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In this groundbreaking narrative , historian, investigative journalist and filmmaker Peter Vronsky uncovers the hidden history of the Battle of Ridgeway and explores its significance to Canada’s nation-building myths and traditions.
On June 1, 1866, more than 1,000 Fenian insurgents invaded Canada across the Niagara River from Buffalo, N.Y. The Fenians were mostly battle-hardened Civil War veterans; the Canadian troops sent to fight them came from a generation that had not seen combat at home for more than 30 years. Led by inexperienced upper-class officers, the volunteer soldiers were mostly young, some as young as 15 years old. They were farm boys, shopkeepers, apprentices, schoolteachers, store clerks and two rifle companies of University of Toronto students hastily called out from their final exams. Many had not fired live rounds from their rifles even once.
When they fought the Fenians near the village of Ridgeway the next day, a single rifle company of 28 students took the brunt of a counter-attack by 800 insurgents and suffered the most killed and wounded. The events of June 2, 1866, were covered up by the Macdonald government. The story was falsified so thoroughly that most Canadians today have not heard of the first modern battle in which Canadians died.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
PETER VRONSKY is an author, filmmaker, artist and historian. He is the author of two books published by Penguin-Berkley on the history and psychopathology of serial homicide: Serial Killers and Female Serial Killers . He lives in Toronto and Venice, Italy.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the History of Canada Series ix
List of Maps xi
Preface: Ridgeway in the Acoustic Shadow of History xxiii
Part 1 The Fenian Threat and the Canadian Army
1 The Fenian Cause 3
2 The Making of the Canadian Army, 1855-1866 12
3 The Threat of Invasion, 1865-1866 23
Part 2 The Battle of Ridgeway
4 The Fenian Invasion of Fort Erie, Morning, June 1, 1866 43
5 The Military Response, Afternoon, June 1, 1866 60
6 Marching Orders, Night, June 1-2, 1866 89
7 Limestone Ridge, Morning, June 2,1866 119
8 The Stand at Fort Erie, Afternoon, June 2,1866 164
Part 3 The Hidden History
9 Booker's Run, June-July 1866 204
10 The Dennis Inquiry, August-December 1866 241
11 Ridgeway Forgotten, 1867-1890 262
12 Memory and Remembrance, 1890-2010 280