On the morning of February 29, 1704, a French and First Nations army fell upon the sleeping frontier village of Deerfield, Massachusetts. The raiders had spent a fireless winter night camped across the Deerfield River, cold, hungry and tired.
The Fenians were a secret society of Irish patriots who had emigrated from Ireland to the United States. Some North American members of this movement were intent on taking Canada by force and exchanging it with Britain for Irish independence. From 1866 to 1871 the Fenians launched a series of small, armed incursions of Canada, each of which was put down by government forces — at the cost of dozens killed and wounded on both sides.
The Battle of Ridgeway (also known as the Battle of Lime Ridge or Limestone Ridge) was fought on the morning of 2 June 1866, near the village of Ridgeway and the town of Fort Erie in Canada West (present-day Ontario).
After the abortive 1837 Upper Canadian Rebellion, its leader, William Lyon Mackenzie, retreated with some 200 followers to Navy Island in the Niagara River. There the Caroline, an American-owned ship based in Fort Schlosser, New York, was employed carrying supplies to the rebels. On 29 December 1837 a force of UC militia, led by Commander Andrew Drew, Royal Navy, found her moored at Schlosser. A brief encounter ensued, in which one American was killed. The Caroline, set ablaze and then adrift, foundered above the falls and sank. The incident exacerbated the already strained relations between Britain and America.