Dennis Fitzgerald joined the 41st Regiment in 1798 as a private solider. He rose from the ranks to a position of Ensign and Adjutant - no small accomplishment as it would take an exceptional soldier to go from the rank and file to the officer corps. Fitzgerald served through the War of 1812 with distinction and found himself at many of the significant battles in Upper Canada. He remained behind in Canada after the 41st returned to Europe.
Circumstances left him poor and desperate, prompting the writing of this Memorial seeking an Adjutant’s position with a Veteran Battalion.
To, His Excellency Lieutenant-General The Earl of Dalhousie, Grand Cross of the most Honorable order of the Bath, Commander of the Forces in British North America, V.V.V.
The Memorial of Dennis Fitzgerald Adjutant on Staff, Pay of His Majesty’s 41st Regiment of Foot.
Most humbly Sheweth
That your Lordships Memorialist Joined the abovementioned Regiment in the year 1798, and proceeded with it to Canada in the year 1799. That your Memorialist has during his service since that period risen from the Ranks, to Sergeant in 1800 to Paymaster Sergeant of the Regiment in 1803 to Sergeant Major in 1810 and to Ensign and Adjutant in 1813.
That your Lordships Memorialist has actively served in Upper Canada during the whole of the late American War and was in the following actions with the Enemy –
Battle of Queenstown … 13th Oct. 1812
Cannonading on Fort Niagara … 21st Nov. 1812
Ditto on Black Rock U.S. … 17th March 1813
Action at Stony Creek 6th … June 1813
Assault on Sandusky U.S. 2nd …. August 1813
Action near the Moravian Valley 5th … Oct. 1813
Capture of Fort Niagara & Lewiston 19th … Dec. 1813
That Lieutenant-General Sir Gordon Drummond attached your Memorialist a Adjutant to the only Battalion of Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada in February 1814, which Corps your Memorialist Drilled and completed in the Knowledge of its Military duties so as to be ready for Service on the Opening of the Campaign that year and which distinguished itself on many Occasions during the arduous Campaign of 1814. Memorialist was present with it in the Following Engagements with the Enemy –
Action at Lundy’s Lane …25th July 1814
Skirmish with the Enemy near Fort Erie … 3rd August 1814
Ditto Ditto … 12th August 1814
Assault on Fort Erie 12th … August 1814
Skirmish at Fort Erie … 4th Sept. 1814
And the Subsequent Operations on the Niagara Frontier to the termination of the Campaign. In all of which your Memorialist had the honor to merit the approbation of the General Officers in Command and of his respective commanding Officers.
That the Battalion of the 41st Regt. to which your Memorialist belonged was Reduced in Canada the later end of the year 1814, immediately after which he was appointed to the Situation of Fort Adjutant at York in Upper Canada. But that Situation being discontinued from the 25th December 1819, your Lordships Memorialist has been reduced to the greatest distress, not only by the Accidental circumstance of the total destruction of the whole of his property by Fire but he has nothing whatsoever left to Subsist his family upon except his Half Pay, and that family consisting of a wife and no less than 6 young children.
That from the aforementioned circumstances, and in consideration of the unremitting attention to his duty for the Span of 22 Years, Your Memorialist trusts your Lordship will not deem him unworthy of your Lordships Recommendations to His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief, for the appointment of adjutant to one of the Veteran Battalions fully embodied.
Adjutant H. Pay 41st Foot