Stoney Creek 1813
An immediate pursuit after the capture of Fort George might have sealed a larger victory but Dearborn, after occupying Fort George, waited several days and then sent about 2,000 American soldiers after the British. The detachment advanced to within ten miles of the British and camped for the night with slight regard for security and even less for the enemy’s audacity.
On the night of July 5th and morning of June 6th, on the basis of a reconnaisance by the enterprising Lieutenant Colonel John Harvey and local scout Bill Green, the British, using 700 soldiers of the 8th and 49th Regiments, decided on the risky and unorthodox approach of a surprise night attack on the more numerous 3000 American troops. The American sentries were located and bayoneted silently with quick dispatch. The British then charged the American lines sending the enemy into full flight.
Two senior American commanders were captured in the confusion. Here is an account of some of the stirring action that night:
The War of 1812 was not dull stuff!
The British troops then returned to Burlington Heights while the Americans retreated east all the way to 40 Mile Creek.
Stoney Creek was important in the outcome of the War, as it prevented a fatal split in the British forces in Upper Canada, and forced the Americans to return to the Fort George area.
John Harvey later became well known to Newfoundland as Governor. Harvey Road in St. John’s is named in his honour.