“At 3 o’clock yesterday morning, when within about two miles from the Beaver Dams, our detachment was attacked from an ambuscade ... [We soon] received authentic information that Lt. Col. Boerstler with his command had surrendered to the enemy ... The enemy surrounded our detachment in the woods, and ... commenced a general attack ... Our troops fought more than two hours until the artillery had expended the whole of its ammunition; and then surrendered ... H. DEARBORN.”
COMMENT: What Gen. Dearborn did not know was that the British Commander at Beaver Dams, Lt. “Green Tiger” James FitzGibbons (1780-1863) had been warned by Laura Secord (1775-1868), a plucky Canadian housewife from Queenstown who, when American soldiers invaded her house and made her feed them dinner, overheard them talking about the planned American attack.
She walked alone over a dozen miles through the wilderness to warn FitzGibbons with his 50 men and some 400 Indian allies.
This enabled them to ambush Col. Boerstler’s much larger force, defeat them, and take 462 of them prisoners. It helped restore British confidence after what had been until then an unsuccessful 1813 season. Laura Secord became Canada’s greatest military heroine, and her statue stands among the 14 Canadians at the Valiants Memorial in Ottawa, “chosen for their heroism, and because they represent critical moments in Canada’s military history.” Laura Secord is also Canada’s best known brand of chocolates.