The War of 1812
of Major Northern Campaigns
Map of Battle of Chrysler's Farm
Colours of British Regulars in 1812
1812, the American War of Independence was still within
living memory for governments in London and Washington.
still felt the pain of losing a prized colony, while America
was eager to make itself more secure from foreign interference.
it did not take too much to get the blood of both nations
up and a clash of wills, at least, was a certainty.
British Royal Navy ruled the waves and was keen to keep
doing so. Much of its effort during the long wars went on
ensuring that France and her allies did not receive supplies
that could help their war effort.
Britain claimed the right to search all neutral shipping
for such cargo - and for ex-British sailors who had deserted
- a suggestion that infuriated America.
war at sea was essentially limited to duels
between single ships - and for the first time in a very
long while the British navy came up against an opponent
that could match its own prowess.
Americans, however, were not blameless and their desire
to control Canadian territory backing on to the Great Lakes
lead to a series of battles between the two nations.
fact, the United States declared war on Britain and militia
units crossed the border into Canada on 18 June 1812.
first engagements went poorly for the Americans - with the
none of the expected support from colonists, French Canadians
and the local Indians.
Recovering from the initial shock, the British then drove
into America and seized key forts around the Lakes.
American force of some 2500 militia under General
William Hull surrendered to General
Sir Isaac Brock and his Indian ally Tecumseh
at Detroit in August.
months later, a larger American force (3200 men) again invaded
Canada and took on Brock's 1000-strong force at Queenston.
It was a decisive defeat for the invaders, losing 250 men
and having 700 captured, although the British suffered a
major blow when their commander was killed.
war, however, then swung America's way, with a naval battle
at Lake Erie halting a
British amphibious push and a land encounter, at Thames
River, leading to a British surrender after the death of
Tecumseh and the desertion of his warriors.