War of 1812people

John Wool


As a young twenty-four year-old captain, John E. Wool (1784 - 1873) conceived the plan to capture the all-important redan gun at the Battle of Queenston Heights. He was a young officer of the 13th Infantry and, despite being shot in the buttocks, managed to lead 240 men up the escarpment to gain the Heights from the British. Wool's capture of the British redan gun turned the battle in favour of the Americans. But eventually, the U.S. troops on the plateau had to withdraw under terrifying attacks by the Iroquois and the British regulars.

Wool's important role at Queenston was not immediately recognized in the official American reports. Many fellow officers stated that he deserved credit for the American successes early on in the battle. By 1814, Wool was a major commanding the 29th Infantry who saw action at Plattsburg. There, he and his 280 men effectively detained a British force of 12,000 until American reinforcements went to work on the British.

After the war, Wool remained with the army, and became the inspector general for the U.S. Army in 1821. He retired from the service 1863.