THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (July 8-July 14)
The U.S. Invades Canada
Less than a month after the United States declared war against Great Britain, Brigadier Gen. William Hull, is leading an army of rowdy and undisciplined militia and Army regulars of the 4th Infantry Regiment to attack what was then known as upper Canada (the part of Canada that was upriver from — although south of — the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.)
Hull, a Revolutionary War veteran and territorial governor of Michigan, was nearing 60 and at first turned down command of the Army of the Northwest. But he agreed to take the post after the first commander took ill. On July 12 he launched an invasion of Canadian territory across the Detroit River at Sandwich (now Windsor, Ontario).
But because British troops previously captured an American supply schooner carrying Hull’s personal papers, they know his battle plans. (See last week’s posting)
Hull issues a proclamation to the people of Canada urging them to join the U.S. cause or be “considered and treated as enemies, and the horrors and calamities of war will stalk before you.” Hull boasted that his 2,500 troops “could look down any opposition.” But the threats seem to have the opposite effect. Hull is unable to capture Fort Malden and worries about his extended supply lines and Indian raids. He soon withdraws to the U.S. side of the river after word reaches him that the British have captured Fort Mackinac – at the extreme northern tip of the Michigan Peninsula on Mackinac Island between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Further troubles will befall Hull on the American side of the river.
His incursion across the Detroit River is the first of three attempts by the U.S. to invade Canada.
Next: Chasing the U.S.S. Constitution
Entry filed under: FRIDAY FOTO, National Security and Defense, Photos, Special Operations, THIS WEEK in the War of 1812, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: Brig. Gen. William Hull, Canada, Defense, War of 1812 Bicentennial.