Project:1812 – Joseph Willcocks

Publisher, Parliamentarian, and Traitor, the strange case of Joseph Willcocks started in 1773, born in the Republic of Ireland, at the age of 27 the young man found his way to the town of York in Upper Canada. He soon found employment as the private clerk of the receiver general, Peter Russell, but it would not last, as Russell was not pleased with Willcocks’ advances towards his half-sister. But that did not stop Willcocks, who found another patron quickly in the form of the colony’s chief justice, Henry Allcock and with his influence was appointed to Home District Sheriff. However his views on the land laws, he soon found himself in opposition of the Lieutenant Governor, Francis Gore, Gore quickly dismissed both Allcock and Willcocks for bad conduct. That did not stop Willcocks who moved to the Niagara region and began publishing The Upper Canada Guardian, in which he publicly expressed his concern for the laws and arbitrary use of power. He soon found himself elected to the colony’s Parliament and was then arrested and jailed for contempt of house during the 4th Parliament. Despite this, he continued to be elected, but he continued to face opposition from the newly appointed Lieutenant Governor, General Isaac Brock. During the 5th Parliament, Willcocks and his allies managed to block some of Brock’s moves to prepare the colony should war be declared with the United States. Brock, despite his views of Willcocks, recruited him to secure the alliance and loyalty of the Six Nation Natives. A mission Willcocks succeeded in, even fighting along side them at Queenston Heights, that saw the death of Brock.

Project:1812 - The Burning of Niagara
Downtown Niagara-On-The-Lake today is a hot tourist destination in the Niagara Region.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Ilford Pan F+ (ISO-50) – Blazinal 1+50 11:00 @ 20C

With Brock’s death, Willcocks saw the rapid change in the political landscape in Upper Canada, Brock’s successors were not as diplomatic in dealing with the colony’s population. The breaking point however was during the American invasion and occupation of the Niagara Region in 1813. He watched as any opinions that were considered disloyal were dealt with in a harsh way. So he did what he thought best, and as a sitting member of the parliament of Upper Canada offered his services to the American force occupying the Niagara region. Bringing with him a group of fellow citizens. He was commissioned a major and raised up a force known as the Canadian Volunteers to fight for the American army. But his commanders continued to mis-trust the turncoat, anyone who turned traitor once, could turn again. Willcocks is most remembered, and vilified for his successful petition to General McClure, to destroy the town of Niagara, today known as Niagara-On-The-Lake during the American withdrawal in December of 1813, thinking that through this the local population would turn to a more pro-American stance. The action however had the opposite reaction, and a week later, Fort Niagara was overrun and occupied by British forces under orders from General Gordon Drummond and everything between Fort Niagara and Buffalo was reduced to ashes.

Project:1812 - Acaster and the Bloody Assizes
The former site of the Rousseau Hotel, where the trails during the Ancaster Assize took place. Today a modern pub and shop occupy the spot.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X 400 (400TX) – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C

In 1814, Willcocks along with several other men, were officially labelled traitors to the Crown and charged as such by the Assize of Ancaster. Willcocks managed to avoid arrest, some of his compatriots were not as lucky. But the long arm of the law was not far from Willcocks, in September of 1814, while leading a raid against the British Batteries during the final weeks of the Siege of Fort Erie, a British musket ball crashed through his chest, killing him. His body was laid to rest in Buffalo, and in 1830 was relocated to an unmarked grave in Forest Lawn Cemetery, forgotten by the country he cast his lot with, and continues to be vilified to this day by Canada.

Grey Coats
Modern Military Reenactors portraying the Canadian Volunteers at the Siege of Fort Erie in 2011.
Nikon D300 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G

Written with Files from:
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/65
Web: www.biographi.ca/en/bio/willcocks_joseph_5E.html
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Berton, Pierre. Flames across the Border, 1813-1814. Markham, Ont.: Penguin, 1988. Print.

Project:1812 – Gordon Drummond

Gordon Drummond was the first Canadian Born Governor General of British North America and Commander-In-Chief of the British forces in the colonies that made up the region. Born in Quebec City on the 27th of September, 1772 but returned to England following the death of his Father in 1780. Educated at the Westminster School and joined the army as an Ensign in 1789 in the 1st of Foot (Royal Scots). He rose through the ranks quickly, achieving the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel by 1794, and Major-General by 1805, having seen combat in the Netherlands, Mediterranean, and the West Indies. He married Margaret Russell in 1807.

Project:1812 - Battle of Lundy's Lane
Drummond’s Statue at Lundy’s Lane.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Drummond was serving as the Regimental chief of staff when the 1st Royal Scots were posted to Upper Canada, he remained in Great Britain at the time and was posted to Ulster. But it wouldn’t be too long before he was ordered to the colonies to take up post as the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada in 1813. Drummond replaced the unpopular Francis de Rottenburg, who had replaced Roger Hale Sheaffe following his defeat at York. Drummond was a lot more agressive than these two, taking a page out of Isaac Brock’s book. His first action of the war was organizing the surprise capture of Fort Niagara then ordering the destruction of American settlements along the Niagara River in December of 1813. Unlike Brock, his communications with Prevost were much more civil, but his demands were the same, Upper Canada needed more troops, and Prevost had a large number in reserve at Quebec City. But despite this, he was able to swiftly respond to the American campaign in the Summer of 1814 under General Jacob Brown. His bold actions won a bloody and costly strategic victory at Lundy’s Lane pushing the Americans back to their beachhead at Fort Erie. His siege however showed exactly how far he was willing to go, his night assault resulted in close to a thousand British casualties without anything to show for the action. He would eventually withdraw to Chippawa. It would be his final combat role in his career. He would go on to wait out the Americans for their withdrawal in November.

