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Fort George National Historic Site of Canada

The war of 1812

1814- the U.S. return to Niagara

Time Lines (All events occur in the year 1814.)

Jan | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

January - delegates are sent from the United States to Europe to begin peace negotiations.

March 5 Battle at Longwoods

An American force of 165 men who are foraging for supplies are surprised by William Caldwell's Rangers and a brief skirmish follows. The news is taken to the British force stationed at Delaware(on the Thames) and some 240 British Regulars, Militia and, Natives under the command of Captain James Basden of the 89th Regiment, hurry to Longwoods and assault the quickly thrown up American defence work. Basden tries a frontal assault up a very steep icy hill, resulting in heavy casualties. Unsuccessful, the British force returns to Delaware and the American force withdraws to Sandwich.

March 30th Lacolle Mill

Major General James Wilkinson assembles a large force to invade Lower Canada. His forces capture Odelltown and proceed to Lacolle just off of Lake Champlain. After a small skirmish the British force repels the American force who withdraw.

April U.S. Raid on Oxford

May War officially ends against Napoleon.

May 6 British capture Oswego

On May 3, Commodore James Yeo and Lieutenant-General Drummond sail out from Kingston with 1,000 soldiers. Due to indecisiveness and bad weather the assault does not occur until the 6th. The fort is carried quickly (the American garrison consisting of 300 men and some additional militia) and Oswego is burned and provisions and prisoners are taken.

May 19 Commodore Yeo blockades Sackets Harbour
May Raids and burning of Port Dover and Charlottesville, Patterson's Creek (Lynn River)

May 30 Raid on Port Talbot.

May 30 British Naval blockade extended to include the New England States

May 30 Sandy Creek

Two British naval officers take 2 gun boats and some smaller vessels and try to chase down Americans trying to skirt Yeo's blockade of Sackets Harbour. The British force is ambushed losing 7 boats and 200 men killed, injured and captured . The American force included 100 regulars, 130 Riflemen and 150 Oneida Indians.


U.S. Colonel William Clark takes a force of regulars up to Prairie-du-Chien. The small British voluntary force abandons the site and Clark builds a new fortification called Fort Shelby, and leaves a small garrison there.

July 3 U.S. capture Fort Erie

Winfield Scott and an American force of 3,500 troops and 600 Natives cross from Black Rock and assault a garrison of 140 men at Fort Erie. A token defence ends quickly and Major Thomas Buck surrenders to the American Force.

July 5 British loss at Chippewa

Fresh from the victory at Fort Erie the American forces advance to Chippewa where they are met by Militia and British forces from the Niagara region (Forts Niagara, George and the under construction Fort Mississauga ). The overconfident and smaller (1,800 men) British force under Major General Riall, attacks the American army and is turned back losing 400 soldiers killed, injured or captured.

July 7 Americans cross and capture Queenston.

Jul 18 Americans burn St. Davids.

July 19 British capture Prairie du Chien

An assembled British force of 650 men (mostly Native Allies) under Brevet Major William McKay attack Fort Shelby and a gunboat which is well armed with artillery. The engagement lasts two days and culminates in the departure of the gunboat and surrender of the American garrison. The Native Allies pursue the gunboat to the Rock Island Rapids where they meet with an army of Americans going to Prairie Du Chien. A violent exchange occurs and the American forces retreat, ultimately to St. Louis.

July 20 U.S. Raid on Port Talbot.

July 25 Battle of Lundy's Lane British victory

Late in the afternoon at a small church and cemetery, over 2,000 British soldiers and militia under Lieutenant-General Gordon Drummond engage Major General Brown's army as it advances toward Fort George. The British set up a gun emplacement at the cemetery that was to be the principal objective of the battle. Through an intense firefight, the Americans capture the British guns and then abandon most of them during the night. Despite Brown's desire to see the hill retaken the next day, his subordinate Brigadier General Eleazer Ripley (left in charge after Brown was wounded) retreated to Fort Erie. The battle of Lundy's Lane was the bloodiest battle of the war, with 600 British and 700 Americans soldiers, killed, wounded or captured.

July 4-5 Assault on Michilimackinac

Having left Detroit on July 3 Colonel George Croghan with 5 vessels and 700 men, land on Mackinac Island and are repulsed by a small garrison and some natives. The American force leave two ships to blockade supplies to the British Garrison and depart landing later at the entrance to the Nottawasaga River. The newly constructed British blockhouse and a supply vessel named the Nancy are burned in the resulting one sided battle. Croghan returns to Detroit. The commander of the Nancy, Lieutenant Millar Worsely, loads all remaining supplies into bateaux, and rows to Mackinac. He reaches Mackinac Island and then plans and helps to lead the successful surprise attack in the USS Tigress and USS Scorpion.

