Near Prescott in Leeds & Grenville Counties, Ontario — Central Canada
The Battle of the Windmill
La Bataille du Moulin à Vent
Prelude to the Battle
In 1837 the British army and loyal militia crushed the first armed revolt in Upper and Lowr Canada. Many rebels fled to the United States. The exiles joined with American sympathisers to form a secret paramilitary organization, the Hunter’s Lodge.
In November 1838, a group of Hunters planned an invasion of Canada at Prescott. It was expected that the local population would join in “liberating” the country from British control.
The Battle Unfolds
1. Early on the morning of November 12, 1838, 190 Hunters landed at Windmill Point. Most were Americans. Contrary to their expectations, the local population did not rally to their side.
2. By November 13, over 2,000 local militiamen and British soldiers surrounded the rebel positon. After a bitter and bloody skirmish, the government forces drove the rebels into the windmill and surrounding stone buildings. But they could not attack these buildings without large cannons.
3. November 14 and 15 were uneventful. The Hunters were counting on help from the United States that never came, while the British awaited artillery reinforcements.
4. November 16 was decisive, British gunboats patrolled the river while their field guns arrived by land. In the afternoon, they bombarded
5. The Hunters were low on ammunition, food and water. They were no medical supplies to ease the pain of the wounded. By nightfall, they ran out of both resources and hope, and surrendered unconditionally.
A Futile Loss of Life?
Twenty rebels were killed and another 20 were wounded in the battle, while 15 soldiers were killed and 55 were wounded. The captured rebels were tried. Eleven were hanged, 60 were deported to Australia and the rest were released.
The Rebellion was an expression of deep dissatisfaction. It profoundly transformed political life in Canada, and forced the British to review the way they administered the country. Thirty years later, Confederation was born.
Prelude à la Bataille
En 1837, l’armée britannique étouffe une première révolte armée dans le Haut et la Bas-Canada. Beaucoup de Patriotes s’exilent aux Étas-Unis. Avec l’aide de sympathisants américains, ils mettent sur pied une organisation paramilitaire secrète, les Frères Chasseurs.
En novembre 1838, un groupe de Chasseurs planifie une invasion du Canada à Prescott. Il s’attend à ce que la population locale se joigne à lui pour supprimer la tutelle britannique.
Une Luette Inégale
1. Le 12 novembre 1838, au petit matin, 190 Frères Chasseurs débarquent à
2. Dès le 13 novembre, plus de 2 000 miliciens et soldats britanniques encerclent les Chasseurs. Après une violente escarmouche, ils les repoussent dans les murs épais du moulin et des bâtiments voisins. Mais ils n’ont pas d’artillerie lourde et ne peuvent pas les déloger.
3. Les 14 et 15 novembre se passent sans combat. Les Chasseurs espèrent recevoir des États-Unis une aide qui n’arrivers jamais. De leur côté, les Britanniques attendent des renforts d’artillerie.
4. La journée de 16 novembre est décisive. Les Britanniques patrouillent le fleuve dans des canonnières. Sur la terre ferme, leurs canons arrivent enfin. Dans l’après-midi, ils bombardent le moulin pendant deux heures.
5. Les Chasseurs manquent de munitions, de nourriture et d’eau. Ils n’ont rein pour soigner leurs blessés. à la tombée de la nuit, ils sont à court de ressources et d’espoir. Ils se rendent sans condition.
Des Morts Inutiles?
Les Patriotes ont eu 20 tués et 20 blessés dans la bataille. Les soldats, 15 tués et 55 blessés. Les Patriotes capturés subirent un procès. Onze d’entre eux furent pendus, 60 déportés en Australie, les autres relâchés.
Ces morts n’ont pas été inutiles, La Rébellion révélait un profound mécontentement.
Location. 44° 43.27′ N, 75° 29.246′ W. Marker is near Prescott, Ontario, in Leeds & Grenville Counties. Marker is on Windmill Road just from Leeds and Grenville Road (County Route 2), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3401 Windmill Road, Prescott, Ontario K0E, Canada.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named The Battle of the Windmill (here, next to this marker); Welcome to the Site of The Battle of the Windmill (a few steps from this marker); Bytown and Prescott Railway Company 1850 (approx. 1.9 kilometers away); Col. Edward Jessup (approx. 2 kilometers away); Fort Wellington (approx. 2 kilometers away); Prescott War Memorial (approx. 2 kilometers away); World War II Memorial (approx. 2.2 kilometers away in the U.S.); Revolutionary War Memorial (approx. 2.2 kilometers away in the U.S.). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Prescott.
Also see . . . Battle of the Windmill - Wikipedia. In the aftermath of the battle, almost all of the Hunters were captured and were transported to Kingston for trial. Eleven people, including the Hunter leader Nils von Schoultz, were executed; another 60 were sentenced to transportation to Australia. 40 were acquitted, and another 86 were later pardoned and released. Von Schoultz enjoyed the legal counsel of John A. Macdonald, a prominent young Kingston lawyer who would later become the architect of Canada's Confederation in 1867 and the nation's first Prime Minister. (Submitted on May 20, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 20, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 231 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 20, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.