Here’s the deal, the battle of Tippecanoe wasn’t actually a part of the Anglo-American War of 1812. But I have decided to include it because it was really a prelude to the conflict. Think of it like a prequel setting the stage for William Henry Harrison’s campaign of 1813 and the key to Brock’s capture of Fort Detroit with the required assistance of Tecumseh in 1812. Tippecanoe, like the war of 1812 was a culmination of violence between the Native population and the American government, and the idea of American Manifest Destiny. The Tippecanoe Battlefield monument stands on the battle ground still today. Engraved areRead 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 →

The Siege of Fort Meigs was a mess, a minor action at a depot fort that did little but injury the personal morale of a British officer and drive a wedge in the strained alliance between Tecumseh and the British. It was the opening move in the long game of William Henry Harrison and his designs for the invasion of Upper Canada. A muddy mess that did little to further the British plans but was exactly what Harrison had hoped in the end. A small, tactical victory. One of seven blockhouses that served as defensive strong points and secure artillery batteries for the palasade wallRead More →

If you’ve never heard of Fort Amherstburg or even Fort Malden, I’ll forgive you. Being from the Greater Toronto/Hamilton region of Ontario, much of Western Ontario is a bit of a mystery. It also doesn’t help that today Fort Malden doesn’t look too much like a fort when you compare it to places like Fort York, Fort Erie, and Fort Wellington. Located in the small town of Amherstburg, the fort’s garrison saw some of the heaviest and earliest fightings during the Anglo-American War of 1812 and had a long history beyond that of a military post. They were initially constructed as Fort Amherstburg following theRead More →

The American plan for the invasion of Upper Canada would be a simple one. A coordinated three-pronged attack that would strike at Fort Amherstburg in the West, Montreal in the East, and the Niagara Penisula in the center. But in the 19th-Century coordinating three attacks with such vast distances between them was impossible. The Americans also believed that the local population would welcome them as liberators, not invaders. The quick turnabout at Detroit proved this second part wrong. And while General Isaac Brock proved himself the Saviour of Upper Canada at Detroit he would soon face both his next challenge and his mortality. A PlaqueRead More →

The British Capture of Fort Niagara is one of many controversial engagements of the Anglo-American War of 1812 and certainly marked a shift in the tactics of both the British and Americans in the final year of the war. General Gordon Drummond’s orders came on the heels of the destruction of the town of Niagara, today Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, by the Americans and a group of traitorous Canadians. While the exact details of the destruction were blown out of proportion to justify the brutality of the capture better, it none the less is a dark stain on the British record of the war. Fort Niagara asRead More →

When the Americans retreated across the river in December of 1813 they left nothing but a charred ruin of the town of Newark (Today‚Äôs Niagara-On-The-Lake) and Fort George. Left with no fortifications in the area, General Drummond immediately ordered the capture of Fort Niagara (which was a huge success) and the construction of new fortifications to defend the Canadian Side of the mouth of the Niagara River. Drummond, quick to realize that Fort George was too distant to command the river mouth ordered the new fort be constructed closer to Lake Ontario. Construction of the new Fort Mississauga commenced in spring of 1814. It consistedRead More →

Following a series of defeats that saw the surrender of three American Armies and the British in control of the entire Michigan Territory from Ohio to Mackinac Island. General Henry Dearborn needed a new plan, one that would not only boost the morale of his troops but give Washington DC a swift victory that they had been expecting. It was again decided that a three-pronged assault would be enough to force the British to retreat and surrender from Upper Canada. But it didn’t go exactly to plan. Dearborn believed the false report that 8,000 British Regulars garrisoned Kingston, home to the Royal Navy Squadron onRead More →

Queenston Heights, one of the famous locations connected to the Anglo-American War of 1812, the southern terminus of the Niagara Escarpment and surprisingly overlooked for its importance in all the stages of the war except for the famous battle that took place at the site in 1812. Queenston Heights takes it name from the village of Queenston located east of the heights. The village had its beginnings in 1780 founded by Robert Hamilton and marked one of the terminuses of the Niagara Portage that allowed traders to bypass Niagara Falls. A memorial carin in the village erroniously marks the spot of Brock’s death. In realtyRead More →

A watershed event for the Canadians during the Anglo-American War of 1812. The tiny town of York, today’s Toronto, Ontario, was the colonial capital of Upper Canada, established in 1793 by John Graves Simcoe for the sole purpose of being further away from the American frontier. Despite the town’s status as the capital it was poorly regarded called Muddy York, a far cry from the seat of British power in North America, Quebec City. And while the town itself was far from a tactical target, it wasn’t a tactical target that US Army commander, Henry Dearborn, wanted following a series of American defeats in 1812.Read More →