THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (February 16- 22)

February 17, 2014 at 12:10 am 1 comment

No Man’s Land

Since the American defeat at Crysler’s Farm in November 1813, the Northern Front along the St. Lawrence River has been quiet. But British raids continue across the river into New York State. From February 14 to February 24 the British and Canadians hit depots and supply centers left unprotected following the evacuation of French Mills by U.S. Major General James Wilkinson’s army in early February.

(Map courtesy U.S. Army xxxxxxxxx Center)

(Map courtesy U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Military History)

In the Fall of 1813, Wilkinson planned to combine with Major General Wade Hampton in a two-pronged campaign to invade Canada and take Montreal. But the plan fell apart when Hampton’s force is battered at the Battle of Chateauguay on October 26, 1813 and withdrew to Plattsburgh, rather than continue advancing.

Then Wilkinson’s army is defeated at Crysler’s Farm on November 11, 1813 and he ends the campaign and heads for French Mills on the Salmon River. But life is difficult in the winter camp in New York’s rugged North Country. More than 200 soldiers die during the winter and by mid February, Wilkinson’s troops burn their boats and march South to Sacket’s Harbor on Lake Ontario and east to Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain.

In their raids on the abandoned supply centers, the British capture large amounts of provisions and equipment at French Mills, Malone, Fort Corners, Madrid and Hopkinton – all in New York.

Meanwhile, farther west along the Great Lakes, there are occasional skirmishes between American raiding or scouting parties and the Canadian militia, in what is now the Province of Ontario across the Detroit River from Michigan Territory. The Americans occupy the abandoned Fort Malden in Amherstburg on the Canadian side of the river. The Canadians occupy Burlington and a small outpost at Delaware between Amherstburg and Burlington.

Candian Voltiguers skirmishing (Photo courtesy of Parks Canada)

Candian Voltiguers skirmishing (Photo courtesy of Parks Canada)

On February 21, 1814 the American commander of Amherstburg sends Captain Andrew Holmes to capture either Delaware or another small British-Canadian outpost at Port Talbot on Lake Erie.

Chatham. Homles has mounted detachments of the 24th, 26th, 27th and 28th U.S. Infantry regiments and two small cannon. He is joined by rangers and militiamen from Michigan in a march along Lake Erie to Port Talbot.

The American raid will result in the Battle of Longwoods in March.

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Entry filed under: National Security and Defense, Special Operations, THIS WEEK in the War of 1812, Traditions, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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