By Jesse Cnockaert
On March 6 military re-enactors fired their guns as they and others paid respect to the anniversary of the Battle of The Longwoods, at the Battle Hill Cairn on Longwoods Rd.
The Battle of the Longwoods, March 4, 1814, was a battle between American troops and British militia and their Native allies during the War of 1812.
During the war, a group of over 150 Americans were encamped on the west side of the ravine at Twenty Mile Creek, preparing to attack the small settlement of Delaware where the British were stationed. The Americans were spotted by a Canadian Militia unit, the Caldwell Western Rangers, who warned the British at Delaware. A British, Canadian and Native force, totaling over 240, arrived at Twenty Mile Creek on March 4 and engaged the Americans. Article ID# 3015486
Despite being outnumbered, the Americans stood their ground, forcing their enemies to retreat.
During the memorial service, Glenn Stott, a re-enactor with the Upper Thames Military Society, reminded everyone that, although the Battle of the Longwoods may not have been one of the biggest conflicts in the War of 1812, it was an important one for this local area.
“The Battle of the Longwoods is a major battle from the standpoint that, percentage-wise, there was an incredible loss of life,” said Stott.
After the battle, the British, Canadian and Native force withdrew to the site of Strathburn, having suffered over 25% casualties. They left 14 dead, including two officers, on the field. The Americans suffered eight killed and wounded.
The memorial service included a reading of the list casualties, a scripture reading, and the laying of wreaths at the base of the Cairn.
Each year, on the first weekend in May, the Upper Thames Military Reenactment Society with members of other Canadian and American re-enactment groups, do a re-enactment of the Battle of Longwoods. March 4, 2014 will be the 200th anniversary of the Battle of the Longwoods, so a re-enactment is planned to take place on that date on the actual battle site.