The Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812
The British Take Fort Niagara
The British Respond in Kind
The Newark and Queenston burnings infuriated the British, and they responded promptly. Early on the morning of December 16 some 550 men of the 1St, 41St and 100th regiments silently crossed the Niagara River in boats piloted by militiamen and attacked Fort Niagara with fixed bayonets. The Americans lost 67 soldiers, the British only five. The neighbouring village of Lewiston was then burnt to the ground as Newark had been a few days earlier. On December 29 there was a new incursion of 1,500 British at Black Rock and Buffalo on Lake Erie. The Americans were unable to withstand the attack: the villages were torched, as were four small navy gunboats and military supply stores. On January 12, 1814, Governor Prevost asked the Americans to conduct themselves in a more civilized manner, warning that he would not hesitate to take revenge immediately for any further barbarous acts. The belligerents thereafter behaved more moderately.
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