Billy Green and the Battle of Stoney Creek - June 6, 1813
In the fall of 1875 a line of old men formed at Hamilton's city hall to receive their War of 1812 persions. At the head of the queue was a frail 81-year-old who told the clerk he had been at the Battle of Stoney Creek. Sixty-two years earlier when an American army invaded the Niagara Peninsula, 19-year-old Billy Green was a witness to history in a battle that was pivotal to the survival of the colony that would become Ontario.
So begins James Elliott's exciting account of Stoney Creek's most enduring, local legend. Drawing on archival sources and eye-witness accounts, Elliott, formerly a reporter with the Hamilton Spectator, has recreated the daring dawn raid that pitted 700 British regulars against more than 3,000 American troops. Contrary to popular opinion it was not a rout and could easily have gone against the British. The Americans lost two generals-- both captured. The British lost one-- he fell off his horse in the woods and was not found until the next day. Never again would American forces penetrate so far into the Niagara Peninsula.
Had that raid failed, the Americans would likely have taken control of a good part of what is now Southern Ontario. Would they have given it back at the end of war? Ask the Mexicans how much captured territory the Americans returned after the Mexican-American war in 1848.
Did Billy Green march front and centre with the British army? Official British Army records make no mention but militia records and persistent word-of-mouth suggest a role. Napoleon said history is nothing but an agreed upon fable and in Stoney Creek, the fabled Scout Green lingers yet.
Billy Green and the Battle of Stoney Creek, June 6, 1813
Another excellent historical book by James Elliott: