Coffin Star

Coffin Star

Hosted by Southwest Middlesex, 3577 Longwoods Road,  Glencoe, ON.  Sponsored by Communities in Bloom Southwest Middlesex.  Painted by the Glencoe District Lions Club

We could hear the popping on the evening of March 4.  The time dragged on.  It was hard to bear.  After 90 minutes, it was a long skirmish.  It was worse than I imagined.   After dark, the British came out the losers, but the Americans were cold, worn out, and they marched back  to Detroit.  The Americans feared the British would regroup and attack again.

There was no grave for the dead. The bodies were gathered up after the snow melted and burned in a funeral pyre.[i] .  I don’t understand the rules of war.  Both sides kill and maim each other but they won’t take each others’ shoes!  Many of the Kentucky men were shoeless but the American Captain, Holmes, would not allow them to take shoes from the dead British.

Five Americans were killed and at least 3 wounded.  We understand they buried their four soldiers within the Abattis, the huge fort of branches they built for protection. The majority of the British were killed in the ravine or the slope of the hill.  The British lost almost twenty dead, 11 Royal Scots, four from the 89th , 1 militiaman, and five more men who later died of their wounds.   Fifty-two men wounded, and two men captured.   Capt. David Johnstone of the Royals and Lt. Patrick Graeme of the 89th were killed in action. Johnstone (mistaken by Capt. Holmes as Capt Basden) almost reached the front of the American abattis before being killed.


As the story might have been told by Mrs. Margaret Ward.  It is likely that the Americans would have marched by her home.

Source: [i] Glenn Stott, historian, re-enactor, and member of the Upper Thames Military Re-enactment Society


Written by Mary Simpson

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