Project:1812 - Fort Erie
The rebuilt Old Fort Erie.
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Ilford Delta 100 – Kodak Xtol (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

Following the war, Drummond remained as Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, but would be promoted and giving the role of Governor General of British North America in 1815 following the departure of Prevost who had been recalled to England to answer for his actions at Plattsburg. Despite being put in charge of making sure the stipulations of the Treaty of Ghent were put in place, his time as the colony’s administrator was relatively unremarkable. He returned to England in 1816. He was promoted to full General, granted a knighthood (Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath) in 1825 and went on to serve as commanding officer of the 71st, 49th, and 8th Regiment. He died in his home on the 10th of October, 1854.

Project:1812 - Battle of Lundy's Lane
The Battle of Lundy’s Lane memorial at the Drummond Hill Cemetery.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Drummond is one of those lost Canadian Heroes of the War of 1812, you don’t see many monuments to him around the province he helped save in 1814. There’s a statue to him on Lundy’s Lane, and the cemetery and hill bear his name. An island in Michigan also bears his name, Drummond Island was the site of British fort following the withdrawal from Mackinanc Island in 1815 but was turned over the US in 1822. Even his honour of being the first Canadian Born Governor General is lost, while we celebrate Laura Secord and Isaac Brock more. Drummond, like Prevost, de Rottenburg, and Sheaffe are doomed to have their legacy remained to obscurity.

Written with Files From:
Web: www.warof1812.ca/drummond.htm
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/39
Web: www.biographi.ca/en/bio.php?id_nbr=3881

Project:1812 – Battle of New Orleans

The penultimate battle of the War of 1812, at least in the eyes of the Americans, and the final big battle in the entire war. By the middle of November 1814 the war in Upper Canada had all but finished for the campaign season, in Ghent the negotiations for peace continued, and if they went well, war would not return. But for the United States the war was far from over and far closer to home. Everything that the government feared would happen with Napoleon’s abdication happened. In June of 1814 a force under General John Sherbroke captured 100 miles of coastline in what would become Maine, capturing Castine and sacking Hampden and Bangor. September saw a massive force under General Robert Ross smash an army under General Winder at Bladensburg then proceeded to march on Washington DC burning down many public buildings including the Presidential Mansion and the Capitol. Ross was killed at the Battle of North Point just outside of Baltimore, and the attack fleet failed to crack Fort McHenry during an extensive bombardment of the fort, which kept the British from capturing Baltimore. Rather than make a second attempt at Baltimore, Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane and General John Keane (who replaced Ross) decided to try a different tactic and headed south. Their goal was to disrupt the Mississippi trade route. Their first attempt at capturing Mobile, Alabama failed, and they turned towards the city of New Orleans.

Project:1812 - The Battle of New Orleans
The Rigolets today are monitored by Fort Pike, named for General Zebulon Pike, the fort was constructed after the war to prevent another invasion fleet from sailing into the inland water ways.

The fleet making anchor just outside the entrance to lakes Pontchatin and Borgne on the 9th of December. At New Orleans, General Andrew Jackson had caught wind of the attack fleet and started putting plans in motion. His first goal was to prevent the British entrance into the inland waterways. Any armed ship that could float was put into action and a small force consisting of five gunboats along with the U.S. Schooner Sea Horse (1), U.S. Sloop Alligator (1), and U.S. Sloop Ticker (1) was organized to blockade Lake Borgne. Cochrane sent in a force of sailors and marines on all of his fleet’s auxiliary boats, rafts, gigs, longboats, and barges were organized and began to row in. Setting out on the 12th the flotilla first encountered the Sea Horse in the process of trying to destroy a shore based powder magazine. While she was able to drive off the British, her crew opted to scuttle the ship rather than be captured later. By the 14th the Alligator was captured by the British, and they had reached the gunboat line. After breakfast the flotilla began to pull for the American line under heavy fire and against a strong current. Nonetheless Gunboat No. 156 was the first to be captured, then turning her guns against her sister craft each other gunboat quickly fell. The whole action taking no more than five minutes. The inland waterways were clear and Keane’s army began to move into the state. This was no small army that established a fortified garrison on Pea Island. There were no understrength battalions here, Keane had some of the best forces in the British Army. The force consisted of the 4th (King’s Own), 7th (Royal Fusaliers), 21st, 27th, 40th, 43rd, 44th, 85th, and 95th (The Rifles) supported by Royal Artillery, 14th Light Dragoons, Royal Marines and Sailors. Louisiana was about to be invaded.

Project:1812 - The Battle of New Orleans
Today the LaCoste Plantation is no more, but rather a busy intersection just outside of the City.

