Lundy's Lane Historical Society.

The centenary celebration of the battle of Lundy's Lane, July twenty-fifth, nineteen hundred and fourteen online

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tunity of appeal to the personal clement in history. They
can make each individual of the community in which they
are located feel that he or she is not only connected with
the history of the district through ancestors who have been
instrumental in settling their particular part of the country,



but they can be made to feel that they are making the his-
tory of the present day. And when you appeal to the per-
sonal side of the average human being and show him that
the old plough which his father used but which was long
ago discarded, is the only one of the kind known to exist
in the district and that it, with a card attached bearing his
name as donor, would make a valuable addition to the col-
lection of historical objects in the local museum; or show
his wife that the old dress with the bustle on it which she
wore as a bride not many years ago, is as important to
illustrate the true history as a military commission issued
by Sir Isaac Brock to some person's great grandfather, you
have those people won for life. They will read in the
county papers of those additions to the local collection with
great pride and will always attend the historical meetings
because they are a part of the history. They will talk about
it with the neighbors and will be agents for the collection
of material for your museum for ever after.

That, I believe, is one of the greatest methods of teach-
ing our history and future generations will thank us for
the foresight which prompted us to preserve our present-
day history in such an attractive manner.

There are many other sides of this question which
might be referred to, but a number of speakers are to fol-
low and 1 must not take up too much of your time. It is
good to be here to-day. We owe a lot to our Government,
which, I understand, has made this celebration possible.
We should be thankful to our American guests because
they have come to us in a spirit of peaceful fellowship
w^hich is bound to make these two great countries friends
for all time. Let me assure our neighbors that there is a
genuine, deep-rooted, good feeling for them and their
country in the hearts of all intelligent Canadians. Both
countries have a few who like to make believe that they
are enemies, but they make a poor showing when the real
pulse of the two countries is tested. No better example of
this great friendship could possibly have been given than


the wonderful display of affection shown in the reception
accorded to the Hon. Wm. H. Taft by an audience com-
posed of the learned men of Toronto which packed Con-
vocation Hall at the University on January 27th last. His
acceptance of the University's invitation to deliver the first
of the Marfleet lectures was a happy ending of the visit.
We are loyal Canadians, and as such we are proud of the
record made by our pioneers during the War of 1812, and
we know that after a century of peace the power of the
United States, though silent and reserved, will always be
a menace to our enemies.

Finally, w^e ow^e special thanks to Mr. Geary, the Presi-
dent of the Lundy's Lane Historical Society, and his helpers
for the tremendous amount of work they have done to
honor the memory of the American and British soldiers
who lost their hves on this battlefield, to give the school
children an impression of the true spirit of friendship for
their American cousins, combined with a feeling of pride
that they have been born in fair Canada, and to give us all
a good time.

Presentation of Medals to Distinguished

The presentation of Commemorative Silver Medals to
distinguished guests was made by Mr. R. W. Geary, Presi-
dent of Lundy's Lane Historical Society.

Miss Janet Carnochan's Sonnet.

Miss Janet Carnochan, President of Niagara Historical
Society, read the following sonnet, written by her for this
occasion :

Battle of Lundy's Lane— 25th July, 1814
Upon tills liill we come to celebrate
That fateful day a century ago.
How saved our heritage with forceful blow
We meet to tell the tale, but not in hate.


We meet their loyal names to consecrate
Who fought and fell, shall we forget? Oh no,
But high emblaze their names and proudly show
How nobly stood our sires in dangers great,
To tell the inspiring tale that so we too
May meet our hiU of difficulties well.
For we have problems hard to solve today
And enemies of greed and gold not few.
Heaven grant us grace their forces to repel
And at the call of duty straight obey.

Address of Mr. Frank H. Severance

Of Buffalo, N.Y.

Mr. Frank H. Severance, Secretary of the Buffalo His-
torical Society, Buffalo, N. Y., spoke as follows:

The Battle of Lundy's Lane was not only one of the
world's greatest battles, but it was one of the longest. It
has been continually fought for 100 years. Marathon and
Thermopylae, Hastings and Waterloo came to a definite
end, and history is in no uncertainty as to the result. From
the Plains of Abraham to the battlefields of South Africa
British arms have won decisive victories. So they did here,
if you read British history; if you read Canadian history.
If you read some American records of it the decision is
reversed. This battle has waged in the books for 100 years.

