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Re: [WarOf1812] :Fort Niagara assault: 100th, "Niagara Battery" & a horse

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  • ray hobbs
    Just a footnote to Jim s excellent questions - the stuff of what history and historical research is made. I have the returns in the Head of the Lake region for
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 26, 2004
      Just a footnote to Jim's excellent questions - the stuff of what
      history and historical research is made.
      I have the returns in the Head of the Lake region for 1st (Royal
      Scots), the 8th, the 41st and the 100th from October through December
      1813. Here are the figures:

      October 1813
      Ancaster - 180 of the 41st (1st Bn) - survivors of Moraviantown
      Barton - 389 of the 41st (2nd Bn)
      Barton - 692 of the 8th (KING's)
      Burlington Heights - 1131 of the 1st
      St. Davids - 433 PLD and CLD

      November 1813
      Ancaster - none
      Barton - 178 of the 41st (1st Bn)
      Barton - 379 of the 41st (2nd Bn)
      Burlington Hts - 1093 of the 1st
      Stoney Creek - 515 of the 100th

      December 1813
      Ancaster - none
      Barton - 557 of the combined 41st
      Burlington Hts - 1070 of the 1st
      Ft. Niagara - 304 of the 100th.

      In January 1814 the 100th were withdrawn again to Barton, but by April
      549 of them were back garrisoning Ft. Niagara.

      Source NAC WO17/1517

      It seems that out of such a large force - over 1600 men - the numbers
      used to attack Ft. Niagara were very small. One should also be aware
      that in October 1813 almost 2500 Native warriors were billeted in and
      around Dundas. The reasons for the size could be many and varied. It is
      clear that the British Command dithered a lot in the Niagara region at
      this time. They were also continually afraid of an advance from the
      West on Burlington Heights. the Brits also complained that they could
      not get enough boats from the Head of the Lake to be used in the attack.

      Two cent's worth (or perhaps a little more!)
      Ray Hobbs
      CO 41st Regt.
      Barton (Hamilton), UC

      PS: I do have the eye-witness account of the attack on the fort,
      written by George Ferguson of the 100th Regiment, which I will post to
      the list soon. [RH]

      On Friday, November 26, 2004, at 12:17 PM, yawors1@... wrote:

      > I was reading Richard Feltoe's excellent posting on the British
      > capture of
      > Fort Niagara, December 13.� I noticed the 100th Regiment's strength,
      > with 9
      > companies listed, adds up to 352 R & F.� This captured my attention
      > because
      > it seemed a very low number.
      > With 12 RA, 90 men from the 1st, and 88 from the 41st, I get a total
      > of 542
      > Rank & File - the return says 560.� I'm wondering if there was a typo
      > in
      > the strengths?
      > However, even adding the "missing" 18 men to the 100th only gives them
      > 370
      > R & F.� With nine companies present, this would mean an average of 41
      > men
      > per company.
      > Five companies in the "first column" are listed as having only 175 R &
      > F -
      > an average of 35 men per company. If the 20 men from the Forlorn Hope
      > are
      > added to the 5 companies of "first column", the average goes up to
      > roughly
      > 40 men per company.� The Grens are listed as having 40 men.� The 3
      > companies in the "second column" have 135 men, or� roughly 43 men per
      > company.
      > So, I guess I'm asking if the above analysis seems correct.
      > Also, do we know where the 10th company was?
      > Assuming 9 companies and 370 R & F, and assuming the 10th company was
      > roughly the same strength, it is apparent that the 100th were a fairly
      > weak
      > regiment (410 men?) in December 1813.� It is interesting to note how
      > the
      > strengths of the companies of the Regiment might have been "equalized"
      > for
      > the purposes of the attack.
      > The flank companies of the 41st were at approximately the same
      > strength, as
      > well - roughly 44 men per company.
      > Then, there is the Royals Gren company at twice this strength - 90 men.
      > Assuming this carried through the entire regiment, would it be
      > reasonable
      > to infer that the Royals were therefore twice as strong in manpower as
      > the
      > 100th in mid-December, 1813?
      > Note that the 41st at this time was still reorganizing after
      > Moraviantown
      > and trying to integrate survivors of its 1st battalion and the
      > relatively
      > new arrivals of the 2nd battalion in to one unit.� It is therefore a
      > special case and the assumptions I'm making about the 100th and 1st�
      > would
      > not be valid for it.�� But are the assumptions valid for the 100th and
      > 1st,
      > or is each in its own individual situation, a 'special case' too?
      > After reading over the above, which for a reason which now has
      > completely
      > escaped me somehow seemed quite profound to me as I was composing it, I
      > guess my last question is, who cares?��� ;>)��� It is evident that a
      > fairly
      > small British force was favoured with extreme good fortune on the
      > night in
      > question, and I guess that's all that matters in the long run!
      > Another question: why would the "Niagara Battery RA" be named after
      > this
      > action?� 12 gunners were part of the force, I'm speculating their
      > intended
      > role was to turn captured guns on any remaining pockets of American
      > resistance, or spike any guns overrun if it looked like the attack was
      > failing.� It seems from Richard's account of what transpired that
      > neither
      > of these roles had to be undertaken.� It seems the gunners never fired
      > a
      > gun.� Odd.
      > Was this battery at Lundy's Lane?� If so, presumably it fired plenty of
      > rounds, got overrun, etc.��� Mayhaps the "Niagara" date being
      > commemorated
      > should be in July, not December!
      > Jim Yaworsky
      > 1/41st
      > p.s.� I loved the information about Colonel Hamilton's horse!� What a
      > crazy
      > age!
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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