Covering Kentucky

Jan 23, 2013 5:19 PM

200 Years Later, Remains Of Kentucky Soldiers Killed In War Of 1812 May Be Coming Home

Imagine waiting 200 years to be buried in your homeland. A discovery in an Ontario, Canada park means two Kentucky soldiers who fought in the War of 1812 could finally be coming home on the bicentennial anniversary of the war.

Before the Civil War,

"This was the Old West, the frontier if you will," says John Trowbridge, the Command Historian of the Kentucky National Guard whose passion is the War of 1812. Kentucky militia-men defended the country against the British in the War of 1812, and were instrumental.

"It's just unbelievable the stories of the sacrifice and the dedication and the devotion to duty that these folks showed," says Trowbridge.

Two of those soldiers, Private Foster Bartlett from Henry County and Private William Hardwick, who served under a unit based in Fayette and Clark counties, fought in the Ontario Valley in Canada around the time of the River Raisin Massacre of January 1813. They never made it home.

While planning renovations, Canadian archeologists discovered "gravesite anomalies" at the Tecumseh Park in Chathem-Kent Ontario. Trowbridge, who was in town that October for a War of 1812 documentary, told them he was sure a big mystery was about to be unearthed, based on what he saw.

"I would say these graves aren't six feet deep. They were probably just shallow graves buried, and they ended up moving on to fight the battles," says Trowbridge.

Now the search is on for the descendants of these soldiers, who without them,

"We would probably be speaking the King's English," says Trowbridge.

If the remains are proven to be Bartlett and Hardwick's, the plan is to have them re-interred on the State Mound in Frankfort. The dig to unearth the possible remains is set for September of this year. They will be identified through DNA.

If you want to learn more about the discovery and Kentucky's Role in the War of 1812, check out the following links to the Kentucky National Guard website:


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