I assume that today an armistice is proclaimed, when
we can put aside the ancient disputes and meet in amity
and fraternity. Tomorrow, if you insist, the merry war
can be resumed for another century.

In my judgment a great deal of nonsense is talked
about peace. It is very academic to assert that war is
horrible, exhausts a country, puts off prosperity and delays
development. It is a bit inaccurate to assert that Great
Britain and the United States now are on a full century


of unbroken peace, — we do not promote a cordial and
happy future by misrepresenting the past. Today is bet-
ter than yesterday — all the yesterdays of a hundred years.
God grant that the time may never come when I —
when any citizen of my country — may not visit this hal-
lowed spot with the same assurance of friendly welcome
that you extend to us today and with clean appreciation of
the principles for which this hill was defended.

Address of Chief Hill of the Six Nations
Chief Hill, who w^as one of the twelve Indian Chiefs
that attended the celebration as guests of the Society, and
wliose presence was an important feature in the observ-
ances of the day, briefly addressed tlie gathering, pointing
out that only a month ago they had been the guests of the
United Empire Loyalists at Thorold. They were glad to be
here to-day at this celebration of 100 years of peace, and
glad also on account of the fact that their forefathers had
given assistance to the British Arms. The men of the Six
Nations were not savages, but a self-supporting community.
Sometimes they envied their neighbors in the Reserves who
were under no expense, while here they were under laws
which were against the Indian. He asked all to use their
influence with those in power, and to regard them as
brothers who had shared in the defence of Canada. He
was sorry to bring up their grievances at this time, but
they had no other opportunity. In conclusion, he thanked
the Committee kindly for the honor paid the Six Nations
in being asked to send delegates.

Major Gordon J. Smith, Supt. Six Nations.

An address by Supt. Smith of the Six Nations Indians,
entitled "The Battle of Lundy's Lane," was next presented.
Major Smith's address was as follows:

The war between Canada and the United States had



now been going on for two years and Canada was not yet

The United States, believing that this object could be
accomplished by an invasion in force at the Niagara fron-
tier, ordered Major-General Brown to mobilize a force at
Buffalo; so early in 1814 we find him enlisting and drilling
troops at that place.

General Sir Gordon Drummond had command on the
Canadian side. Forts George and Mississauga on the left
bank and Fort Niagara on the right banlc of the Niagara,
Fort Erie and Burlington Heights were all garrisoned by
British regulars.

The invasion took place near Fort Erie on 3rd July,
1814, and as the fort was but recently occupied and inade-
quately garrisoned, it easily fell before the invaders. From
tb<ire the invaders marched northwards until they reached
Street's Creek — now known as Ussher's Creek — where they
received such a severe check that they began to realize
that their task would be a heavy one. The Americans,
however, continued their advance, and took possession of
Queenston Heights, where, after a short stay, they returned
to Chippawa, where we find them on July 25th under
command of General Brown.

Having received information that Gen. Brown had
abandoned Queenston and retired to Chippawa, Gen. Riall,
in command at Twelve Mile Creek, marched with Col.
Pearson's Brigade and some artillery, consisting of two
24-pounders and a howitzer, 825 of all ranks, for Lundy's
Lane, where he took up his position on the north side near
its junction with the Queenston Road.

Riall showed good strategy in his choice of position.
The road junction commanded the main highways between
Queenston and Chippawa, and between Twelve Mile Creek
and the Niagara River.

There is also a hill rising abruptly towards the east
and north and gradually sloping towards the south and
west. About one hundred yards west of the road junction


stood a low frame Presbyterian Church, painted red, situ-
ated on the highest point of the hill. Beside the church
was a small graveyard enclosed by a rough fence. Both
sides of Lundy's Lane were bordered by apple, cherry and
peach trees.

The slope from the graveyard southerly w^as covered
by a young orchard, and beyond were cultivated fields and
meadows, while thick woods less than half a mile away
bordered each side of the road down to the Niagara River.

At daybreak on the 25th General Drummond at Niagara
learned that Brown had retired to Chippawa and that
Riall had taken up a position in force at Lundy's Lane,
which would effectually prevent the enemy marching on
Burlington Heights.

