Barracks


Barracks were in short supply on Burlington Heights. The 1813 map shows four proposed log barracks located just to the west of the 1st Line of Defense meant to hold 80 men each. Two more 80 man barracks were proposed for the western end of the heights close to two storehouses and a gun-powder magazine.  Given the large number of soldiers, First Nations warriors, dependent women and children and refugees, there was never enough housing to go around. While use was made of Beasley’s barn, sheep stable, shed and storehouse, most had to live in temporary structures such as tents or wigwams.

The army had very strict practices regarding the organization of its troops in tents and in barracks. In part that was to allow all men and resources to be easily accounted for in a moments notice. In part it was meant to regulate behavior, to keep the peace and maintain good hygiene as they understood it. Even with these rules and regulations the health and fighting fitness of the troops often suffered due to a combination of poor diet, infrequent washing and overcrowding. According to Lieutenant Colonel Bruyeres commander of the Royal Engineers, in October of 1813 approximately 50% of the troops garrisoned on the Heights were on sick parade. Rather than blame the conditions and poor diet, Bruyeres blamed the landscape and stagnant swamp which he believed contained a bad air which made the troops sick.