April 6, 2016

The War of 1812 and Proxy Buttocks

Filed under: Battlefield archaeology, Historic — acagle @ 6:58 pm

Mass Grave From War Of 1812 Gives Archaeologists First Evidence Of Buckshot Injuries

The night of June 6, 1813, was dark and chaotic. As American troops advanced into the Niagara Peninsula, a battle ensued between them and the British army attempting to raid their camp at Stoney Creek in Ontario. Unable to coordinate a standard infantry line, both sides launched into close-range, hand-to-hand combat. Given the atypical nature of the battle, a group of archaeologists set out to see if the injuries found on two dozen skeletons in a mass grave from this War of 1812 skirmish were also atypical.

The Battle of Stoney Creek mass grave was excavated in 1998 and 1999. Containing 2,701 fragments, the collection represents at least 24 people who were likely hastily buried following the raid. The British lost 23 men, and the Americans 17, with over 200 more injured, missing, or captured. Previous studies on the excavated skeletons using stable isotope analysis revealed some of the soldiers had a more European diet, while others had a more North American, corn-based diet, suggesting both sides may have used the same grave to bury their dead. And in three of the individuals’ hip bones, there were injuries that seemed to have resulted from muskets.

1 Comment

  1. Both sides using the same mass grave? Not likely. Maybe both sides had to leave and the locals did it.
    Maybe some of the Brits were raised in the US and went to Canada, thence to enlist. Or perhaps they were always Canadian. Or some of the US guys were immigrants at a young age.

    Comment by Richard Aubrey — April 13, 2016 @ 8:36 pm

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