He therefore ordered Col. Morrison to march to
Queenston to be in readiness to assist Riall and Col. Tucker
with his brigade and some Indians to march up the eastern
bank of the Niagara to capture and take possession of
Lewiston. The Americans had, however, abandoned the
fort before Tucker arrived, so he crossed the river to
Queenston and rested. The 41st and 100th were sent back
to the forts at Niagara and the remainder united with
Morrison's force, marched south to join Riall, and reached
Lundy's Lane after a 14-mile march, with little rest or
refreshment, and just in time to assist Riall, whose com-
mand was entirely inadequate to resist the enemy advance,
which began about 6 o'clock in the evening. The total
British force at the commencement of the battle was 1,640.

This force was distributed in the form of a semi-
circle of about a mile, extending from a point about 200
yards from the edge of the Niagara gorge westerly. Two
field guns were placed in the graveyard and supported by
the 8th King's Regiment and the 89th in the rear; on the
right were the 1st Royal Scotts and the Six Nations Indians;
on the left were Canadian Militia and tlie 8th Battalion,
while one troop of the 19lh Light Dragoons occupied a
])()silion in the rear on the Queenston Road.


The 1st Brigade of the enemy, under Gen. Scott, ad-
vanced about 6 o'clock, and the 9th, 11th and 22nd Regi-
ments deployed to the left of the Queenston Road and the
25th to the right, while two field guns were unUmbered in
the centre of the road. The Glengarries easily held their
position on the left, the centre attack was repelled, but the
25th U. S. made its way around the left flank of the British
between it and the river, suddenly attacked the Incorporated
Militia, threw it into confusion and took over 100 prisoners.
This success of the enemy was followed up by the capture
of the A. D. C. of Gen. Drummond, who was riding to the
rear to bring up the cavalry, and of Gen. Riall, bleeding
from a wound, which subsequently caused the amputation
of an arm. The exultant cheers with which these important
prisoners were received had hardly died away when an
answering cheer arose from the British lines, for a well-
directed shot from the British battery struck an enemy's
ammunition waggon and caused it to explode. This suc-
cess encouraged the gunners, and very quickly the Ameri-
can guns were put out of action. In the meantime the In-
corporated Militia had recovered from their confusion and
rallied in rear of the 89th, covering the flank and rear of
Lundy's Lane.

Scott now ordered a general advance on the British
guns of all his brigade west of the Queenston Road. This
forced the 89th, 8th and Royal Scotts to advance to their
support. The attack was not repelled until after a sharp
struggle in which both sides lost heavily. The loss was par-
ticularly heavy amongst the officers. As a final result the
American force was driven back, one regiment being almost
shattered. The summit where the guns stood being con-
sidered by both sides the key of the position, was naturally
keenly contested for, and the fact that the slope was strewn
with dead showed the stubborness of the fight.

It was now about 9 o'clock, and unless Col. Scott's
Brigade arrived to reinforce the exhausted British — ex-
hausted both from the stress of the fight and the long


march prior to the fight, they could not longer hold the
position against practically the whole United States Army,
lor the reserves had now been brought up.

Just at this time Col. Scott arrived from Twelve Mile
Creek, having marched for nine hours continuously. He
bad 1,200 men under him. He was just in time to take part
in the most desperate part of the fight. Col. Miller, with
four regiments in line, supported by a fifth, led the assault
on the hill. His advance was made under cover of the
clmrch, the churchyard and the orchard. His extreme
right, owing to the darkness and the fact that the British
gunners' attention was more taken up with the centre, was
able to advance with but little opposition, and, after a heavy
volley, rushed forward and gained the summit of the hill.
Several gunners were bayonetted and the guns captured.

But now the hill had to be retaken by the British, and
they did it, but only after one of the bloodiest battles on
record. It was a hand to hand fight, bayonet against
bayonet. Hiding behind stumps, fences, leaping over
graves, clubbing each other with the butts of their muskets,
all mixed up in the darkness in indescribable confusion,
both sides suffered and both sides claimed victory.

By midnight hostilities ceased, and the United States
troops retreated to their camp at Chippawa. The British
remained in possession of the field. Thus ended the most
remarkable battle of the whole war.

