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Formation of the Union By Albert Bushnell Hart Characters: 1636

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

[Sidenote: Campaign of 1812.]

For the beginning of the campaign two expeditions were planned,-one across the river from Detroit, the other across the Niagara from Buffalo. The experience of the Revolution threw little light on the problem of conveying large bodies of men, with the necessary stores, across such stretches of wild country. General Hull, in command at Detroit, after a single effort to invade Canada, was forced back, and on Aug. 16, 1812, was brought to a disgraceful capitulation. Fort Dearborn, now Chicago, and Mackinac were captured at about the same time. In October and November two attempts were made to cross the Niagara into Canada. Owing to the incapacity of the commanders, Van Rensselaer and Smythe, six thousand American troops were held in check, and smaller bodies of them defeated, b

y one thousand British. The military authorities in the centre waited for the reduction of western Canada before attempting to advance northward to Montreal.

[Sidenote: Campaign of 1813.]

The campaign of 1813 was little more fortunate. The British, with their savage allies, held Detroit; but a fresh-water navy had been constructed by both parties on Lake Erie, and the victory of Commodore Perry gave the control of Lake Erie, and thus of Detroit, to the Americans. On the Niagara frontier the Americans were successful in occupying the British forts on the western side of the river, but could not penetrate the country. A northern expedition descended the St. Lawrence, but was obliged to retire into American territory without result; and in the last days of the year the Niagara posts were again abandoned.

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