The War of 1812 lasted from the American declaration of war on Great Britain in June 1812 to the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent in February 1815.
Each article in our Then & Now Journal consists of two parts. The “Then” portion describes events of the war in the same two-month time frame as 200 years ago. The “Now” portion highlights existing memorials, museums, battlefields, fortifications and other sites as well as various commemorative events. Space does not permit us to list every event, and so we encourage you to investigate what may be happening in your area or any event that may be of interest.
July 2: The Provincial Marine captures American schooner Cuyahoga Packet on Detroit River, carrying personal papers of Michigan Territory governor Brigadier-General William Hull. Hull is unaware war has been declared; the papers contain valuable information about his forces.
July 5: Hull’s Northwestern Army reaches Detroit.
July 12-Aug. 8: Hull crosses Detroit River with 2,000 troops and invades Upper Canada. He occupies Sandwich (now Windsor) peacefully, intending to capture Fort Amherstburg (now Fort Malden), but later withdraws.
July 16-25: British troops from Fort Amherstburg and native allies repel American soldiers in a series of skirmishes at Canard River.
July 16-17: Roughly 225 British regulars and Canadian voyageurs under Captain Charles Roberts from Fort St. Joseph, accompanied by 400 warriors, sail 80 kilometres to Mackinac Island and bloodlessly capture Fort Mackinac and its 62-man garrison.
July 19: A five-ship Provincial Marine squadron from Kingston attacks American flagship Onieda, trapped at Sackets Harbour, but is driven off by longer-range American cannons.
Aug. 5: Near Brownstown, British ally Tecumseh and two dozen warriors ambush 200 American troops attempting to break through to a supply column on its way to Hull’s army, forcing them back.
Aug. 5: Major-General Isaac Brock sails from York (present-day Toronto), heading for Amherstburg.
Aug. 8-Sept. 4: American Gen. Henry Dearborn and Governor-General George Prevost agree to armistice on Niagara and St. Lawrence frontiers.
Aug. 9: American soldiers defeat a force of British, Canadians and native warriors near Indian village of Magagua, but fail to open vital supply line between Ohio and Detroit.
Aug. 14: Brock and Tecumseh meet at Fort Amherstburg.
Aug. 15: American garrison abandons Fort Dearborn (present-day Chicago) on Hull’s orders. Soldiers and civilians are massacred or captured by natives as they leave, and the fort is burned. British agents later purchase the captives and set them free.
Aug. 16: Some 730 British, Canadians and natives under Brock capture Fort Detroit, garrisoned by 1,500 American regulars and militia. Brock cleverly deceives Hull into thinking he has a larger force and gains control of the entire Michigan Territory.
Aug. 19: Captain Isaac Hull, commanding the USS Constitution, defeats HMS Guerrière off Nova Scotia. British cannon fire fails to damage Constitution’s sturdy oak hull, earning her the nickname “Old Ironsides.”
July 1-8: The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo commemoration of the war, Halifax.
July 13-15: The Navy of 1812: Sailors on the Lakes encampment, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
July 17-22: Algoma 1812 Commemoration, Fort St. George and Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Sites, St. Joseph Island and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
July 21: Grand opening of Niagara Falls History Museum (formerly Lundy’s Lane Historical Museum), Niagara Falls, Ont.
Aug. 3-5: Newfoundland 1812 Soldiers encampment, Signal Hill, St. John’s, Nfld.
Aug. 3-5: Roots to Boots Festival, including unveiling of Provincial Marine Monument, Amherstburg, Ont.
Aug. 11-12: War of 1812 historical re-enactment, Fort Chambly, Que.
Aug. 11-12: Re-enactment of 1814 siege of Fort Erie, Ont.
Aug. 25: Capture of Detroit Commemoration Festival, Windsor, Ont.
Aug. 25: Re-enactment of Provincial Marine capture of the American schooner Cuyahoga Packet, Amherstburg, Ont.
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