The story

Coffin Star – After a long 1 ½ hour skimish, the British came out the losers and the Americans wasted no time returning to Detroit, cold and tired. The bodies were gathered up in the spring and burned.


Farmer’s wife living down at Big Bend, a few miles away:

We could hear the popping on the evening of March 4, 1814.  The time dragged on.  It was hard to bear.  Ninety minutes, it was a long skirmish.  It was worse than I imagined.   After dark, the British came out the losers, but the Americans were cold, worn out, and they marched back  to Detroit.  The Americans feared the British would regroup and attack again.

There was no grave for the dead. The bodies were gathered up after the snow melted and burned in a funeral pyre.[i]  

I don’t understand the rules of war.  Both sides kill and maim each other but they won’t take each others’ shoes!  Many of the Kentucky men were shoeless but the American Captain, Holmes, would not allow them to take shoes from the dead British.

Five Americans were killed and at least 3 wounded.  We understand they buried their four soldiers within the Abattis, the huge fort of branches they built for protection. The majority of the British were killed in the ravine or the slope of the hill.  

The British lost almost twenty dead, 11 Royal Scots, four from the 89th , 1 militiaman, and five more men who later died of their wounds.   Fifty-two men wounded, and two men captured.   

Capt. David Johnstone of the Royals and Lt. Patrick Graeme of the 89th were killed in action. Johnstone (mistaken by Capt. Holmes as Capt Basden) almost reached the front of the American abattis before being killed.  

[i] Glenn Stott, historian, re-enactor, and member of the Upper Thames Military Re-enactment Society

Written by By Mary Simpson

Painted by Glencoe and District Lions Club




Coffin Star

3577 Longwoods Rd, Glencoe,ON

Latitude : 42.715352 Longitude : -81.678702

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