With his garrison in place Keane deployed a vanguard to determine Jackson’s disposition. Jackson had spent much of the war fighting the Creeks and now commanding a mixed bag of regulars, marines, sailors, militia, volunteers and pirates. His main defensive line was a series of earthworks under construction along the Rodriguez Canal. He also had support from three grounded ships, U.S. Sloop Louisiana (16), U.S. Schooner Carolina (14), and the U.S. Steamship Enterprise (1). Keane’s vanguard made camp just nine miles from the city on the Lacoste Plantation. This was reported to Jackson by US Dragoons who had spotted the British. By the Eternal, Jackson swore, they shall not sleep on our soil! He led a force on the night of the 23rd to take on the British, and while the initial surprise was enough to shake the British they quickly rallied and pushed the American force back but rather than continue the pursuit, Keane, shaken by the quick strike pulled back. This was exactly what Jackson was looking for, he needed time. Jackson continued the construction of his line, installing eight batteries for the heavy guns, a ninth on the west bank of the Mississippi would be used for the long 24-pound guns from the Louisiana. On Christmas Day, General Edward Pakenham, the replacement for General Ross arrived at Pea Island, having met with the senior officers he decided that the only way to capture the city was a direct assault against it and overrun Jackson’s line, and ordered the army to move forward. On New Year’s Day, 1815 Pakenham’s siege batteries open fire on the Line Jackson. Pakenham, however had one problem, his supply of ammunition for his guns were limited, and while he was able to knock out several of Jackson’s heavy cannons, any infantry assault would not have the same level of artillery cover from the British line. So a plan was made to make every shot count. When the remainder of the army arrived, it was divided into four brigades. The first brigade under Colonel John Thorton was tasked with crossing the Mississippi river to knock out the western battery, establish one of their own and give fire into the line itself from close range. Two main assault brigades under General Keane and General Samuel Gibbs, a third brigade under General John Lambert was held in reserve.

Project:1812 - The Battle of New Orleans
The Chalmette battlefield as it stands today. Thankfully much of the battlefield and the former earthworks remain intact and some of the batteries partly rebuilt.

Thorton’s brigade was supposed to use boats to transport men and guns, but the sailors had been rushed and the dam and canal failed and they were forced to haul everything through the mud in the early hours of the 8th of January. Despite this delay, Pakenham ordered his two main assault columns forward. With the 95th moving head in skirmish order, and under cover of darkness and fog they advanced. Gibbs along the swamp, and Keane along the river’s edge. But where was Thorton’s artillery support? As the columns drew closer the fog lifted and the light poured into the open field, with the cover lost the columns found themselves under heavy fire from small arms and cannon. To add to their problems, the commander of the 44th had forgotten the needed scaling equipment. The columns were trapped in a kill zone. Confusion turned to chaos as Gibbs was killed outright, Keane was ordered to cross the field with the 93rd, only to be injured himself. The right column had met with some success, being able to scale one of the redoubts, but without additional support they remained pinned there, and with the timely arrival of the 7th US Infantry their fate was sealed, only a few made it out alive. With Pakenham also dead, command fell to General Lambert. He had been watching in horror as the soldiers, without any orders to advance or fall back simply stood there getting slaughtered, some tried to find what cover they could find as the 95th had. By the time Lambert had managed to use his own brigade as cover did the blood-letting end. Thorton’s brigade was the only one to meet with some success, albeit rather delayed to prevent the disaster, they did manage to chase off the sailors manning the western battery, but it was all over by the time he was ready to fire, not willing to hold such a position, he too was forced to retreat. Cochrane was not going to give up on New Orleans that easily, and moved his fleet and bombarded Fort St. Phillips for ten days in an effort to open up another invasion route, but the fort refused to surrender. Realizing that New Orleans was not going to crack, the British fleet was packed up and left by the 19th.

Project:1812 - The Battle of New Orleans
The battle monument on the Chalmette field.

While the Battle of New Orleans was a major American victory, and one of the main reasons they feel victory in the War of 1812 was their’s, the simple fact was that a British victory at New Orleans would not have mattered, at all. If the British had won at New Orleans, and occupied the city, when word of peace reached them they would have packed up and left! Besides they never planned to occupy the city and return it, and all of Louisiana, to France (with whom peace had been made, this was before Napoleon had returned from Elba), they merely wanted to disrupt American trade on the Mississippi. However New Orleans has been romanticized, like many battles in the War of 1812, and launched Andrew Jackson to the presidency later in the 19th century. There’s also a catchy little (but horribly inaccurate) song about the battle.

Project:1812 - The Battle of New Orleans
Monument to Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans

Written With Files from:
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/59

Photos: Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Kodak TMax Developer 1+4 6:00 @ 20C

Project:1812 – Battle of the Mississenawa

While most of the actions of the War of 1812 took place along the boarder between the Canadas and the United States, there was a series of native raids in the southern reaches of the Northwest and Indiana Territories. The native allied, stirred into action by the successes of their British Allies in the north proceeded to lay siege to several American forts such as Forts Harrison and Wayne throughout the fall of 1812. But when General William Henry Harrison took command of the Army of the Northwest following Hull’s removal after his loss at Detroit. The old hand at dealing with the native threat took action.

Project:1812 - Battle of Mississinawa
One of the markers at the Mississenawa Battlefield
Photos: Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Plus-X Pan – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

In his first order as General of the Army of the Northwest, he ordered a force of mounted troops to conduct punitive raids against native settlements, destroying, killing, and taking prisoners. On the 14th of December, one such party under Colonel John Cambell left from Fort Greenville to raid along the Mississenawa River. They arrived and made quick work of the village of Chief Silverhand before proceeding on.

