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130 MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

 

this moment Brock, conspicuous by his height, dress, and bearing, fell mortally wounded. His men, bearing the body of their beloved commander with them, retreated to the protection of the village. About two hours later Colonel John Macdonell, the Attorney-General of Upper Canada, with 200 men of the 49th and York militia, at-tempted to drive Wool from the heights. But after once more recapturing the gun and driving the Americans to the very edge of the precipice the British were forced to retreat to Queenston. In this attack Macdonell received a mortal wound. The Americans meanwhile believed themselves victorious and paused for reinforcements before finishing off the British.

General Sheaffe, who commanded at Fort George, had, under instructions from General Brock, got his men together on the first alarm, and hurried towards the scene of battle. He took the road from Newark to St. David's, which enabled him to reach the Heights about two miles west of Queenston. On the way, he was reinforced by a body of Indians under Chiefs Norton and Brant the younger, and about 200 militia from Chippawa, making the whole about 800 men. By about 3 p.m. the invaders were surrounded, their backs to the river, Queens-ton with its defenders on their right, and Sheaffe on their front and left flank. Gradually the semicircle of the British force shortened and thickened. Gradually the enemy were beaten back to the edge of the precipice, their ranks thinned by a murderous fire. Of the survivors, some scrambled down by the path they had ascended, many fell from the cliff and were dashed to pieces, and others were drowned in attempting to swim to the American shore. There was no course left but to yield, and Major-General Wadsworth, who was now in charge on the Canadian shore, surrendered unconditionally, with the force under his command. About 400 of the enemy were taken prisoners on the Heights, and about 600 at other points along the river, while their loss by bullet, bayonet, and drowning had been about 300 men.


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