Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques
2004 - Now in our 13th Year - 2017
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Skirmish at McCrae's House
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2009
Photo from Google Street View ©2011 Google - Posted January, 2011
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent
West of Chatham on Road 36
2 km west of Bloomfield Road at street number 7391
Coordinates: N 42 22.899 W 82 15.000
Following the defeat of the British at the Battle of the Thames on October 5, 1813, American forces controlled the Thames Valley west of Moraviantown. In early December a detachment of 3 officers and 36 men of the American 26th Regiment established a post near here at the house of Thomas McCrae. Before daybreak on December 15, 1813, they were surprised by Lieutenant Henry Medcalf and 32 members from the Norfolk and Middlesex Militia, the Kent Volunteers and the Provincial Dragoons. After a brief resistance the Americans surrendered and were taken prisoner.
Related Ontario plaque
War of 1812
Here are the visitors' comments for this page.
> Posted March 8, 2014
This National Historic Event marked the only time in the War of 1812 that Canadian militia, alone, captured US regular forces. A week after the surprise attack, some 300 US forces arrived to reoccupy the site, but found no militia in the vicinity.
In reply to Ron Willson's question of Dec. 1, 2013, many of the original HSMB plaques have been 'retired', sometimes because of their weathered condition, but often because the text reflects outdated perspectives on a site, event, or person--very often taking a British imperial view of history at the expense of a Canadian one. It would be useful to see both plaques, or have the text of both available, to see how interpretations of the same events have changed over time. Sometimes, old plaques are retained as objects of interest in their own right, but usually when they are moved indoors, letting a replacement plaque do the main public duty outside. For information on the disposition of the old plaque, contact the Historic Sites and Monuments Board Secretariat in Gatineau, QC, at firstname.lastname@example.org -Wayne
> Posted December 1, 2013
I noticed that the bronze plaque is different from the original one that was erected in 1934. The original plaque was far more descriptive of what happened on Dec. 15, 1813, and named the officers who commanded the Upper Canada militia troops. Does anyone know what happened to the original plaque? My great-great grandfather was Ensign Benjamin Willson who was one of the officers mentioned on the plaque.
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