Home / Accueil

War of 1812 Timeline: October 1813 - December 1813

Timeline PDF

October 1813 - December 1813

October 1813 

Arrival of British reinforcements at Quebec City, Lower Canada: detachment of the Royal Navy, 1st Battalion of the Royal Marines.

1 October 1813

Skirmish near Chateauguay, Lower Canada.

2 October 1813

A group of 133 African Americans from Chesapeake Bay arrive in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The War of 1812 presented an opportunity for enslaved African Americans to settle and live in freedom in British North America.  One of the first groups to arrive in Nova Scotia came from the Chesapeake Bay area, following the British advances on Washington, District of Columbia and Baltimore, Maryland in August and September of 1813. The majority of African Americans who settled in the province came after Vice-Admiral Alexander Cochrane's proclamation of April 1814, which offered status as "free settlers" to all who desired to leave the United States and live in British colonies. Some 2,000 eventually settled in Nova Scotia, finding freedom in the process. However, as with the African American "Loyalists" who preceded them, they found life in Nova Scotia was not without its challenges.

4 October 1813    

The American revenue cutter Vigilant captures the privateer Dart off Rhode Island.

 

Action at McGregor's Creek, Upper Canada.  American forces under Major General William Henry Harrison clash with British Major-General Henry Procter's British and First Nations rearguard.

5 October 1813

Battle of the Thames, Upper Canada.

With Lake Erie under U.S. control following the defeat of the British fleet, Major-General Henry Procter, unable to resupply his garrison, was forced to abandon his base at Amherstburg and withdrew toward Burlington Heights via the Thames River.  The poorly managed retreat made slow progress, and Major-General William Henry Harrison's forces caught up to the British and First Nations allies who made a stand at Moraviantown .  The demoralized British were quickly overwhelmed by a charge from the Kentucky mounted riflemen.  First Nations fighters positioned on the British flank in a nearby swamp also withdrew but not before intense fighting with the American horsemen.  The allies suffered many casualties including the death of Shawnee Chief Tecumseh.  The victory secured American possession of southwest Upper Canada.

 

The Portsmouth Packet (formerly the Liverpool Packet) is captured by HMS Fantome off Mount Desert Island, District of Maine; reacquired by her original owners she resumes privateering as the Liverpool Packet.

6 October 1813

Commodore Isaac Chauncey's Lake Ontario squadron captures six of seven transports in a British convoy sailing from York to Kingston.  Among the approximately 250 prisoners are the two flank companies of the De Watteville Regiment.

12 October 1813

American raids of Missisiquoi Bay, Lower Canada.

14 October 1813

Major General William Henry Harrison signs a provisional armistice in Detroit, Michigan Territory with First Nations that have abandoned the British alliance.

16 October 1813

 

Fort Astoria, Columbia District (Oregon country) is sold to the North West Company.

British North West Company agents brought news of the declaration of war, and that a naval expedition was on its way to capture Fort Astoria, to the Pacific coast in December 1812.  Initially, employees of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company, who operated the post, were hopeful that American reinforcements would arrive first.  By the fall, however, no assistance had arrived and when North West Company traders suggested selling the fort Astor's agents negotiated good terms and peacefully gave up their post. Commander William Black of HMS Racoon took formal possession of the post, renamed Fort George, for the crown on 13 December 1813.  After the war the fort was nominally returned to American control but British fur traders continued to operate it until 1848.

 

The first troops of Major General James Wilkinson's expedition to attack Montreal leave Sackets Harbor, New York and land on Grenadier Island at the head of the St. Lawrence River. The island will be the staging point for the descent of the river.

19 October 1813 

U.S. Major General Wade Hampton crosses the border near Odelltown, Lower Canada en route to Montreal.

25 October 1813

United States Master Commandant Jesse Elliott assumes command of the Lake Erie fleet after Captain Oliver Hazard Perry is ordered to the East Coast.

25-26 October 1813

The Battle of Chateauguay, Lower Canada.

Together with the Battle of Crysler's Farm, the Battle of the Chateauguay ended a two-pronged American campaign against Montreal in October 1813.  Aware of Major General Wade Hampton's advance into Lower Canada, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry, charged with defending the Upper Richelieu, built a series of fortified positions along the Chateauguay River.  Hampton advanced with about 3,000 soldiers while Salaberry had under his command roughly 400 militia and First Nations fighters as well as 1,300 men led by Lieutenant-Colonel George Macdonell.  Dividing his force for frontal and flank attacks, Hampton's brigades retreated in confusion after skirmishing with Salaberry's troops.  This major defeat is remembered for its strategic consequences, the achievement of a few militia repelling American regulars, and for the large number of French-Canadian defenders.

End of October 1813 

U.S. Major General Wade Hampton retreats to Chateaugay, New York.

November 1813

Arrival of British reinforcements at Quebec City, Lower Canada: 70th Regiment.

 

Reinforcements enable the British to establish a naval blockade of the entire United States eastern seaboard south of New England. New England's exemption from the blockade is partly due to British dependence on trade with the region via New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

 

The British begin constructing a road in Upper Canada from Kempenfelt Bay on Lake Simcoe to Penetanguishene, on Georgian Bay in order to open a supply route to Fort Mackinac, Michigan Territory and points west. The new route replaces that lost when the Americans gained control of Lake Erie in September 1813.

1-2 November 1813

Skirmish at French Creek, New York. British naval forces from Kingston unsuccessfully attack the vessels carrying Major General James Wilkinson's army down the St. Lawrence River.

3 November 1813

American forces attack the Muscogee (Creek) Nation village of Tallushatchee, Mississippi Territory.

6 November 1813

Major General James Wilkinson's army, carried in a flotilla of boats, is fired upon and forces a night passage past the British Fort Wellington at Prescott, Upper Canada. The army continues its descent of the St. Lawrence River on its way to attack Montreal, Lower Canada.

9 November 1813

American troops under Major General Andrew Jackson defeat Red Stick Muscogee (Creek) fighters besieging the friendly Muscogee (Creek) village of Talladega, Mississippi Territory.

10 November 1813

Skirmish at Hoople's Creek, Upper Canada.

During the American campaign down the St. Lawrence River to capture Montreal, Major General James Wilkinson landed troops at the head of the Long Sault Rapids and sent Brigadier General Jacob Brown along with 2,500 officers and men to clear the road to Cornwall, Upper Canada, and seize much needed supplies.  After stopping to repair a bridge at Hoople's Creek, Brown was ambushed by 300 local militia commanded by British regular officer Major James Dennis of the 49th Regiment of Foot.  Concealed among the trees, the militia had a strong position but slowly withdrew against the much larger American force.  Dennis succeeded in delaying the American advance enough to allow 150 wagons of British supplies to be safely removed from Cornwall to Coteau-du-Lac, