Strange Fatality

Strange Fatality

The Battle of Stoney Creek, 1813

Book - 2009
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On a spring morning in 1813 the largest amphibious force in American history to that point -- 6,000 troops aboard 140 vessels -- stormed ashore near the mouth of the Niagara River, routed the British garrison and captured Fort George. It was a textbook operation by determined amateurs, the second consecutive American victory and a promising sign that events of 1813 would redress the military calamities of 1812. The badly mauled British army, short of provisions and ammunition, reeled westward, its leadership uncertain where the retreat would end. Having conquered the past and present capitals of Upper Canada, the American forces were poised to deliver the body blow the War Hawks in Congress had dreamed of when they predicted a four-week war to subdue the upper province. The fate of Upper Canada hung in the balance. Ten days later, in a field near the hamlet of Stoney Creek, the promise of that triumph was smashed in a terrifying night action, the outcome of which hinged on a single bayonet charge that carried the American artillery and decapitated the invading army. Little known or appreciated, even by Canadians, Stoney Creek was one of the most decisive reversals of military fortune in the War of 1812 and in no small measure determined the fate of the colony that would become Ontario. James Elliott has compellingly reconstructed one of the least understood actions of the War of 1812. From the rise to brigadier of blacksmith John Chandler, to the Highland heroics of Alexander Fraser, "Strange Fatality" explores the dynamics of a night battle that stemmed the invasion, cost two generals their freedom and unseated the highest-ranking soldier in the American army.
Publisher: [Montréal] : Robin Brass Studio, 2009.
ISBN: 9781896941585
Branch Call Number: 971.034 E46
Characteristics: viii, 311 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.


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Feb 15, 2018

This is a well written historical account of the Battle of Stoney Creek during the War of 1812. The writing flows as does the story, which, in my opinion, makes the book a good read. If you like military history or you are a local history buff this book is for you. If of the first the appendixes about the building of the monuments might not interest you. But the battle is described with extensive quotes from eye witness accounts from both sides of the war. Controversies are hammered out to their fullest except as to why the British officers began to yell during a silent surprise attack. The battle is put into context in relation to the war, Niagara campaign, and even historical events of 1813. Pictures and maps from various sources help one to imagine the battle. Living nearby the battle site I had many assumptions about the battle and the book put those to rest. This book is probably the definitive tome on the battle. I recommend it.

Jul 23, 2012

Interesting local history readings. It reconstructed the historical events realistically and tastefully. Not as dry as some of the history books either.

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