The Battle of Lundy’s Lane by Duncan Campbell Scott

rufus gale

rufus gale
Battle of Lundy’s Lane by Alonzo Chappel

Rufus Gale Speaks – 1852  863

Yes, – in the Lincoln Militia, – in the war of eighteen-twelve;
Many’s the day I’ve had since then to dig and delve –
But those are the years I remember as the brightest years of all,
When we left the plow in the furrow to follow the bugle’s call.
Why, even our son Abner wanted to fight with the men!
“Don’t you go, d’ye hear, sir!” – I was angry with him then.
“Stay with your mother!” I said, and he looked so old and grim –
He was just sixteen that April – I couldn’t believe it was him;
But I didn’t think – I was off – and we met the foe again,
Five thousand strong and ready, at the hill by Lundy’s Lane.
There as the night came on we fought them from six to nine,
Whenever they broke our line we broke their line,
They took our guns and we won them again, and around the levels
Where the hill sloped up – with the Eighty-ninth, – we fought like devils
Around the flag; – and on they came and we drove them back,
Until with its very fierceness the fight grew slack.
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Battle of Lundy’s Lane, 25th July, 1814 by Janet Carnochan

poetry battle Lundy’s Lane  

poetry battle Lundy's Lane
100th Anniversary of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane Parade – Exhibition of Historical Relics

Upon this hill we come to celebrate
That fateful day a century ago,
How saved our heritage with forceful blow
We meet to tell the tale, but not in hate.
We meet their loyal names to consecrate
Who fought and fell, shall we forget?  Oh no,
But high emblaze their names and proudly show
How nobly stood our sires in danger great,
To tell the inspiring tale that so we too
May meet our hill of difficulties well,
For we have problems hard to solve today
And enemies of greed and gold not few.
Heaven grant us grace their forces to repel
And at the call of duty straight obey.

Niagara, 25th July, 1914.

Source: An Account of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, Fought in 1814, Between the British and American Armies From the Best and Most Authorized Sources.   Niagara Falls: Niagara Publishers, 1947.

Click to see more poems about the Battle of Lundy’s Lane and other Poems of the War of 1812 in Niagara

The Battle of Bridgewater (July 25, 1814) by Anonymous

O'er Huron's wave the sun was low,
The weary soldier watch'd the bow
Fast fading from the cloud below
        The dashing of Niagara.
And while the phantom chain'd his sight,
Ah! little thought he of the fight --
The horrors of the dreamless night,
        That posted on so rapidly.

Soon, soon is fled each softer charm;
The drum and trumpet sound alarm,
And bid each warrior nerve his arm
        For boldest deeds of chivalry;
The burning red-cross, waving high,
Like meteor in the evening sky,
Proclaims the haughty foemen nigh
        To try the strife of rivalry.

Columbia's banner floats as proud,
Her gallant band around it crowd,
And swear to guard or make their shroud
        The starred flag of liberty.
"Haste, haste thee, Scott, to meet the foe,
And let the scornful Briton know,
Well strung the arm and firm the blow
        Of him who strikes for liberty."

Loud, loud the din of battle rings,
Shrill through the ranks the bullet sings,
And onward fierce each foeman springs
        To meet his peer in gallantry.
Behind the hills descends the sun,
The work of death is but begun,
And red through twilight's shadows dun
        Blazes the vollied musketry.

"Charge, Miller, charge the foe once more."
And louder than Niagara's roar
Along the line is heard, encore,
       "On, on to death or victory."
From line to line, with lurid glow,
High arching shoots the rocket's bow,
And lights the mingled scene below
        Of carnage, death, and misery.

The middle watch has now begun,
The horrid battle-fray is done,
No longer beats the furious drum,
        To death, to death or victory.
All, all is still - with silent tread
The watchman steals among the dead,
To guard his comrade's lowly bed,
        Till morning gave him sepulture.

Low in the west, of splendour shorn,
The midnight moon with bloody horn
Sheds her last beam on him, forlorn,
        Who fell in fight so gloriously;
Oh! long her crescent wax and wane
Ere she behold such fray again,
Such dismal night, such heaps of slain,
        Foe mix'd with foe promiscuously.


Source: Poems of American History, Collected & Edited by Burton Egbert Stevenson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1936. p. 308-309

n.b. The Battle of Bridgewater is better known as the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.