|Posted by Martha Jette on December 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM|
Spirits can remain earthbound for a variety of reasons but none are so evident as soldiers who lost their lives on a battlefield.
The War of 1812 saw heavy casualties on the British by invading American soldiers and the Battle of Stoney Creek was no exception. In 1813, 7,000 U.S. soldiers and a naval squadron fought at Fort George at Niagara-on-the-Lake forcing 1,400 British soldiers to run for their lives. Some 52 soldiers died and 300 were injured.
The surviving British joined with two other units making them 1,600 strong. In the meantime the Americans also captured Fort Erie. On June 5th the British were stationed at Burlington Heights and about 3,000 American soldiers reached Stoney Creek. They invaded the home of the Gage family and used it as their headquarters.
Meanwhile, the British decided to stage a surprise night attack on the U.S. soldiers. Major James Ogilvie leading 700 British soldiers reached the American camp on June 6 at about 2 a.m. With bayonets drawn, they pounced on the camp but only found dying fires and a couple of cooks.
It seems the Americans had moved to higher ground and the British were left in a state of confusion. As they reloaded their guns, the Americans returned to their camp and soldiers on both sides - lost in the dark night battle – could not determine who was who in the melee that followed. Many of the soldiers on both sides were disoriented and frightened for their lives. Although the British won this battle, 214 soldiers were killed, lost or missing. The Americans suffered 168 losses.
On a recent episode of Rescue Mediums www.rescuemediums.com/index2.html on the VIVA Network www.myviva.ca/Shows/All-Shows/Rescue-Mediums.aspx, Jackie Dennison and Alison Wynne-Ryder visited the small town of Stoney Creek, which is located on the east side of the City of Hamilton.
The Rescue Mediums sensed that a traumatic event had occurred on the site where they would be going next. They envisioned fighting on the land and plenty of guns. They also determined that there was a male spirit by the name of William, doors slamming in the home, a strange feeling on the stairs to the upper floor and someone who was having nightmares.
When they arrived at a home located in the Red Hill Valley area of Stoney Creek, Ontario they met the First Nations family who resided there. A major part of this area had been First Nations land for more than 12,000 years but recent years had seen the build-up of homes and businesses in both Stoney Creek and the greater Hamilton area. Even so, it seems the ghosts of the past still remain on this sacred Indian land.
Jackie and Alison sat down with the homeowners to find out what type of paranormal activity the family had been experiencing. What they had been through reflected their earlier premonitions. Jackie also showed the family a picture of a little girl hugging a huge tree and another of a young man.
“I know exactly who that is,” the father said of the latter.
The Rescue Mediums began their investigation by going outside and getting a feel for the area. From their vantage point, they saw a major highway that crosses the land.
“It never should have been built,” said Jackie. “This is sacred land.”
They continued to explore the area, which includes a forested rail trail. There they found the huge tree, as well as a bridge. As they reached the bridge, Jackie realized that people had fought and died in that area.
You can see a photo of the bridge here: http://www.ontariotrails.on.ca/trails-a-z/red-hill-valley-recreational-trail/. This Examiner has walked this area a number of times and it is truly a natural wonder.
The Rescue Mediums impressions of this area were spot on. A major public battle ensued over plans to build the Red Hill Creek Expressway, which would cut right through this former Indian land. More than 4,000 trees would be cut down along 7 kilometers of land to make way for the highway that proponents saw as a necessary step to ease traffic flow in that area.
An Aboriginal Lawsuit was launched by the Six Nations Confederacy (the Iroquois, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca) in an attempt to stop construction. Based on the Nanfan Treaty http://www.hwcn.org/link/forhv/expressway/law_nanfan.htm of 1701, the lawsuit stated that the land in question formed part of a much larger tract that was legally protected from any disturbances by the Crown of England.
To proceed with the work, the then-Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Council needed to acquire a permit, as well as a review of the site under the Environmental Protection Act. When the review was completed in September 1999, the region received nearly 300 submissions from citizens against the construction and to everyone’s surprise the council boycotted this entire process.
