North American History - Red George MacDonnell
Greetings to the colonies
I have come across this individual in the course of some local history research - back in the late 18th C his aunt and her husband owned the estate where I now live and his parents settled nearby. He gets credit for a victory at Ogdensberg in the War of 1812.
Is 'Red George MacDonnell known to the average American/Canadian or is he an obscure figure?
It isn’t US custom to study the heroes of other countries—especially those who hand us our own ass in a sling. MacDonnell didn’t exactly overstep his commander’s orders it seems. He indulged in creative interpretation of carrying them out.
The wiki says he was not well recognized for this action. A bias against Mcdonnell may have been afoot as one source said the credit sometimes was assumed by a Lt.Col. Thomas Pearson. Since MacDonnell was born in Newfoundland l wondered if Pearson was born in the motherland. If so , bias against Mcdonnell may have been afoot if the credit was held back in favor of Pearson.
I favor native-born MacDonnell as the initiating the action. Certainly colonial boys both sides of the border were noted for innovative tactics, more likely to buck authority and seize the moment ahead of orders (for better and worse) But politics, snobbery can play out in the military and not give credit where due.
Interesting bit of history. Somebody kicked US ass back then.