Bored Officers, An Afternoon of Whisky and a Deserter on the Loose in Detroit. What Could Go Wrong?
By Tom Fournier
This incident has fascinated me for some time. It happened in 1805 in Detroit involving Officers of the British Army (41st Regiment) and the U.S. Army.
By way of some background, Officers from the British and American armies stationed in remote outposts with limited society, were there to observe each other, but they would often end up taking advantage of their common background and experiences to develop friendships and a culture of visiting.
The British had a policy of rounding up and returning American deserters to the U.S. Army. They asked for reciprocal actions or support from the Americans. For the Americans, this proved more difficult in or near American communities as their citizens were protective of British deserters seeking liberty and a new life in the United States.
These articles are written and compiled by members of the 41st Regiment Living History Group.