The War of 1812 (2)
of Major Northern Campaigns
move was launched by the Americans aimed at capturing York
(now Toronto). Some 1600 troops took part in the offensive
and more than a fifth of them became casualties when a powder
magazine blew up. The force's commander, General Zebulon
Pike, was killed in the incident.
against orders, the Americans then burnt York's public buildings.
May, there some success for Washington when American troops
attacked and captured Fort George, which overlooked the
mouth of the Niagara River.
700 British defenders retreated followed by some 2100 Americans.
The pursuers may have been too eager to follow the redcoats
and were caught by surprise when the British abruptly turned
around and stood at Stony Creek. Despite their huge advantage
in numbers the Americans were routed.
British attack on the enemy arsenal at Sackett's Harbour,
on Lake Ontario, failed when a combined naval-army force
was unable to capture a ferociously defended fort, held
by a small garrison.
that success, the Americans sent two separate forces - one
of 4000 men led by General Wilkinson and another of 8000
men headed by General Wade Hampton - against Montreal.
push ended at Chateaugay when he was tricked by another
clever British bluff - using buglers to make it seem there
were more redcoats than there actually were - and withdrew.
other attack wing suffered more humiliation when it came
up against another small British force at Chrysler's
Farm. Wilkinson had some 8000 men - 10 times the number
of the defending British troops - but they were completely
humiliated and fled for safer territory, ending the danger
to Montreal and Wilkinson's career.
new American leader, General Jacob Brown, spent much time
training his militia and the British, under pressure, sent
reinforcements to Canada. Before they arrived, however,
came the battle of Chippewa,
where Brown's men defeated an outnumbered General Riall.
new British units bolstered the defence of Canada and, at
Lundy's Lane, Brown and
the British, now under General Sir Gordon Drummond, clashed.
It was a bloody encounter, with both commanders injured
- along with some 900 men each - and the Americans retreated.