The Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812

American Fiascos

Hull's Army Smashed at Detroit

Detroit campaign map, 1812

Caption: Detroit campaign map, 1812

Further south, British, Canadian and Amerindian troops were preparing to attack Hull and the troops stationed in Detroit. On August 13 General Brock went to Fort Malden with a party of the 41St Regiment, as well as militiamen and Amerindians, to meet the Great Chief Tecumseh. These two men, who were both very tall, immediately had great respect for one another. According to legend, Tecumseh turned to his braves and said, "This is a man," which is to say a true leader, like himself.

Brock then decided that the time had come to lay siege to Detroit. Leading 300 soldiers of the 41st Regiment and the Royal Newfoundland Fencibles, 400 militiamen and approximately 600 Amerindians, he arrived at Detroit on August 16. When the Americans saw the troops arrive, they almost panicked because of their fear of what the Amerindians might do. They also assumed that the British regular army was much larger than it really was, thanks to Brock's ploy of providing old uniforms of the 41st Regiment to his militiamen. When the British artillery opened fire, many frightened American militiamen deserted. General Hull, completely overwhelmed by events, capitulated. With the invasion of Canada from the west rebuffed, Michigan was in turn overrun!

Additional Images

Grand Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee, circa 1807
Meeting of General Brock and Grand Chief Tecumseh at Fort Malden on 13 Aug 1812