As you might have guessed, progress had its way and council proclaimed in August 2,000 that the Red Hill Creek Expressway would indeed be built at a cost of $1.7 million. The total cost turned out to be $245 million.
It was a tense time for resident of Stoney Creek and Hamilton in general as protestors often spent days on the site in an attempt to hold up construction. In November 2003, Reverend Canon Paddy Doran led more than 200 people through Red Hill Valley to pray and sing because of the destruction of nature and clearing of trees in the area. Security guards on the site arrested Canon Doran and about 20 other protestors, but after the reverend was put into a police cruiser, two dozen protestors refused to let the vehicle leave with him in it. After some tense moments, he was released.
Now you might be wondering how all this information on the Red Hill Valley fits into a story about ghosts of soldiers on the battlefield but it will all come together.
As a First Nations family, the father and his grandfather had also done everything they could to protect the Red Hill Valley. When the Rescue Mediums arrived and talked with the family they learned of their efforts in this area.
After their excursion outside the home, Jackie and Alison went inside to investigate the purported haunting. They first went to the daughter’s bedroom where they immediately spotted a picture of the girl hugging the very same tree that they had found. Jackie then felt a sharp pain in her arm, which worsened as they made their way to the main floor of the house. In the basement both mediums felt coldness and a negative energy. As they stood in the basement area, they heard a door slam closed and at the same time, felt the temperature become quite hot in the room.
They sensed a ‘troubled spirit and attempted to make contact. Allison said her head felt funny. Jackie then sensed a Native ‘grandfather’ spirit that wanted to help and protect both the family and the area. She also sensed a soldier nearby but he quickly fled. The Rescue Mediums returned to the upstairs – to the main bedroom and felt a depression as the soldier walked in.
Jackie then had a vision of an outside area with plenty of trees. There was a cold breeze and many spirits seemed to be in a panic. She quickly realized that it was a battlefield with “lots of bodies” and she could see the red coats of the British. She then saw the soldier.
“He told me he was running for his life,” she said.
She also saw that he was losing a lot of blood and “knows he’s going to die.”
At that point, the Native ‘grandfather’ arrived and went to him. At that time in history, the British were not friendly with either the Americans or the Native Indians. However, the soldier let this spirit lead him off the battlefield. The Rescue Mediums then saw him take this frightened and war weary soldier into the light.
“That was terrible,” said Jackie recalling the many bodies she saw and added that the soldier’s name was William.
After following up their investigation with research on the area, Jackie and Alison again sat down with the homeowners. They told the family about William, who was indeed the father’s grandfather and that his wife’s name was Adelle.
Jackie told the father that William is “extremely proud of you” for continuing the cause to not only preserve their heritage but also attempt to protect the Red Hill Valley. When he heard this, the man began to cry. His tears reflected his grandfather’s devotion to his grandson, as well as his recognition of the father’s own efforts to save their sacred land.
When areas like the Red Hill Valley and even the majority of Ontario, which once belonged to Native Indians, developers give no thought to the thousands of years of history that unfolded here. Nor do they care about the many souls who still roam this land that they love so much.
It truly saddens this Examiner that their sacred land was taken from them for a few beads and plenty of false promises. Their land and their lifestyle has now been clustered into a number of Indian reserves where they continue to lead at the very least, difficult lives. This Examiner hopes that one day, our Native peoples will be recognized for their gentle ways and love of nature, not to mention their great wisdom. They deserve so much more than they have today.
As for the soldiers on both sides of the Battle of Stoney Creek, many of them were little more than teens when they were forced to fight the perceived enemy. It is hoped that their souls will eventually all find their rest on the other side.
War of 1812 www.warof1812.ca/
Stoney Creek Battle Monument http://war1812.tripod.com/scmon.html
Red Hill Valley Trail Map http://www.hwcn.org/link/forhv/map/trailmap.htm
Protestors at Red Hill Valley http://www.hwcn.org/link/forhv/whatsnew/up2003d/up031104.htm