Was fresh honey a contributing factor in the American defeat at Crysler’s Farm?

The American invading army that landed at Doran Bay near Iroquois in November 1813 were a hungry group of soldiers who needed to complete the march towards the town of Cornwall and its military stores as quickly as possible.

According to reports, the American soldiers were on relatively meagre rations and supplemented their meals with food confiscated from the locals. Croil’s account of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm in his book “Dundas”, speaks of the invaders eating the raw honey found in the many hives kept by the farmers along the front. There are some reports that the soldiers, who gorged themselves on the honey, became quite ill with dysentery and as such their fighting abilities were somewhat less than optimal.

While the actual effect that the consumption of the raw honey had on the invading force, it is a matter of historical record that there numerous compensation claims for destroyed honey bee hives put in by settlers along the St. Lawrence in Dundas County after the War of 1812.

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