Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The War of 1812 . . . Year Two, Part 9B . . . a lunatic asylum, a ginkgo, and Forged Peace

O.K. bla, bla, bla . . . this will be the last entry for this previous summer's War of 1812 trip to Canada completed by the Kingdom of Fife Time Travelers History Club©. But don't fret, for soon we shall post more typical tourist-like photos from Canada . . . like pictures of a big-ass waterfall, and a big-ass house, and maybe some smaller-ass things.
Fort Maulden National Historic Site, Amherstburg, Ontario . . . situated along the Detroit River. The site includes "a restored 1819 barracks building, 1840-period earthworks and 3 other buildings." It was originally named Fort Amherstburg when built in 1796. A primary reason for the location of the fort was to protect the Amherstburg Navy Yard (see below in a few pictures).

It was here that Brock and Tecumseh first met to plan the attack on Hull at Detroit. However, after the loss of the Battle of Lake Erie, the British-Canadian forces were compelled to abandon the post, but not before destroying it. US forces occupied it for the remainder of the war.

Unfortunately, the museum and barrack at Fort Malden (seen above) was closed due to restoration. The interpreters at Fort Malden portrayed Caldwell's Western Rangers (see below in a few pictures). They were a small unit who would fight along with native allies. Apparently, many wore Indian accessories.

In the mid-1900's the fort's grounds were converted into a "lunatic asylum" . . . Maybe a bit apropos for a military installation? As you may note from the picture above, there was this somewhat mentally deranged individual who ran amok whilst we visited. Many of the large trees on the property were planted by the patients. The doctor of the asylum planted a ginkgo back around 1858-59.  Needless to say, it is a big-ass ginkgo.

These next few markers are all located on the Amherstburg waterfront in the King's Navy Yard Park. The signage (pertinent to the War of 1812) on this multi-plaqued monument reads:
Amherstburg Navy Yard Plaque 
A Navy Yard was built here in 1796 to replace Detroit as the base and supply depot for the Provincial Marine on Lakes Erie and Huron. In 1812 the GENERAL HUNTER and QUEEN CHARLOTTE, built here, took part in the capture of Detroit. The next year, his supply lines cut, Robert Barclay's poorly equipped fleet, including the DETROIT, was defeated by Oliver Perry, U.S.N., in the battle of Lake Erie. This reverse led the British to burn the Navy Yard on 22 September, 1813, before withdrawing from Amherstburg.
Pro Patria Plaque 
In memory of Captain R.A. Finnis, Lieutenant John Garland and seamen of the Royal Navy and Provincial Marine and Lieutenant John Garden and soldiers of the Royal Newfoundland and 41st Regiments, who were killed in action, and their comrades who served on these lakes in defence of Canada in 1812-1814.
There is also a map detailing the Battle of Lake Erie.

Statue of Naval Gunners . . .

Forged Peace sculpture in Navy Yard Park . . . the best I can remember the three rifles represent the British (along with Canadians), Native Americans, and the US.  The rifles become entwined near the top -- which, in turn, morphs into flowers.  Sounds dopey, but we thought it was kinda neat.

Lieutenant-Colonel William Caldwell . . . this marker is also located in Amherstburg, but away from the others.
Born about 1750 in Fermanagh County, Ireland, Caldwell emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1773. During the American Revolution he served with the British forces as a captain in Butler's Rangers at Niagara and Detroit. In 1784 he obtained land near the mouth of the Detroit River and became one of this area's earliest settlers. Caldwell's exceptional influence with the local Indians enabled him to obtain control of some 4450 additional hectares on the north shore of Lake Erie where he encouraged former Loyalist soldiers to settle. In 1812 he commanded the Western Rangers in actions at Miami (Ohio) and the Longwoods and, after his appointment as a Deputy-Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1814, he led Indian forces at the battles of Chippawa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie.
 Skirmishes at the Canard River, July 12, 1812 . . . plaque reads:
In the War of 1812, the first engagement in Canada involving British and American forces in significant numbers occurred here on the Canard River. On July 12, 1812, Brigadier-General William Hull invaded Canada and encamped near Sandwich. British commander, T.B. St. George, consolidated his forces consisting of regulars of the 41st Regiment, Indians, and Canadian militia at Fort Malden, south of the Canard and stationed at picquet at the bridge. This outpost was attacked on July 16th by Colonel Louis Cass and about 280 enemy troops. After a brief stand, the outnumbered British fell back towards the fort. The Americans abandoned the position the following day, but later returned several times to skirmish with the British, who reoccupied the post.
The Capture of Detroit . . . the plaque on the monument reads,
Confident of victory, General Hull had invaded Canada in July 1812, but failed to take advantage of his early success and the demoralization of the defenders. Fear of the Indians then rallying to the British cause and an inability to maintain supply lines dictated Hull's withdrawal to Detroit. In a daring move on 16 August General Brock embarked his troops at McKee's Point, crossed the river and forced the surrender of the Americans. This important victory raised the spirits of the Canadians and ensured the continuing support of their Indian allies. 
Hull's Landing 1812 . . .
On July 12, 1812, Brigadier-General William Hull, commander of the North Western Army of the United States, landed with about 2,000 men near this site. He issued a proclamation stating that he came here to liberate Canada from oppression. The British garrison at Amherstburg was too weak to oppose the invasion, but it later fought several skirmishes at the River Canard. On July 26, British reinforcements under Colonel Henry Proctor arrived and, on August 7-8, Hull withdrew to Detroit, leaving a small garrison near Sandwich which retired on August 11, at the approach of Major-General Isaac Brock.

The Battle of Windsor 1838 . . .
Early on December 4, 1838 a force of about 140 American and Canadian supporters of William Lyon MacKenzie crossed the river from Detroit and landed about 1.6 km east of here. After capturing and burning a nearby militia barracks, they took possession of Windsor. In this vicinity they were met and routed by a force of some 130 militiamen commanded by Colonel John Prince. Five of the invaders taken prisoner were executed summarily by order of Colonel Prince. This action caused violent controversy in both Canada and the United States. The remaining captives were tried and sentenced at London, Upper Canada. Six were executed, eighteen transported to a penal colony in Tasmania, and sixteen deported.
This marker is located at the Francois Baby House (the house in the background). Unfortunately it was closed, so we could not go inside.  The plaque for the home states:
This house and adjacent farmland were the property of François Baby (1763-1856), first member for Kent in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada (1792-96), militia officer and Assistant Quarter Master General during the War of 1812. When the Americans invaded Canada in July 1812, Brigadier General William Hull set up his headquarters in François Baby's house and camped his troops on the farm. After Hull's withdrawal, British guns mounted here covered Isaac Brock's advance across the river to capture Detroit on 16 August 1812. 

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