Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Yankees Squint

From Pioneer Collections, Volume 4, by the Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan (recollections of Aura P. Stewart of St. Clair County, Michigan):

"While the British held Detroit they sent two expeditions against Fort Mays, then called French Town, now the city of Monroe, where there was a little stockade defended by Ohio militia.  At the first attack the British troops were repulsed with considerable loss.  Some of the best marksmen in the little picket fort, when the British had placed their artillery to play upon the fort, were ordered by their commanding officer to pick off the men at the gun, a six-pounder, and, if possible, not to allow it to be fired; and I have been told that they did their work so thoroughly that the British had to abandon their gun, for the moment they attempted to load it every man fell.  On the return of this party, my father asked a Welsh soldier how they made out.  He shook
his head and said, "Very bad."  On asking the reason of the failure, he said, "Yankees squint; he never squint," meaning that our riflemen took aim when they fired, but he did not."

French Town (Jim's Photo Taken At The NPS)

"The next expedition the British sent to capture Fort Mays was more successful.  They not only took the little stockade, but they allowed the Indians to murder their prisoners and the inhabitants.  This affair is known in history as Winchester's defeat, and it was a cruel and sad affair."

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