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American Withdrawal Leaves Towns Burning

Type: Document

When the British regained control of Lake Ontario in December 1813, the Americans had to move men to hold their shipyards at Sackets Harbor. Unable to hold Fort George, they burnt both it and the surrounding towns in mid-winter. A unit of Canadian traitors helped them in this cruelty.

Site: National Defence

The Battle for the Northwest

Type: Document

American plans called for the recapture of Fort Mackinac in 1814. An attack was defeated by a British ambush in August. The Americans were able to destroy the famous British ship Nancy shortly thereafter, but lost two ships of their own on Lake Huron in September.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Timber Now Vital to Britain

Type: Document

In 1806, developments in Europe made access to Canada crucial to Britain's survival. Emperor Napoleon's France blocked access to the Baltic, the traditional source of timber used in building ships for the Royal Navy. Canada was the only alternative source in British control.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Reinforcements Raised

Type: Document

During the year 1813, Britain's attention was focused on its fight against Napoleon's troops in Spain. There were limited reinforcements available for North America. To help strengthen the colonies' defences, many units were raised from Canadian volunteers and conscripts.

Site: National Defence

A Lackluster Victory

Type: Document

The Canadian government's military campaign against the North West Rebellion exposed the weaknesses of the mobilization system and the logistics needed to support a contingent in the field.

Site: National Defence

The Race to Build Ships

Type: Document

In 1814, with American advances stalled on the Niagara frontier and in the West, the longstanding battle to control Lake Ontario became very important. Both sides spared no effort in a naval race that saw each build and launch ships of the line and supporting frigates.

Site: National Defence

A Phenomenally Expensive Canal

Type: Document

The most expensive part of the British defence works built in Canada during the 1820s and 1830s was the Rideau Canal, which connected the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario. The huge engineering project cost more than £1.000,000 instead of the £169,000 budgeted at the start.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Government Mobilization

Type: Document

With improvements in transportation brought about by the transcontinental railway, the government’s response to the 1885 North West Rebellion was different from that of the 1870 Red River Rebellion. Major-General Frederick Middleton was able to move over 8,000 militia by rail to the region within a few weeks and form three columns at Qu'Appelle, Swift Current and Calgary.

Site: National Defence

Defence For Key Points

Type: Document

To protect Canada against American invasion after 1815, Britain planned to build fortifications defending strategic locations. Quebec City, Kingston and Montreal were key points, and they were to be defended by walls and guns and linked together by canals.

Site: National Defence

British Naval Defeat, Then Disaster on Land

Type: Document

The naval battle of Put-In-Bay in September 1813 gave the Americans control over Lake Erie. Procter's British army, its supply lines cut, was retreating when it was destroyed by the invading Americans at Moraviantown in October. Tecumseh was the most important casualty.

Site: National Defence