Death at Snake Hill


In 1987, archaeologists working on a number of waterfront lots in Fort Erie, Ontario, discovered bones that turned out to be the remains of soldiers who had died during the American occupation of Fort Erie 173 years before. They had uncovered a U.S. military graveyard from the War of 1812.

The archaeological dig that followed attracted great public interest and media attention on both sides of the border. Historical research and scientific analysis of the bones combined to produce a remarkably detailed profile of anonymous victims in a half-forgotten conflict. The Snake Hill story culminated in a remarkable repatriation ceremony in which twenty-eight American soldiers were returned to their homeland for an honorary reburial.


"A fascinating examination not only of an important historical event, but also of the rigours of military life and medical practices in the early nineteenth century."

Dundurn Castle

About the Authors

Paul Litt

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Paul Litt

Paul Litt is a Canadian historian with an interest in cultural policy. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and is currently a historical consultant with the Ontario Heritage Foundation.