Project:1812 - Battle of Mississinawa
Tombstones marking the graves of the US Soldiers killed in the action
Photos: Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Plus-X Pan – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

They were able to destroy two more villages before heading for home, most of the raiders suffering from sickness or frostbite. As they returned to the ruins of Silverhand’s village, another force of natives caught them in an ambush. Seeing initial successes, even freeing some of their breatheran in the process. Campbell however would see none of this, managed to rally his troops, and drove the natives back. He was ready to pursue when word reached him that one of the captured force reported that the legendary Shawnee war chief Tecumseh was in the region. Campbell ordered the column to ride for home, arriving there on the 28th. While much of Campbell’s force had been forced out of action due to illness, and about a dozen had been killed the action was still declared a victory as prisoners had been taken and the native villages were destroyed.

Project:1812 - Battle of Mississinawa
The Mississenawa River flowing past the event site
Photos: Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Plus-X Pan – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Today you can still see the original battlefield located just outside of Marion, Indiana along County Road 308 West, two markers, the graves of the US troops lost, and a sign are located there. A larger memorial is located in downtown Marion. One of the oldest War of 1812 reenactment takes place in the area every October on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, and while we remember the action at Mississenawa, the battle itself is not reenacted, but simply four tactical demos featuring US and British forces. Also some of the best shopping at any event I’ve ever seen.

52:320TXP - Week 42 - The Battle
The battle reenactment at the 2014 Mississenawa Event
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak Tri-X Pan – Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 6:30 @ 20C

Written with Files from:
Web: www.mississinewa1812.com/info.htm
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/23
Web: www.warof1812.ca/mississa.htm

Project:1812 – Actions on Lake Ontario

Control of the lakes were key during the War of 1812 as the fastest way to move troops, equipment, and supplies was by water. Most the roads in the Canadas and the US weren’t the super highways we know today, they were nothing more than dirt roads that would easily become mud pits in the snow and rain. To maintain control of the lakes both sides maintained squadrons of ships that could keep the enemy pinned in their own bases. Unlike Lake Erie which was controlled first by the British because the US Naval Squadron had been captured in 1812 after Brock captured Detroit, and then was rebuilt at Erie in 1813 and the British squadron was captured that year in the Battle of Lake Erie and the US maintained control of Lake Erie until the end of the war, things weren’t so black and white on Lake Ontario.

Project:1812 - Flight of the Royal George
The memorial plaque just outside of Bath, Ontario marking the Escape of the Royal George. A similar plaque to the bombardment of Kingston can be found by the city’s harbor.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Plus-X Pan (PXP) – Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 5:45 @ 20C

For the most part, the actions on Lake Ontario were nothing more than posturing, with most of the action taking place through 1813 and 1814 between the US Squadron commander, Commodore Isaac Chauncy, and his opposite number in the British Squadron, Commodore James Lucas Yeo. Both sides wanted to destroy the other in an action similar to Lake Erie but never got the chance. The first major action on Lake Ontario took place in November of 1812. At that time the Lake Ontario squadron was commanded by Commodore Hugh Earle and his flagship, H.M. Sloop Royal George (20) was the largest and most powerful ship on the lake, and Chauncy wanted it gone, or captured. So on the 5th of November, 1812 he went hunting, taking with him his entire squadron, seven ships. His flagship, U.S. Brig Oneida (16), supported by U.S. Schooner Julia (2), U.S. Schooner Pert (3), U.S. Schooner Conquest (3), and U.S. Schooner Growler (5). The American squadron spotted the Royal George off the Bay of Qunte and proceeded to give chase. Rather than stand and fight against a superior force, her captain, Commodore Hugh Earle, made a break for the Navy Yard at Kingston. Using superior seamanship and knowledge of the area, the Royal George slipped between the mainland and Amherst Island, evading the Americans, but on the 10th she was spotted again, the American squadron gave chase and by two in the afternoon the smaller vessels had made it into gun range and began to fire on the Royal George but they had also slipped into range of the shore batteries. Chauncy brought the Oneida into the action, but it was too late, she had slipped into the yard behind the protection of the big guns at Point Henry and Point Frederick. If Chauncy could not take the George as a prize, he could at least deny the Royal Navy of her use and ordered his ships to continue the bombardment. But the inaccurate fire failed to hit the target rather hitting the town of Kingston itself. With the town and yard in danger the heavy guns at Point Henry and Point Frederick opened fire on the squadron, fearing losses, Chauncy ordered the squadron back with intentions of resuming the bombardment the following day however a storm swept into the area forcing Chauncy out to open water and then back to Sackets Harbor.

Project:1812 - Fort Henry
Following the war, two forts, Fort Henry (pictured) and Fort Frederick were constructed to defend the Navy Yard at Kingston. Fort Henry a Victorian Era masonry fort was completed in 1832, today serves as a popular tourist destination.
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm (Green) – Ilford HP5+ – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

