26960Re: REPLY: [WarOf1812] "Why doesn't someone re-enact the '37 Rebellion?"
- Dec 7, 2005
> Oooo...I've always wanted to get all the 93rd there for theWindmill so we
> could basically march down the road, and then see the rebels comingout to
> surrender.With all due respect, there was a bit more to it than that.
> Now THAT'S fun!
> 93rd SHRoFLHU
> THE Thin Red Line
The Battle of the Windmill
This windmill structure was constructed in the 1830's as a grist mill
for grinding grain. In November of 1838, it was the site of the
Battle of the Windmill, fought between approximately 200 insurgents
from the United States sympathetic to the 1837 Rebellions in Canada
and local militia and British soldiers.
The New York Hunters, led by "General" John Ward Birge, assembled at
the Lake Ontario port of Sacket's Harbour for an attack on Fort
Wellington, Prescott. The British had been alerted to their
activities and the reconstruction of Fort Wellington was authorized.
On November 12th, two schooners approached Prescott with the
Americans. They attempted to land at Prescott Wharf. However, the
customs inspector, Alpheus Jones, sounded the alarm. The two
schooners took off and one ran aground at Windmill Point. With the
defection of General Birge who claimed sickness and retired to the
American shore with 100 men, command now fell to Nils Von Schoultz, a
Swedish-Pole, 31 years of age. He envisaged a quick victory but he
would soon find out differently for he had stumbled into a hotbed of
Loyalism. He could not have found a more unfriendly population.
Schoultz thought the mill, with its height of 80 feet, would be a
great place for sniper activity and with its thick stone walls, it
would be a veritable fortress.
Two hundred invaders took refuge in the mill and in the surrounding
stone houses. The mill was a terribly uncomfortable place and they
ran out of supplies. The escape routes and supply routes on the
river side were blocked by British gun boats and a land attack was
launched against them by British regulars and militia on November
The first outside help was from Lt. Col. Gowan and his two companies
of "Royal Borderers" from Brockville, who appeared about noon.
Eventually, 2000 regulars and militia were amassed under the command
of Colonel Young . They launched a direct frontal assault on the
American position but were beaten back after sustaining heavy
casualties, especially from the sharp shooters Von Schultz had placed
in the high windmill tower. Von Schoultz and his men were finally
pushed back under relentless pressure from the British forces on
land. After 4 days of fighting, running short of food and water, with
no medical supplies and stunned by the hospitality of the population,
the invaders were compelled to surrender on the evening of November
Prisoners were taken to Kingston where a lawyer, John A. Mac Donald,
was counsel to them. Von Schoultz was hanged at Fort Henry. The
British captured 159 prisoners of whom 11 were executed, 3 died of
wounds and 60 were convicted and sent to Australia. The remainder
who were mere boys, only 15 to 18 years of age, were given their
release papers by John MacDonald and sent home to the United States.
In all, 48 men were killed and 89 wounded in a vicious battle that
helped pave the way to Confederation.
This mill was converted into a lighthouse in the 1870's.
This site was opened in 1996 and today it is operated, on behalf of
Parks Canada, by the Friends of Windmill Point who have just had a
fantastic book written, called Guns Across the River (The Battle of
the Windmill, 1838) by Donald E. Graves. In this book are
approximately 2000 names of everyone who fought in the Battle of the
Anyone interested in this book, or would like further information,
please call 613-925-2896 or write to The Friends of Windmill Point,
P.O. Box 479, Prescott, ON, K0E 1T0.
Parks Canada Pamphlet-The Battle of the Windmill
The Battle of the Windmill-K. F. Scott
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