunter schooner remained stuck in the mud. It held the bulk of their supplies, including several large cannon. General John Birge, in his only meaningful involvement of the battle, attempted to free the grounded ship.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Windmill Battle: 3. Hunters Land and Dig In to Fight

After Colonel Nils von Schoultz ordered the two schooners being towed by the steamer United States cut loose early on November 11, 1838, they sailed downstream under a sliver of moon. Guided by just the loom of the shoreline, the helmsmen sought the lamplights of Prescott, Upper Canada, the predetermined target of the Hunter invasion.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Windmill Battle: 2. Hunter Army Moves Out

In early November, Hunter General John Ward Birge put the word out for the Hunter fighters to assemble for war at various towns along eastern Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands. He timed this to coincide with a state election so that crowds of strangers on the move might look less suspicious.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Windmill Battle: 1. Hunter Army Prepares

While top Hunter commanders Lucius Bierce and Donald McLeod cautiously plotted raids on Upper Canada, an independent Hunter army began to assemble in northeastern New York in the autumn of 1838. Under the command of John Ward Birge, the army boasted a stunning amount of cannon and modern rifles, and thousands of volunteer recruits.