When Commodore James Lucas Yeo took command of the British Squadron he kicked off an arms race on Lake Ontario the type not seen again until just before the First World War as both commanders tried to outgun the other with larger and larger ships. Yeo even went so far as to convince the Army to take Sackets Harbor in May of 1813 with little effect. The two commanders continued to dance around each other until September of 1813 when they finally met. Chauncy finally outclassed the British Squadron with the completion of his new flagship the U.S. Corvette General Pike (28). But Yeo was not going to give up so easily. The two commanders proceeded to chase each other around Lake Ontario. On the 28th of September, Chauncy’s squadron aimed to intercept Yeo while he was in the harbor at York. Yeo, not wanting to expose the construction of a new fort at the capital headed south under heavy wind. The two squadrons exchanged long range fire, Yeo was seeking to get under the cover of the heavy guns at Burlington Heights, knowing that he was outgunned nearly two-to-one, and Chauncy lacked any close range carronades. The two continued the chase, until just before one in the afternoon Yeo reversed course in an effort to bring his batteries to bear and give Chauncy’s flagship a broadside. Chauncy matched the maneuver the two ships hammered at each other the H. M. Sloop Wolfe(20) losing the main top and mizzen masts, while the Pike took damage below the waterline. Yeo’s second in command, Commander William Mulcaster aboard the Royal George seeing the Wolfe taking fire moved in between the two ships to provide cover. Aboard the Pike, Captain Arthur Sinclair urged the commodore to cut his losses and accept the two small Schooners from Yeo’s squadron as prizes and retreat to Sacket’s Harbor to effect repair. But Chauncy wanted all six of Yeo’s ships for his own. Yeo on the other hand knowing he could not win, ordered all his ships into the bay, making it under the cover of the big guns. Chauncy was left facing his own destruction from the batteries at Burlington Heights or from an oncoming storm, and headed back to Sackets Harbor.

Project:1812 - Burlington Races
Burlington Bay as seen from Burlington Heights today.
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznack Xenar 1:4,7/135 – Kodak Plus-X Pan (PXP) – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

While the two men would never meet directly in battle again on Lake Ontario the British managed to maintain control of the lake until the end of the war through the threat of their squadron. Yeo would eventually go on to win the arms race in 1814 with the launch of the H.M. Ship St. Lawrence (112) by the fall of 1814, thus denying naval support to the trapped troops at Fort Erie. The St. Lawrence would go on to be the largest ship to ever sail on the Great Lakes, and even outclassed all of the Royal Navy’s first rate ship-of-the-line in commission at the time. After the war was done, she would continue to patrol Lake Ontario until put in storage in 1816 after the Rush-Baggott Agreement limited the amount of ship’s and arms on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Today she lies near Kingston under water, although you can see pieces of her at the museum on the property of the Royal Military College, which now occupies the former Navy Yard.

Project:1812 - Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard
The Martello tower at Fort Fredrick, you can see part of the St. Lawrence in the Basement, it is also home to the RMC Museum.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tmax 100 (100TMX) – Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C

Written with Files From:
Web: www.warof1812.ca/burlingn.htm
Web: Burlington Connections to the War of 1812 by Daphene Smith
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.

Project:1812 – Raid on Ogdensburg

The St. Lawrence River had remained relatively quiet during the first year of the war, in fact it was for the most part downright peaceful. Both sides were enjoying a rather healthy trade relationship. The simple fact was that most of the St. Lawrence valley was occupied by Loyalists, those who went to or were forced to move to the colony of Upper Canada following the American Revolution, and many still had family on the American side of the river. This was not going to fly in 1813, as the war escalated, raids became common. On the 6th of February, a raid lead by Major Benjamin Forsyth and members of the 1st US Rifle Regiment crossed the frozen river to free American prisoners being held in Elizabethtown, these prisoner had been taken in a British raid earlier in the month. In addition to freeing the prisoners they also took with them military and civilian supplies in the town’s storehouse.

Project:1812 - Raid on Elizbethton
Downtown Brockville, Ontario today. The town changed its name from Elizabethtown to Brockville in honour of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Plus-X Pan – Kodak TMax Dev (1+4) 5:45 @ 20C

While the raid was successful, the residents of Ogdensburg, where the Rifle Regiment was based. Prevost, was in Kingston when he got wind of this action and ordered that a raid against Ogdensburg was in order. On the 22nd a mixed force under Lieutenant Colonel George MacDonell consisted of troops from the 8th (Kings) and Royal Newfoundland Regiments along with members of the Glengarry Light Infantry, local militia and three guns under the Royal Artillery moved out of Fort Wellington in Prescott onto the river. The residents of Ogdensburg thought little of this, as the British often used the frozen river to conduct drill practice.

Project:1812 - Fort Wellington
Fort Wellington as it stands today, looking as it did in the 1830s
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 – Ilford HP5+ – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

But the force split into two columns and kept marching for the shore. The artillery was almost immediately put out of action, bogged down in the deep snow. The militia manned battery to the east of the town proper was quickly overwhelmed by MacDonell’s column who then swept west through the town ensuring that any militia in the town were driven back towards the main fortification occupied by the rifle regiment. It was this fort that the second column under Captain Jenkins of the Glengarry Light Infantry threw himself against. Without artillery support the small arms fire was useless against the stone buildings. Jenkin’s was wounded under the accurate rifle fire, and his Lieutenant took command.

Project:1812 - Raid on Ogdensburg
The remains of earthworks from an old French Fur Trade fort, while these probably weren’t used during the War of 1812 they are the only remaining fortifications that can be found in the town today.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 – TMax Developer (1+9) 20:00 @ 20C

MacDonell however had formed up on the opposite side of the fort and sent over a demand of surrender. Forsyth refused, he had no intention of letting himself or his elite rifle troops become British prisoners. Ordering the local militia to launch a diversionary attack, he snuck his troops out and headed for Sackets Harbor. The militia promptly surrendered, and MacDonell ordered the town be burned after freeing their own prisoners and recapturing the stolen supplies. He did however make an offer to the local business owners, if the town remained free of federal troops and the militia paroled, they would not fear British raids. The business owners agreed, several had friends in the government, who depended on their money for their seats, so the town would not get a new garrison.

