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Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada


Detroit Campaign
Summer of 1812

June 18, 1812
The United States of America declared war on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

July 2, 1812
On July 1, while en route to Detroit, General William Hull hired the schooner "Cayuhoga" to transport the heavier baggage and the sick. The next day, unaware that war had been declared, the captain took his vessel up the deep water channel of the Detroit River past Fort Amherstburg. Under threat of the guns of Fort Amherstburg and the British brig, HMS General Hunter, the Cayuhoga surrendered. It was a disastrous blow to Hull as the capture included his official army records.

July 12, 1812
At dawn on July 12, the American army under Hull crossed the Detroit River and occupied the Town of Sandwich. A proclamation dated July 13 was issued offering personal and property protection to the Canadians who were willing to join the American cause:

After thirty years of PEACE & prosperity, the UNITED STATES have been driven to Arms. The injuries & aggressions, the insults & indignities of Great Britain have once more left them no alternative but manly resistance or unconditional submission. The ARMY under my command has invaded your country, & the Standard of the UNION now waves over the Territory of CANADA. To the peaceable unoffending inhabitant, it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies, not to snake them. I come to protect, not to injure you.

If the barbarous & savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the savages are let loose to murder our citizens, & butcher our women and children, the war, will be a war of extermination.

The first stroke of the Tomahawk, the first attempt with the scalping knife, will be the signal for one indiscriminate scene of desolation. No white man found fighting by the side of an Indian, will be taken prisoner. Instant destruction will be his lot.

The UNITED STATES offer you peace, liberty and security. Your choice lies between these & WAR, slavery, and destruction. Choose then, but choose wisely; and may he who knows the justice of our cause; and who holds in his hand the fate of NATIONS, guide you to a result the most compatible with your rights and interest, you PEACE and prosperity.

July 16, 1812

On July 16 an advance guard from Hull's army met a patrol from Fort Amherstburg at the River Canard. In this brief encounter one British soldier died and another was captured thus shedding the first blood of the war.

July 22, 1812
Major General Isaac Brock issued a proclamation condemning the American invasion at Sandwich:

The unprovoked declaration of War, by the United States of America, against the United Kingdom, of Great Britain and Ireland, and its dependencies, has been followed by the actual invasion of this Province in a remote frontier of the Western District by a detachment of the armed force of the United States. The officer commanding that detachment has thought proper to invite his Majesty's subjects not merely to a quiet and unresisting submission, but insults them with a call to seek voluntarily the protection of his Government.

Be not dismayed at the unjustifiable threat of the commander of the enemies forges, to refuse quarter should an Indian appear in the ranks. --- The brave bands of natives which inhabit this Colony, were, like his Majesty's subjects, punished for their zeal and fidelity by the loss of their possessions in the late colonies, and rewarded by his Majesty with lands of superior value in this Province

This inconsistent and unjustifiable threat of refusing quarter for such a cause as being found in arms with a brother sufferer in defence of invaded rights, must be exercised with the certain assurance of retaliation, not only in the limited operations of war in this part of the King's Dominions but in every quarter of the Globe, for the national character of Britain is not less distinguished for humanity than strict retributive justice, which will consider the execution of this inhuman threat as deliberate murder, for which every subject of the offending powered must make expiation.

ISAAC BROCK Maj. Gen. and President Head Quarters Fort - George 22nd July,1812 By Order of His Honour the President J.B. GLEGG Capt. A.D.C.GOD SAVE THE KING.

August 5, 1812
Hull found his mail and supply route under constant threat of attack from British troops and Indians. He sent a force of 150 men under Major Thomas Van Horne to escort a supply train waiting at the River Raisin. On the way, they were attacked by 25 warriors under Tecumseh at Brownstown on August 5. The Americans gave way quickly, suffering 31 casualties to the Warriors' one.

August 9, 1812
On August 9, Hull sent 600 men under Lieutenant-Colonel James Miller to escort the supply train still waiting at the River Raisin. At Monguagon, Miller's force was attacked by 400 British soldiers and warriors under Captain Adam Muir of the 41st Regiment. Miller returned to Detroit with 82 dead and wounded after forcing the British to withdraw. The British lost 30 soldiers and perhaps as many as 40 warriors.

August 13-16,1812
Major General Isaac Brock arrived at Fort Amherstburg on August 13 and assumed command. The next day he met with Tecumseh to plan their military strategy. After bombarding Detroit the day before, the British crossed the river on the morning of the 16th, landing at Spring Wells. Fearing that he could not withstand a major assault, Hull surrendered Detroit, the whole of the Northwestern army, and Michigan Territory.

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