This Week in History
Midnight Assault at Fort Niagara
|For the week of Monday December 17, 2012
On December 19, 1813, British Lieutenant-General Gordon Drummond commanded a surprise midnight assault on American-occupied Fort Niagara, New York. Despite a heavy snow storm and a fierce struggle, British troops and Canadian militia crossed the Niagara River at Youngstown and successfully captured the fort during the War of 1812.
On the evening of December 18, about 560 men, including Canadian militiamen, soldiers of the 1st, 41st and 100th Regiments and Royal Artillery assembled at St. Davids, Upper Canada (present-day Ontario), to march toward the Niagara River. From there, they boated across the river and landed south of the fort. Then they moved north toward Youngstown, taking the American guards in the town by surprise. After a brief march they burst through the lightly defended gate at Fort Niagara, finding the American soldiers stationed inside completely unprepared!
This year is the beginning of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. For more information on the war, please read Shot Through the Heart, Battle of Frenchman’s Creek, and The Battle of Beaver Dams in the This Week in History Archives. Commemorative events will take place all across Canada! For more information on the War of 1812, visit Commemorating the War of 1812 on the Parks Canada website.
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