Project:1812 - Raid on Ogdensburg
A military monument in downtown Ogdensburg, dedicated to all the soldiers from the town.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 – TMax Developer (1+9) 20:00 @ 20C

Today there isn’t much left in Ogdensburg that dates back to the raid, most of the town was destroyed by the British. Some earthworks can be found on the eastern side of the town, but they date to 18th Century. There is a series of plaques and a self-guided walking tour through the downtown that walks you through the raid. On the Canadian side, Fort Wellington still stands in Prescott, and has been restored to how it looked in the 1830s during the Upper Canada Rebellions but still worth a visit as the 1830s fort is fairly similar to how it would have looked during the War of 1812.

Written with Files from:
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/32
Web: 1000islands.com/ogdensburg/ogdensburgs-role-in-the-war-of-1812/
Web: www.warof1812.ca/o_burg.htm

Project:1812 – Henry Procter

Henry Procter is one of several British commanders that served in Upper Canada during the War of 1812, while his initial days of the war were marked with success, his record has been forever tarnished by his actions later in the war. He is one of two controversial commanders of the Crown Forces during the war, that came from humble beginnings. The son of an army surgeon, Procter was born at Kilkenny, Ireland in the year 1763. His career in the army began in 1781 as an ensign in the 43rd Regiment of Foot. By the end of the American Revolutionary War he was a Lieutenant stationed in New York. Returning to England following the war he managed to purchase a Captaincy in 1792 the same year he married Elizabeth Cockburn (with whom he would go on to have one son and four daughters). By 1800 he had achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and command of the 1st Battalion of the 41st Regiment of Foot, currently stationed in Upper Canada. He arrived in 1802. His command style was immediately noticed by the Commander-In-Chief of the forces in Upper Canada, Major-General Sir Isaac Brock. Procter was a stickler for discipline and drill and it showed, the 41st was soon whipped into fighting shape.

Project:1812 - Fort Meigs
The memorial to the American defenders during the Siege of Fort Meigs
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (320TXP) – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

When the war began in the summer of 1812, the 41st was scattered at numerous stations across the colony. When Hull threatened Upper Canada, Procter and several companies were sent to reinforce their fellow men at Fort Amhurstburg, and for Procter to take command of the garrison. Procter’s arrival was enough to send Hull back to the American side of the river. Procter ordered a series of raid across the river as well to keep the American force at Detroit, specifically General Hull off balance to help Brock win an easy victory. Following his victory Brock left Procter in command of the region.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Frenchtown
A modern replica of sled artillery, something unique to the Battle of Frenchtown/River Raisin.
Bronica SQ-Ai – Zenzanon-S 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 (400TX) – Kodak Xtol (Stock) 6:15 @ 20C

Procter again met with victory against the Americans in February of 1813 with the Battle of Frenchtown, it also marked the beginning of his troubles. Procter did not command the same level of respect with the natives and their leader, the Shawnee chief Tecumseh as Brock had. When warriors returned to Frenchtown the day after the battle, murdering the American prisoners that Procter had left behind. His actions at Frenchtown earned him a promotion to Brigadier-General. It only got worse from there, at the Siege of Fort Meigs; Procter did nothing to stop the natives again from killing American prisoners. Tecumseh in a rage told the general to go and put on petticoats that he was not fit for command. Victory was far from Procter’s grasp as the situation in the west continued to deteriorate. He met with failure at a second attempt to seize Fort Meigs and again at Fort Stephenson, but by September 1813 he was backed into the corner. The Americans had won the Battle of Lake Erie cutting off any hope of reinforcement from the east, and with General William Henry Harrison almost knocking on his door, he chose to retreat rather than fight. After destroying both the fort and navy yard at Amhurstburg, the now demoralized general and remains of the 41st and the disgruntled Tecumseh began the slow march east. The retreat was marked by failure and poor choices that culminated in the disastrous Battle of the Thames. The 41st managed to fire a single volley before Procter and about half the battalion took to flight. Tecumseh would meet his end at that battle as well.

Project:1812 - Battle of the Thames
The River Thames Today
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200 (400TX) – Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 6:30 @ 20C

Upon his arrival at Burlington Heights, he was put under arrest and sent to Quebec City. His division was disbanded and the survivors of the 41st were sent down to reinforce the Niagara Peninsula just liberated from the Americans. Procter stood before a court martial in December of 1814 and would be found guilty of the charges of being deficient in energy and lacking in judgement for his actions that lead up to the Battle of the Thames. To add insult to injury, when the Prince Regnant (the future King George IV) ordered that these charges be read to every regiment in the Army. He was suspended without pay for six months. And while the charge was reduced to a reprimand his career was effectively finished. He returned to England in 1815 and remained semi-retired, never holding a senior post again. He died at Bath, England on the 31st of October, 1822.

Written with Files From:
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/26
Web: www.1812ontario.ca/history/important-people/henry-procter/
Web: www.galafilm.com/1812/e/people/procter.html

Project:1812 – Miller Worsley

One of the many unsung British heroes of the War of 1812, Miller Worsley the son of a clergyman was born on the 8th of July, 1791. He volunteered for the Royal Navy in 1803. The navy unlike the army at the time often promoted through merit rather than money and by 1805 he was a midshipman. While serving aboard H.M. Ship Swiftsure (74) participated in the Battle of Trafalgar. While he passed with Lieutenant’s Exam in 1810 his promotion was delayed due to a large number of officers in the Royal Navy at the time. By 1812 he was serving at the Bermuda Station and with the start of the War, was moved, along with Commander Robert Barclay and David Pring to serve on the Great Lakes in Canada.

