James Sedgwick was born in the Parish of Magheragall, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland c 1796 to John Sedgwick. His step-mother was Agnes Agnew. The Sedgwick family lived on Lot 25, Ballymave, Parish of Magheragall, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The 41st came to Canada in 1799, serving both Upper and Lower Canada prior to the war. They arrived on the western front, at Amherstburg, in 1805. By then, their reputation as an effective fighting force had been well established. General Brock noted the men to be “fit and well informed” and mentioned their “high state of discipline.” When war broke out they had already spent thirteen years in North America and they were expecting to return home to Britain on a rotation transfer. Instead, the marching orders were altered; remain fast and defend the Motherland’s colony.
A small guard detachment stationed at Fort Malden fired the opening shots of the war, their target General Hull’s men at the River Canard bridge. The date was July 16, 1812. The heroic stand became a rallying cry as the Regiment stepped up its war rehearsal manoeuvers.