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222 MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

 

Point, below Prescott, where they took possession of a lofty stone windmill, and threw up intrenchments. They were attacked during the morning by a force of militia with a small detachment of regulars. Armed steamboats joined in the assault from the river. The "Patriots" were surrounded and driven into the mill, which they defended with determination. The siege was maintained until the 15th, when two 18-pounders and a howitzer were brought down from Kingston. Even these could make no impression on the solid walls of the windmill, but the "Patriots" by this time realized the hopelessness of their position and hung out a white flag. Eighty-six prisoners were secured, with sixteen wounded. A few escaped but were later captured, including the commander of the raid, General Von Shoultz. During the three days' engagement 102 of the invaders were killed and 162 taken prisoners. The militia lost thirteen killed and a number wounded.

It would be difficult to overestimate the value of the services performed by the Canadian militia throughout the campaigns of 1837 and 1838 in Upper Canada, but particularly in the upper province in 1838. The protection of an extremely long and(exposed frontier devolved almost entirely upon the militia, and nothing could exceed the unselfishness with which they sacrificed all private interests to the public welfare, or the pluck and resourcefulness they showed in meeting every emergency. Major Bonnycastle, who was probably as well qualified as anyone to speak on the military side of the events of 1837 and 1838, wrote: "I am proud of the Canadian militia. . . . England need not fear for the safety of her Canadian possessions whilst 80,000 equally loyal, equally ready, and equally steady soldiers, are the children of the Upper Canadian soil."


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