Project:1812 - Battle of Lake Huron
Model of the H.M. Schooner Nancy at the Nancy Island Historic Site.

Worsley served on numerous ships on the great lakes in the early part of the war, and by 1813 had finally be given his promotion to Lieutenant. By 1814 he was serving as first Lieutenant aboard H.M. Frigate Princess Charlotte (42) during the Raid on Oswego. That Summer, Worsley is finally granted his own command. He heads north to replace Lieutenant Newdigate Poyntz as captain of H.M. Schooner Nancy (4). He was preparing to sail to Mackinac Island when word was recieved that an American squadron on the lake was hunting his ship, and that he was to go to ground. His crew, supported by local fur traders and native warriors took shelter in a cove constructing a blockhouse to better defend the area. But the Nancy and her crew would not be hidden for long. A forage crew from the American squadron would discover the British. After putting up a fight, the Nancy was destroyed. But Worsley was not about to give up yet.

Project:1812 - Battle of Lake Huron
The Nancy Island Historic Site – the island grew up around the burned Hulk of the Nancy

Using local contacts, the Naval Lieutenant using bateaux and canoes managed to slip past the two American ships left on station and make it back to Mackinac Island and managed to convince the commander, Lieutenant Colonel McDouall, to provide him with men and boats and that he could capture the two ships to reestablish British control on the lake. And in September 1814 using surprise and guile managed to first capture the U.S. Schooner Tigress and then a day later the U.S. Schooner Scorpion.

Project:1812 - Battle of Lake Huron
The Plaque to the Capture of the Tigress and Scorpion

For his actions he was promoted to the rank of Commander, but was soon put on half-pay with a fever. He never saw a further command within the Royal Navy. In 1832 he was appointed inspecting general of the Coast Guard serving in the role for two years. He passed away without note on the 2nd of May, 1835. Despite his actions in the war he is little remembered. There’s a street named after him in Barrie, Ontario, oddly intersecting with a street named for the man he replaced in command of the Nancy, Lieutenant Poyntz. There is however a great deal about him at Nancy Island in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

Written with Files from:
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Web: www.biographi.ca/en/bio/worsley_miller_6E.html
Web: www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/capture-of-the-tigress-and-scorpion-war-of-1812/

Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 (400TX)
Kodak Xtol (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Project:1812 – Charles de Salaberry

One of two Canadian born British Officer during the War of 1812 was Charles Michael de Salaberry, born in the town on Beauport in Lower Canada (today Quebec) on the 19th of November 1778. His family having a long tradition of military service with the French and then British armies, de Salaberry joined at 14 as a gentleman volunteer in the 44th Regiment of Foot. It was too long after that a family friend, Prince Edward Augustus secured an Ensign’s commission in the 1st Battalion of the 60th Regiment of Foot. Joining the regiment in 1794, de Salaberry proved his worth, rising to the rank of Captain seeing combat in both the West Indies and the Netherlands. In 1806 he transferred into the 5th Battalion of the 60th. The 5th Battalion under Colonel Francis de Rottenburg was being raised as a dedicated light infantry unit, trained to fight using skirmish instead of traditional line tactics, clothed in green jackets instead of red coats and armed with the Baker Rifle. He took to this new way of fighting immediately, and was eventually promoted brigade major. When de Rottenburg was promoted to Brigadier General and sent to Lower Canada, he brought de Salaberry with him as his aide-du-camp.

52:320TXP - Week 30 - The Last Blockhouse
The Lacolle Mill Blockhouse still stands today
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (320TXP) – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:30 @ 20C

When word of a possible war with the United States reached the governor general, General George Prevost and General de Rottenburg, de Salaberry was given the task of raising a provincial regiment of dedicated light infantry troops. On the 15th of April, 1812, the new Provincial Corps of Light Infantry was raised, although it is better known as the Canadian Voltigeurs. Lieutenant-Colonel de Salaberry and his new Voltigeurs first saw combat in November of that year, turning back an American force under General Henry Dearborn at Lacolle Mill. Fearing another invasion attempt, de Salaberry was assigned the task of maintaining the defenses along the boarder between Lower Canada and New York. When American General Wade Hampton made another invasion attempt in an effort to launch a coordinated strike against Montreal, de Salaberry and a force of all Canadian troops (a mix of militia, provincial, and native troops) managed to outsmart and maneuver the larger American force eventually turning them back in what became known as the Battle of the Chateauguey. For his victory de Salaberry was given the title of Inspecting Field Officer of Light Troops for the colonies.

