Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle that Made Canada: The History of Canada

Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle that Made Canada: The History of Canada

by Peter Vronsky

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Overview

Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle that Made Canada: The History of Canada by Peter Vronsky

 

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780670068036
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/25/2012
Pages: 368
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

Notes 296

Bibliography 347

Acknowledgments 367

Index 373

Credits 393

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