On March 4, 1814, the War of 1812 was dragging on. Colonel Holmes of the 24th U.S. Infantry was traveling on Longwoods Road with 160 men toward the settlement of Delaware, which he planned to attack. Near Strathburn, Holmes learned that Captain James Basden was leading 150 British Regulars of the 1st and 89th, 100 militia from Middlesex and Kent, Caldwell’s Western District Rangers, and about 30 natives towards him. Holmes retreated back to 20 Mile Creek (Battle Creek) where his soldiers had built an abattis and slept the night before.The coordinated forces on the British side marched on and the next day towards 5:00 p.m., the British attacked the U.S. Infantry.
Captain Basden and his Red Coats led a frontal attack from the east, across the creek and up the hill. The militia attacked from the north and the natives from the south.The exposed Red Coats were hampered by the snow and ice on the hillside while the Americans, hidden behind their barricade, easily shot at the British troops. The British withdrew, and the Americans did not follow them. Instead the Americans returned to Detroit.There were 52 British wounded and about 14-16 killed. Of the 52 wounded, 5-6 died shortly afterward. Holmes’ impression was that there were at least 80 “casualties”, which there were. American losses were far less.
Prepared by Mary Simpson with information about the battle from Glen Stott and the Windsor Public Library web-site.Thursday, December 16, 2004