Battle of the Chateauguay
Battle of the Chateuguey Monument in Allan’s Corner, Quebec
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Ziess Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 – TMax Developer (1+9) 20:00

Following the war de Salaberry became Justice of the Peace for several districts, eventually being elected as a Legislative Councillor for Lower Canada in 1818. In 1817 he was given the title of Companion of the order of the Bath, and upon the death of his father inherited the title of Seigneur of St. Mathias and settled into a grand home in Chambly, Quebec, his home there is a National Historic Site. He remained there until his death on the 27th of February, 1829. He had been married in May of 1812 and still today many of his decedents are still living in Canada, the last two that still bear the name de Salaberry live in British Columbia. While generally not celebrated outside of Quebec, de Salaberry was an instant folk hero in Lower Canada. The town of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield in Quebec and the Rural Municipality of de Salaberry in Manitoba are both named for the French-Canadian officer. He also has the last traditional armoury built in Canada named for him in Hull, Quebec. The last and personally most interesting note is that one of his son’s, Charles-Rene-Leonidas d’Irumberry de Salaberry would go on in 1862 to found Les Voltigeurs de Quebec, a regiment that perpetrates the legacy of his Father’s Canadian Voltigeurs and remains today as one of the Primary Reserve Regiments within the Canadian Army.

Battle of the Chateauguay
A small statue of de Salaberry at the Battle of the Chateauguay National Historic Site
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Ziess Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 – TMax Developer (1+9) 20:00

Written with Files from:
Web: www.biographi.ca/en/bio/irumberry_de_salaberry_charles_michel_d_6E.html
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/22

Project:1812 – William Hull

There are many who served in the War of 1812 that made a name for themselves, some positive and on which history smiled upon, and those whom history was not as kind to. American lawyer, politician, and hero of the American Revolution William Hull is one such men. Born in 1753 in Derby Connecticut, Hull’s goal was to become a lawyer, studying law and graduating from Harvard in 1772 and then passed the bar in 1775. The start of the American Revolutionary war brought him to join the patriot militia, quickly rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel by 1785. His prowess in battle was noted by George Washington himself after Hull proved himself a commander of men in the battles of White Plans, Trenton, Saratoga, Still Water, Stoney Point, Fort Stanwix, and Monmuth.

Project:1812 - Hull's Invasion of Upper Canada
Sitting among larger buildings, the François Baby House now serves as a regional museum.
Nikon F4 – Nikon Series E 28mm 1:2.8 – Agfa APX 100 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 9:45 @ 20C

It was the words of President George Washington, that prompted President James Madison to grant Hull the position of governor of the Michigan Territory of 1805. Hull’s duty was to secure land for the expanding United States from the many native tribes that occupied the area. Hull was the one that brokered the Treaty of Detroit in 1807, a treaty that the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh and his brother denounced, and brought many more of the displaced Michigan natives to head south to join the native confederacy being formed in Indiana Territory. As tensions continued to rise between the United States and the British Empire and the War Hawks rattling the sabre in Washington DC, President Madison offered the 60-year old governor the rank of Brigadier General and command of the Army of the Northwest, it took much persuading but Hull finally accepted the command and headed for Cincinnati to collect the militia and army. Should war be declared, Hull was to invade and take Fort Amherstburg in the west of Upper Canada.

Project:1812 - Fort Amherstburg/Fort Malden
A cannon mounted at Fort Malden, which replaced Fort Amhurstburg in 1813 after the British destroyed it ahead of Harrison’s landing.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (320TXP) – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

But news of the declaration of war failed to reach Hull in time to take the needed precautions, and he soon found his baggage and war plans in the hands of the British, he still took his 2,000 strong army across the river and occupied the village of Sandwich. But the once cunning commander had grown cautious in his old age and failed to push his attack, and eventually fell back to Fort Detroit after the arrival of British reinforcements. It became bad enough that his own subordinate officers were opening discussing his removal from command. Hull’s paranoia was his eventual undoing, when faced with both real and false information, Hull went with the false information and fell into the British trap and surrendered Fort Detroit and all the troops within and without. Hull along with the rest of the regular forces were sent as prisoners of war to Quebec City where he would remain until the end of the war, eventually being released in a prisoner exchange.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Fort Dearborn
The Battle of Fort Dearborn was a direct result of Hull’s orders to pull out the garrison there.
Nikon FM2 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Kodak Tri-X 400 (400TX) – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 4:30 @ 20C

Hull was arrested and brought to court martial on five charges, only four of which he was found guilty, the charges of cowardice and neglect of duty in regards to the surrender of Detroit, the sentence carried a penalty of death. Hull was only saved by a pardon by President Madison, citing the man’s actions during the Revolution. Hull however was stripped of all ranks and titles and retired to Newton, MA. His wife, Sarah Fuller, his only ally and worked to clear his name. She published two books, but it was her second book, Memoirs of the Campaign of the North Western Army of the United States: AD 1812 that was published in 1824 that caused the public opinion to swing back into his favour, enough so that on the 30th of May, 1825 a dinner was held in his honour. Hull passed away on the 30th of November that same year.

Project:1812 - Siege of Fort Detroit
The marker for the Capture of Detroit by British forces, Hull’s fatal mistake.
Nikon F4 – Nikon Series E 28mm 1:2.8 – Afga APX 100 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 9:45 @ 20C

While history continues to sit on the fence about William Hull, laying the blame at his feet for his failures in the war, Hull it seemed was backed into a corner. He was far too old to lead such an attack, but early in the War, the Army had few officers of experience in its ranks. Hull also lacked the required number of trained troops, and lack of equipment to conduct an invasion, plus the failure to communicate the situation in a quick manner. It almost seemed that the government that would condemn Hull set him up to fail in the first place. Hull however does hold the distinction of being the only American flag officer to have been sentenced to death.

Written With Files From:
Web: www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/275269/William-Hull
Web: www.military.com/Content/MoreContent?file=ML_whull_bkp
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/10
Web: www.1812ontario.ca/history/important-people/william-hull/