Conclusion of the Ceremonies at the
Speakers' Dais.

The chairman, Mr. W. H. Arison, in concluding the
programme, briefly reviewed the proceedings of the cele-
bration, and cordially expressed his thanks on behalf of
the Lundy's Lane Historical Society for the great success
of the day.

The ceremonies were then closed by the singing of the
National Anthem.


Troops Reviewed by the Lieut. -Governor.

After the speaking. Sir John Gibson reviewed the
troops under Lieut.-Col. Fred W. Hill, Commander of the
44th Regiment. The twelve different detachments, under
their own officers, represented every department of Can-
ada's military forces, and included 50 Mounted Royal Can-
adian Dragoons from Toronto, in command of Major D. D.
Young; the 37th Haldimand Rifles, in command of Captain
Hogarth; the 7th Field Battery of St. Catharines, in com-
mand of Captain Bell; the Royal Canadian Regiment, 100
strong, under Major Kaye; the Queen's Own Rifles of
Toronto, in command of Lieut. B. L. Johnson; the Royal
Grenadiers, commanded by Capt. Ryerson; the Army Ser-
vice Corps of Toronto, in command of Major J. C. Allan;
the Army Medical Corps of Toronto, in command of Major
E. B. Hardy; the 91st Highlanders of Hamilton and the
48th Highlanders of Toronto, commanded by Lieut. Hen-
derson of Hamilton; the 77th Wentworth Regiment of
Dundas, in command of Lieut. F. E. Leonard; and Com-
panies "A," "G" and "F" of the 44th Regiment of Niagara
Falls, under command of Captains Guy B. Gordon, Charles
Vandersluys and D. A. R. Cameron. The 19th and 44th
Regimental Bands accompanied the military contingents
and rendered excellent selections during the ceremonies.

The Exhibition of Military and Artistic

One of the most interesting features of the celebration
was the exhibition of Lundy's Lane battle relics, U. E.
Loyalists' household heirlooms, old military and civil
documents, military buttons, and artistic antiquities. These
were the centre of attraction all day long for thousands of
visitors and citizens.

Amongst the several collections of old military buttons
and belt-plates exhibited by local collectors were some rare
specimens extending back to the taking of Quebec — one


button of the "28th Regiment"— at the head of which Gen-
eral Wolfe received his mortal wound, was of especial
historic interest, and also several other regimental buttons
of the same period. Many specimens of the Revolutionary
War period were there, "Queen's Rangers," "Butler's Rang-
ers," "60th Royal American," "10th Regiment," etc. All
the British Regiments of 1812-'14 were represented, and
most of the American of the same period; Brock's Regi-
ment, the "49th," was among the rest — with British but-
tons, too, of the 1837 Rebelhon times; old swords, which
were dug up in the battle-field; cannon balls and lead bul-
lets — all contributing to the general interest of the collec-
tions. The historic old china, earthenware and pottery
articles used by the U. E. LoyaUsts and early settlers were
much admired for their beauty and antiquity — as well as
many other examples of household utensils, such as candle-
sticks, old pewter, horn spoons, silver and copper lustre-
ware, etc.

An officer's scarlet coat, lent by Miss Carnochan of
Niagara, was a valuable addition to the military relics.

The exhibit was under the personal supervision of Mr.
Robert Chisholm, whose efficient management contri-
buted greatly to the pleasure of visitors.

R. W. G.

The Centennial Medal.

The experience of all ages has shown that there is
nothing more indestructible, artistic or permanent than a
medal, or coin, upon which to record the great historic
events of the world. In fact many ancient kings and
peoples would not now be known of but for the finding of
coins which proved that they had at one time existed.

The Lundy's Lane Historical Society made the issuance
of a medal one of the features of the Centenary, and it
happens that it is the only medal struck relating to Cen-
tennial observances of the war of 1812-14.


The medal is 1>:^ inches in diameter, having? on the
obverse the "Arms" or Seal of the Society, witli the addi-
tion of "1914," and on the reverse, "To commemorate the
100th anniversary of the Battle of Lundy's Lane between
the British and United States forces, July 25th, 1814."

