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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Exploring Photos: The Battle of Queenston Heights
The Battle of Queenston Heights. This photo was reproduced from an old engraving dated April 12 1816. NOTL Museum

Today, Oct. 13 is the 210th anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights. This engraving, circa 1880s, depicts the battle by showing American troops (in blue uniforms) crossing the Niagara River and landing at Queenston. It was done by T. Sutherland but the original sketch was made by James Dennis (1796-1855), the senior British officer at Queenston when the Americans first landed. His grenadier company of the 49th (the Hertfordshire) Regiment of Foot fought throughout the battle.

British soldiers (in red uniforms) under the command of Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock came from the town of Niagara and attempted to defend the heights. Unfortunately, Brock and his aid-de-camp, Lt.-Col. John Macdonell, were shot during the battle. Gen. Roger Hale Sheaffe, next in command, arrived from Fort George with 100 Indigenous allies led by John Norton and John Brant. They overran an American outpost and attacked the U.S. forces from behind. The Americans, with little room to retreat, were forced down the steep heights. Making matters worse, the N.Y. militia declared their constitutional right to fight only in the U.S. and refused to cross the river. They had seen additional British forces approaching and upon hearing the fierce cries of the Indigenous warriors, the American forces were struck with fear. Make sure you head up to Queenston Heights for the festivities this weekend. The NOTL Museum also has a small exhibition on display commemorating the battle.