August 12 Capture of two American vessels.

The British forces collected outside Fort Erie, having been fired on by 3 American schooners, raid and capture 2 of them: the Somers and Ohio.

August 15 British siege of Fort Erie

An accumulated British force of over 3,000 under Lieutenant General Drummond, bombard and then assault Fort Erie (under the command of Brigadier General Edmund Pembleton Gaines and a garrison of over 2,000 men.) The British attack at night in three columns and eventually succeed in getting into the fort but are violently interrupted by a magazine explosion inside the fort and withdraw in confusion. Almost 1/3 (905men) of Drummond's army are killed, wounded or missing. Drummond continues the siege until September 21 when he withdraws to Chippawa and Fort George.

August 24 British burn Washington

Major General Robert Ross and Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn take an assault force of nearly 4,000 British soldiers up Chesapeake Bay. The British force marches to Bladensburg (north east of Washington) and meet with very little resistance. The American Commander Brigadier General Winder who had been removed from the active theatre of war after his defeat at Stoney Creek finds himself in charge of the American forces. The American militia that gather are of comparable size, but are poorly organised and led. Winder pulls out almost as soon as the engagement begins and leaves the road to Washington clear for the British to advance. That night they arrive in Washington and the military and government buildings are burned. The White House is badly damaged .

September 2 British Capture of the USS Tigress and the USS Scorpion.

A small British force lead by Lieutenant Millar Worsely from Michilimackinac surprise and take over the Tigress and use it to board and capture the Scorpion. The blockade is lifted at Michilimackinac and the British acquire a small Navy for Lake Huron.

September 5, Rock Island Rapids

An American force of 350 men led by Major Zachary Taylor, travel up the Mississippi towards Prarie Du Chien. They are met by British Royal Artillerymen and Natives under the charge of Duncan Graham and Chief Black Hawk. The Natives attack the Americans while the artillery fires across the rapids. Taylor retires quickly and establishes a post at the mouth of the Des Moines river which he abandons in October.

September 9 U.S. Raid on Port Talbot

September 11 Plattsburg

Over 10,000 British soldiers under the command of Lieutenant General Prevost and Major General de Rottenburg march south to attack American positions on Lake Champlain. The naval component of the assault is led by Captain Downie and the land assault is led by Major Generals Frederick P. Robinson, Thomas Brisbane and Manly Power. The engagement starts with a naval exchange that lasts 2 hours before the British fleet surrenders and the land attack does not take place as a result. Prevost returns with his soldiers to Lower Canada, to the disgust of his troops.

September 13-15 Siege of Fort McHenry (Battle of Baltimore)

The same assault force used at Washington lands an assault force in Baltimore while the naval force attacks Fort McHenry. Baltimore is better prepared than Washington and puts up a strong fight leading the British to abandon the siege two days later. The British artillery and rocket bombardment of Fort McHenry on the 13th inspires Frances Scott Key to write the words to the Star Spangled Banner which (set to the tune of the British drinking song Anacreon in Heaven) later becomes the American national anthem.

September 17 American victory at Fort Erie

Major Brown leads an attack out of Fort Erie on 3 seige batteries being built by the British. Two of the batteries are destroyed before the Americans are forced to return to the Fort.

September 21 British siege of Fort Erie abandoned.

October 20 The Action at Cooks Mills

American forces advancing North from Fort Erie are checked by the British in a see-saw battle. Americans burn Cook's Mills and both sides withdraw.

November 5 destruction of Fort Erie.

Major General George Izard decides to abandon Fort Erie despite having an accumulated army of over 6,000 men at his disposal. The changing situation on the Great Lakes causes Izard to mine the Fort, blow it up, and retreat to Buffalo.

November 8 Malcolm's Mills

American Brigadier General Duncan McArthur leads 800 men on a raiding foray across The St Clair River. They move towards Burlington Heights and after burning mills and houses and gathering provisions they meet a British Militia force that is assembled and reinforced by regulars and Natives from the Grand River (about 500 in all). Knowing that Fort Erie had returned to British hands and that no military support would be forthcoming, McArthur burns Malcolm's Mills and retreats to Sandwich.

December 10 British force of 1,600 men arrive near New Orleans

December 24 Ratification of the treaty of Ghent is signed The War of 1812 is officially over

December 28 British Siege of New Orleans begins.

December 31 American repulse a British assault at New Orleans