Saturday, May 27, 2017

On This Day In Canadian History.... 

1813 - 
American General Henry Dearborn orders an attack on the British garrison at Fort George after two days of bombardment with fire shells (red-hot cannon balls) destroyed almost all the buildings in the fort. On this foggy morning, Winfield Scott and Benjamin Forsyth secure a beachead on Lake Ontario. Brigadier General John Vincent immediately orders the Glengarry Light Infantry, the 8th King's Regiment of Foot and the Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry to the beach to meet the Americans with a bayonet charge as they disembark. But they are quickly outnumbered, as wave after wave of 7,000 US regulars land, driving back the Canadian troops to a position held by the 8th Regiment. When the 49th Regiment and militia fail to halt further American advance, Vincent knows he can be outflanked, and orders Fort George abandoned. Under constant bombardment from Fort Niagara across the river, many women and children of the 49th and other corps are left behind in the casements of the fort. Vincent rapidly retreats up the Niagara river to Queenston then cuts north with detachments from Fort Erie and Queenston towards Burlington Heights north of Hamilton with the rest of his 1,400 British and Canadian militia and their families. The Americans had failed in their intent to destroy Vincent's small army, but the Niagara peninsula is now firmly under US control.

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