October 13th was the 200 anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights, first major British and Canadian victory in the War of 1812. Lose Queenston and you lose Canada…..it was just that simple! Since one of my ancestors actually fought in it, I thought the least I could do was travel down for the re-enactment. What a blast!!! Literally hundreds of re-enactors and thousands of spectators for what will probably be the largest re-enactment of the entire two year celebration and commemoration of the War.
VIEW OF NIAGARA RIVER FROM THE HEIGHTS
To channel Churchill, “Never in the history of Canadian conflict, has so much been owed by so many to so few!”
BRITISH SIX POUNDER CANNON
“GRASSHOPPER”, BRITISH THREE POUNDER CANNON
It was Captain Alexander Hamilton of the Niagara Light Dragoons who installed a makeshift battery of two Grasshopper cannons in the garden of his parents residence overlooking the river at Queenston that stopped the American invasion in its tracks.
RAISING OF THE NIAGARA LIGHT DRAGOONS
Theatre buffs at the Court House Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake can find this memorial located on the lower right front of the building.
THE GREAT JOHN NORTON
Half Cherokee, half Scots, John Norton was raised in Scotland. After his arrival in Canada, he became a Mohawk chief and led the Six Nations warriors during the battle of Queenston Heights.
LINCOLN MILITIA ARTILLERYMAN JOHN BUTLER
In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, Lt. Col. John Butler of legendary Butler’s Rangers fame, raised a local militia for the defence of his fledgling Butlerburg (now Niagara-on-the-Lake). This was the antecedent of the proud Lincoln Militia.
WARRIORS OF THE FUTURE MEET WARRIORS OF THE PAST
For one of the best video summaries of the days events, check out this link
FOG OF BATTLE
The Americans come under deadly fire. (Crowd response: “Yeah!”)
For a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen in the closing ceremonies, check out the link below to my video.
For those of you in need of a good laugh and with some time to spare, check out my oral presentation on the links below.
PART 1 http://youtu.be/nzDDl1uM1Ls
PART 2 http://youtu.be/HOvJzBs3WMU
GRAVE OF WILLIAM WINTERMUTE (1795-1871), SHERKSTON, ONTARIO
Trooper William Wintermute was my great-great-great grandfather and was enrolled in the Niagara Light Dragoons (a militia cavalry unit used primarly as despatch riders). During the War of 1812, militiamen normally signed up for 6 month tours of duty. Many years after the war, Captain Alexander Hamilton and Major Thomas Merritt of the Dragoons signed off on William’s service from June to December of 1812 as attestation for his veteran’s land grant application.
At the time of the Battle of Queenston Heights he would have been 17 years old. 25 years later he would be promoted to Ensign in the 5th Lincoln Militia for his role in suppressing the 1837 rebellion (and temporarily capturing its leader, William Lyon McKenzie!).