Antal, Sandy 1950–

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Antal, Sandy 1950–


Born April 3, 1950, in Poroszio, Hungary; immigrated to Canada; son of Joseph and Gizella Antal; married Jane Kealy, July 5, 1975; children: Katherine, Peter. Education: University of Western Ontario, B.A., 1974; Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, M.A., 1982; University of Toronto, B.Ed., 1992. Hobbies and other interests: Scuba diving, hiking, cross-country skiing, reading, research.


Home—Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.


Canadian Forces, career logistics officer, 1971-91, serving in Toronto, London, and Ottawa, Ontario, Edmonton, Alberta, and Sacramento, CA, retiring as major; high school teacher, 1992-2001; freelance writer and speaker, 2001—.


Award from Choice, 1998, for A Wampum Denied: Procter's War of 1812, which was also selected an "outstanding academic book" by American Library Association.


A Wampum Denied: Procter's War of 1812, Michigan State University Press (East Lansing, MI), 1997.

(With Kevin Shackleton) Duty Nobly Done: The Official History of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment, Walkerville Publishing (Windsor, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

Contributor to Encyclopedia of the War of 1812. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals.


Sandy Antal once told CA: "A Wampum Denied: Procter's War of 1812 is the first detailed, scholarly examination of the War of 1812 in the western theater from the Anglo-Native point of view. As such it has brought into question several traditionally held notions. The Anglo-Native alliance has been depicted as necessarily defensive to repel aggressive American designs on British North America. The result of many years of research and writing, A Wampum Denied reveals allied objectives as being much more than that. By illuminating the diplomatic objective of establishing a Native state south of the Great Lakes, the book introduces a vital consideration to the motives and expedients that drove the military events.

"Equally important, this chronological reconstruction has spawned a reassessment of the central character in this thirteen-month struggle, the much maligned Major-General Henry Procter, commander of the local British forces. In the past, Procter has been overwhelmingly characterized as incompetent, cowardly, and brutal. Through the use of primary sources, I show these judgments to be largely opinionated, the products of wartime propaganda, misinformation, and political ‘scapegoating.’ Indeed, Procter demonstrated considerable skill during the Detroit campaign, as well as his subsequent, decisive victories at Frenchtown and Fort Meigs. Although I do not entirely excuse Procter's conduct, I do establish the principal cause of his ultimate failure as rooted in strategic priorities at high command that left him in an impossible situation. In the end, Procter was court-martialed by the very superiors who left him bereft of means. Throughout my study, I illuminate the consistency of Procter's actions in adhering to the promise of a Native homeland (symbolized by the Great Wampum), a circumstance that resulted in his own tragic demise."

Antal later commented: "My principal works were aimed at filling a vacuum related to the early history of the Detroit River frontier. By reconstructing the events, I have corrected simplistic and erroneous notions that have arisen from lack of research.

"Duty Nobly Done: The Official History of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment is the first comprehensive account of a much-storied unit. The Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment of the Canadian Forces has its roots in the first militia organization in Ontario, dating back to the French regime. The evolution of the militia of Essex and Kent counties is traced through actions of the American Revolutionary War and its aftermath, the War of 1812-14, and the Patriot War of 1838. Throughout this formative period, the militiamen repeatedly affirmed a decided preference for British institutions and evolutionary change in political development. In the process, they earned the right to move from being subjects of the king to assuming citizenship status.

"Coauthor Kevin Shackleton picks up the story in the modern period, detailing unit actions in both World Wars, especially at bloody events of Dieppe and Normandy. The book also describes the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment to the present day."