A limited number were struck in silver for presenta-
tion to distinguished guests at the Centenary, and to states-
men, museums and art galleries in Canada. A large num-
ber were issued in bronze and presented to the school
children taking part in the ceremonies, besides being sold
at the celebration.

The medal has met with very cordial appreciation from
its recipients everywhere, and will remain forever as an
artistic monument of the commemoration, which was the
largest historical meeting ever held in Canada.

R. W. G.

A few of the letters acknowledging the
receipt of the Centennial Medal.

Prime Minister's Office, Canada,
Ottawa, Ont., 1st August, 1914.
My Dear Sir : —

Will you be good enough to convey to the officers and
members of the Lundy's Lane Historical Society my sincere
thanks for the medal and badge, which they were good
enough to send to me, in commemoration of one hundred
years of peace between Canada and the United States. I
shall preserve the medal and badge as an interesting

With best wishes, believe me.

Yours faithfully,

R. W. Geary, Esq.,

Niagara Falls, Ont.


Government House, Toronto,

4th August, 1914.
My Dear Mr. Geary : —

I must thank you very cordially lor your letter of the
27th ult., which accompanied the medal. I am very pleased
to have the memento of the occasion, which really was a
very interesting and important meeting.

Having been called away from the platform to take
the salute from the troops as they marched away, I fear
the gathering would think my behavior somewhat abrupt
and selfish, and I afterwards feared that I ought and prob-
ably should have returned to the platform.

You are to be congratulated on the success of the
day's proceedings, and I assure you that both Lady Gibson
end I enjoyed same very much indeed.

Believe me, yours most truly,

R. W. Geary,

Niagara Falls, Ont.


"The Grange,"
Toronto, 12th August, 1914.
R. W. Geary, Esq.,

President Lundy's Lane Historical Society.
Dear Sir: —

Your letter of the 30th July was duly received, but as
I was out of town it remained unopened until my return

I thank you very much indeed for the silver medal,
commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of
Lundy's Lane, which will be placed in "The Grange."

In the meantime will you kindly accept my thanks
r.nd as soon as there is a meeting of the Council, I will have


. B R J T I's iff^ wITteWt AT E S



a formal resolution passed expressing the Museum's appre-
ciation of your kindness.

Yours very truly,

Secretary and Curator.


Office of the Director,

Ottawa, August 5th, 1914.
R. W. Geary, Esq.,

President Lundy's Lane Historical Society,
Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Dear Sir: —

I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of July 30th,
enclosing silver medal, commemorative of the hundredth
anniversary of the Rattle of Lundy's Lane.

On behalf of the Trustees of the National Gallery, I
beg to thank you for the interesting memento, which will
be carefully preserved in the National Gallery records.

Yours faithfully,

ERIC BROWN, Director.

The Decoration of the Monuments and
Graves in the Cemetery.

The Society made the decoration of the historical
monuments, memorials and graves in the cemeter>' a mat-
ter of much consideration. Upon the grave of every U. E.
Loyalist and early settler were placed a wreath and flags.
The Battle monument, the monument of Laura Secord, the
American memorial, Usshcr's pillar, Bishop's tomb, and
the monument of the late James Wilson, C. E., Park Super-
intendent, the first Secretary of Lundy's Lane Historical
Society, were specially decorated with flowers, flags and
wreaths, and flowers were also placed on very many private
graves by relatives and friends.






Inspiring Lessons from the War of 1812.

Glories of War and Peace Sounded at Lundy's Lane

Celebration — Dr. Alex. Eraser on Why the British

Won — An International Jubilation.

(Staff Correspondence of The Globe)

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont., July 25.— Under circum-
stances of memorable local enthusiasm and inter-
national concord, the one hundredth anniversary
of the Battle of Lundy's Lane was celebrated here today by
a crowd estimated at ten thousand persons. Though
designed originally as a mere anniversary of the battle, the
event inevitably gained the aspect that is in everybody's
mouth, and despite the scarcely suppressed protests of
several national enthusiasts, it became a rousing demon-
stration in honor of the century of peace. Various speak-
ers had fun with the historians over the endless contro-

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Online LibraryLundy's Lane Historical SocietyThe centenary celebration of the battle of Lundy's Lane, July twenty-fifth, nineteen hundred and fourteen → online text (page 5 of 10)