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More Canadian Books, eBooks & Maps | More Canadian Military Resources

BOOK - Guns Across the River The Battle of the Windmill, 1838
Donald E. Graves

The stirring account of the forgotten "Alamo of the North," the 1838 American attack on Prescott, Canada . . . told by a master historian.

In 1838, seeing political turbulence in Canada as an opportunity, members of a clandestine American organization, the Patriot Hunters, launched a series of attacks across the international border. The Hunters hoped to duplicate the success of the Texas rebellion two years before when their heroes Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie fought to establish a republic in northern Mexico. Detesting "tyranny and oppression wherever manifested," they believed that all it would take was "a good stand maintained for a short time" by Americans and then Canadians would do their own fighting to win freedom from the British yoke.

The most ambitious Hunter attack was launched in November 1838 when a force of more than 500 armed men, commanded by a European soldier of fortune, set out from northern New York in a flotilla of chartered and hijacked vessels. Avoiding the naval and military forces of two nations, they occupied a stone windmill near Prescott, Ontario, confident that Canadians would rally to their standard.

Their hopes were doomed. After five days of heavy fighting, British regulars and Canadian militia captured this "Alamo of the North" and those invaders who survived were imprisoned in Fort Henry at Kingston and tried by a court martial eleven were executed and sixty deported to an Australian penal colony. The Patriot Hunters' invasion resulted in nothing but destruction and loss of life, and their only memorial is the stone windmill, today a historic site, on its bluff beside the mighty St. Lawrence River.

Guns Across the River tells the full story of this bloody but forgotten military action and the undeclared war of which it was a part. Donald E. Graves traces the rise of the Patriot Hunters in the northern United States, describes their odyssey down the St. Lawrence and provides a detailed account of the five-day battle that followed. The book is packed with fascinating information about a colourful time in North American history and about the men who fought at the windmill their personalities, tactics, weapons, uniforms and even the songs they sang.

264 pages 9 x 8 inches, landscape format Paperback More than 100 illustrations Detailed appendices, notes and bibliography, index; ISBN 1-869941-21-4

CAT # 307012......$24.95
(Canadian Dollars)
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