I never realized exactly how isolated Fort St. Joseph is, even from the main highway you’re still looking at around 30-45 minutes drive down to the south western corner of St. Joseph Island. And to make things all the better it was pouring rain the day I visited these distant ruins, at least the wonderful staff at the site were welcoming and very friendly, and probably happy that they even saw one other person. It’s no wonder that the 10th Royal Vets that were stationed here in the early 19th century turned to drink. The path from the visitors centre to the ruins of theRead More →

Hull was worried, he had received word that Fort Mackinac had been taken by the British and that General Brock was heading west with reinforcements from York, but he continued to occupy Sandwich, despite the arrival of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Procter, commander of the 1st battalion 41st of Fort at Fort Amherstburg on the 26th of July ahead of General Brock. Procter had orders to disrupt the American supply lines to the south and isolate Hull and Fort Detroit. On the 4th of August, Hull received a message from Captain Brush in command of one such supply columns that had stopped at the settlement of FrenchtownRead More →

When war was declared in June of 1812, neither side was particular ready or wanting to go to war, they hoped that simply being at war would generate the fighting spirit among the troops. Plus with methods of communications being what they were at the time, there was a bit of a delay getting the word out, in fact the British forces stationed in Upper and Lower Canada knew about it before even the Americans did. The British had a very small force of regular troops stationed in British North America, most being concentrated at Quebec City, the Capital of the colonies, and Halifax, homeRead More →

After the disastrous defeat at the Battle of the Thames the stretch of western Upper Canada, some 200 miles became nothing more than a no-man’s land between the American garrison at Amhurstburg and the British stronghold at Burlington Heights. Neither side had the will or manpower to secure the area so it devolved into skirmishes between the few British Regulars still in the area along with local Militia and Native warriors still allied with the British and Canadian Population and the American raiding parties conducting economic warfare in the area, destroying crops, mills, and storehouses containing food and goods bound for the armies in theRead More →

As part of the preparation for putting the entire project into book form, I’ve been going around and re-shooting many of the fortifications that were involved in the War of 1812 using large format film (4 inch by 5 inch), simply for practice and the quality it gives. Here are the first group of forts. Completed at the start of the war to protect the dockyard at Prescott a critical point in the movement of supplies between Upper Canada, Lower Canada and Halifax, Fort Wellington was never outright attacked during the war, rather troops from the garrison would only participate in the battles of OgdensburgRead More →

Dundurn Castle isn’t really a castle, it’s just the name of this stately manor home that sits on Burlington Heights, built over the ruins of the British Strong Point during the War of 1812, and the launch point of the small British Force that defeated the Americans camped at Stoney Creek in June of 1813. The home completed in 1835 was constructed in the Regency Style. It’s most famous owner, Sir Allen MacNab would go on to be one of Canada’s Early Prime Ministers. Dundurn Castle has always been a draw for me, as a history buff, there’s a War of 1812 connection, and asRead More →

The outlook for General Henry Procter in the west was grim at best, hopeless at the worst. On September 10th, 1813 Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry had managed to take on the British Royal Navy Squadron on Lake Erie and capture all the ships intact, finally wresting control of Lake Erie from the mighty Royal Navy, this left the door wide open for a full out invasion of Upper Canada in the West. We have met the enemy and they are ours, Hazard penned in a dispatch to General William Henry Harrison who was waiting in the south. Harrison took this as an open invitation. ProcterRead More →

The lovely village of Queenston tucked away on the shores of the Niagara River, just below the Niagara Parkway and hidden in the shadow of the mighty heights. Although small, the village is no stranger to the stage of history. Almost 201 years ago it was the sight of an American invasion during the War of 1812, that saw the actions of General Isaac Brock and General Sheaffe drive away the invading force, and saw the death of Brock, in fact Brock and his Aide-Du-Campe are buried up on the Heights beneath the tallest military monuments in Canada. The Village was again occupied by AmericanRead More →

As the fall of 1813 moved in closer, and things were not going well for the Americans on the Niagara frontier they decided to launch a strike against Montreal. This act would cut off the rest of Upper Canada from supplies and troops that could come in from Halifax and Quebec City along the St. Lawrence River which had seen peace after the British victory at Ogdensburg in February of the same year. The plan was to catch Montreal between two armies. The first would sweep in from the south commanded by General Hampton, while a second army would come in moving east from UpperRead More →

This year marked the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Stoney Creek during the War of 1812, although I have previously written about this particular battle, this year I again traded in my musket for my camera to capture this event from the sidelines (Although I was offered marching spots with the 10th RVB and 49th and I may just take them up on the offer next year). Most of the photos here are of the reenactors, the men and women who volunteer to do this for the public’s enjoyment. Probably one of the highlights was the performance put on by an actual British ArmyRead More →