Monday, 8 July 2013

The Battle of Stoney Creek


Two hundred years ago, Stoney Creek was a small village on the shore of Lake Ontario near the Niagara Escarpment. Today it is part of the large city of Hamilton, Ontario. In 1813, invading American forces arrived and established a camp of 3000 soldiers on the farm of James Gage. The American officers commandeered the Gage farmhouse as their headquarters, imprisoning the family in the cellar but not otherwise harming them.

Shortly thereafter on the night of June 5-6, 1813 under cover of darkness, 700 British troops who were stationed nearby launched a surprise attack. They had strict orders not to fire any muskets but to use only their bayonets when silently ambushing the American camp.


The British soldiers were accompanied by members of the local militia comprised of area farmers and merchants.


Iroquois warriors were there as well, led by Mohawk Major John Norton.


The silent ambush plan didn't really work out. Musket fire and native war cries soon filled the air and the battle was on! In the darkness, the fighting was fierce and confused. The Americans mistakenly thought they were outnumbered. Due to a couple of crucial American tactical mistakes, the British were able to capture their two senior officers. In 45 minutes it was all over and the Americans surrendered. While darkness remained, the British forces quickly dispersed back into the woods so the defeated Americans wouldn't learn how few in number they actually were.

Once again, Upper Canada was saved. And once again, may I say: Huzzah!


My Rare One and I took these photos at the Bicentennial Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek held in Hamilton on the weekend of June 1-2, 2013. We enjoyed the Re-enactment tremendously. The re-enactors are unpaid history enthusiasts who come from all over Ontario and the USA. They pay for their own uniforms, equipment and travel costs. Many set up camp at Battlefield Park and live there all weekend in an authentic period manner without cell phones, electricity or any other modern conveniences. Re-enactors talk the talk and walk the walk!

27 comments:

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Huzzah is right!

Sounds like a great time! Love the images.

I've never attended a re-enactment, but I hope to at some point.

DEZMOND said...

Huzzah indeed!

Anne said...

I do like those re-enactments. Keeping the history intact and non-revisionist is important.

And yes indeedy doo-here's another Huzzah!!

Jenn said...

Chiming in with another Huzzah!

I grew up less than half an hour from Stoney Creek and had no idea about the occupation at the Gage farm...great story :)

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Jenn's Random Scraps

SUZY8-TRACK said...

Great story! You really have to appreciate the re-enactors for preserving history that way. I love that they really take it seriously and live in the period.

Adam said...

wow poor militia guys. Never as fashionable as the red soldiers.

Cheryl said...

While I can't give a heartfelt Huzzah...the Americans screwed up after all but I think the reenactment would be super interesting to watch. I have never been to one.

heartinhand said...

I'll throw in a Huzzah and raise you a Bazinga! Silly Americans! (I say that with love.)

turquoisemoon said...

I love reenactments!!! Fun! enjoy your "huzzah"...hahaha!!!

Deborah said...

I had no idea! So sorry! You are a fountain of information.

lovelovelove
Deb

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i wonder if the canadian re-enactors are as crazed as the gettysburg ones are. they take this stuff very seriously!

Lois said...

I remember walking by the park one year and being so impressed and envious of the re-enactors! I could so get into that but Husband... not so much. Lol.

Leeanna Henderson said...

Wow! that is soooo cool! Damn, I love history lessons.

Laurent said...

Wonderful story.

A Beer For The Shower said...

That looks like a blast (pun possibly intended). I've always wanted to attend a re-enactment. Those guys really get into it.

JACKIESUE said...

I bet not one american citizen knows about any of these battles in Canad where we got our asses kicked..I fecking love it.

mxtodis123 said...

I love these history lessons. I know so little about Canadian history.
Mary

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

Great post - thanks for the history lesson Deb.

I'll raise a little Huzzah for you over here.

mrsduncanmahogany said...

That would have been something to see! I love re-enactments and huzzah indeed!!

Riot Kitty said...

You talk about enthusiasts! Now mind you, if this had been an episode of Midsomer Murders, someone would have gotten killed.

Magic Love Crow said...

I love the pictures and I love the history!!!

Hindustanka said...

It must have been really spectacular to watch the enacted battle! Thanks for sharing your history with us :)

DWei said...

As awesome as this battle was, it scary to think of how easily it could have been lost.

How tragic would that have been if they didn't have the night advantage?

laughingwolf said...

neat, just down the road from me :)

The Happy Whisk said...

I've never been to one of these but I have friend who goes and she loves it.

Do you guys get to eat afterward or anything?

Snap said...

Huzzah!

Francie M said...

Great photos! I think these re-enactors have the best hobby in the world!