Battle Hill National Historic Site of Canada

Wardsville, Ontario
View of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque and cairn commemorating the site. (© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.)
General view
(© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.)
Address : Longwoods Road, Wardsville, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 4/6/1924
  • 1814 to 1814 (Significant)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • War of 1812  (Event)
  • Battle of Longwoods  (Event)
  • Captain James Badsen  (Person)
  • Captain Andrew Holmes  (Person)
  • Royal Scots Light Company  (Organization)
  • 89th Light Company  (Organization)
  • Loyal Kent Volunteers  (Organization)
Other Name(s):
  • Battle Hill  (Designation Name)
  • Battle of the Longwoods  (Other Name)
Research Report Number: 2007-CED/SDC-046


Existing plaque: Longwoods Road, Wardsville, Ontario

Here was fought the Battle of the Longwoods, 4th March 1814. United States troops were entrenched on this hill. The British losses were Captain D. Johnson and Lieutenant P. Graeme and twelve men of the Royal Scots Light Company and 89th Light Company, killed, fifty-two officers and men of these companies and of the Loyal Kent Volunteers, wounded.

Description of Historic Place

Battle Hill National Historic Site of Canada is located on a rolling landscape in the valley of Battle Hill near Highway 2 (also known as Longwoods Road) west of Wardsville, Ontario. The site is associated with the Battle of Longwoods, which occurred on March 4, 1814 on an open landscape near what is now Battle Hill Creek. Following a short skirmish between the British Regulars and American forces, the British were forced to retreat back to Delaware, while the Americans abandoned their advance and retreated to Detroit. There are no known extant remains of the battle; however, the site is marked by a plaque and cairn positioned on a small rise of land and surrounded by an iron fence. Official recognition refers to a polygon of land near Highway 2 in Wardsville Ontario.

Heritage Value

Battle Hill was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1924 because: here was fought the Battle of the Longwoods, 4 March 1814.

Following the British defeat at Moraviantown on October 5, 1813, the western section of Upper Canada lay open to American forces, who began a series of small incursions into the territory. Although pitched battles were rare, the British military authorities attempted to counteract these American forays into their territory by establishing posts of observation, and along with the local militia and their native allies, they began moving throughout the countryside. In late February 1814, the American commander at Detroit ordered a detachment to attack one such British outpost, located at Delaware. The American force, under Captain Andrew Holmes, encountered a Canadian Ranger Patrol on the way to Delaware and retreated to a hill, later named Battle Hill, near Twenty Mile Creek to await the arrival of the British. Once the British Regulars under Captain James Badsen arrived at Battle Hill, they immediately attacked the Americans but, due to heavy casualties, were forced to retreat back to Delaware. The Americans retreated back to Detroit, thus failing in their attempt to take Delaware.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1924, 1925, December 2007.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include: its location near Battle Hill Creek, formerly known as Twenty Mile Creek, west of Wardsville, Ontario; the setting on a rolling rural landscape that includes the grassed hill surrounded by a small iron picket fence where the plaque and cairn commemorating the site are located; the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent; the viewscapes from the battlefield to Battle Hill.