Hull thought that he could move east from Detroit and occupy the lower portion of what is now Ontario. He was unprepared for the resistance he met, from both British regulars and local militias. His retreat from Canada continued past Detroit and to Pennsylvania. He left the settlers of the Midwest unprotected and open to raids by the British and their Indian allies. This would not be the last time in the War of 1812 that a general’s ego played a key role in a loss on either side.
From 1812 to 1815, the United States fought Great Britain, its colonists in Canada and its Native American allies. New York State was at the center of the struggle, with both land and sea borders with Canada and seacoast on the Atlantic Ocean. The bicentennial begins in 2012 and will include events in and around the state.
June 18, 1812 – Congress declares war on Great Britain.
July 19, 1812 – USS Oneida drives off several British vessels attempting to attack Sackets Harbort, NY.
October 18, 1812 – Maj. Gen. Stephen van Rensselaer fords the Niagara River near Lewiston, NY, with nearly 1,300 troops. An attempt to take the Canadian town of Queenston fails. 300 Americans are killed and 1,000 taken captive.
July 1814 – American troops cross the Niagara again. They recapture Fort Erie. In a battle with British regulars at Chippewa Creek, the American force their retreat.
July 24, 1814 – the invading Americans meet British and Canadian forces at Lundy’s Lane. One of the largest battles of the war, both sides claimed victory. The cost was steep, some 1,600 casualties on both sides, and the Americans retreated to Fort Erie.
September 6-11, 1814 – British troops advance to the village of Plattsburgh, N.Y. The two sides fought a naval battle on Lake Champlain which the British lost. The British troops retired to Canada without further combat.
February 18, 1815 – President James Madison signs the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war of 1812.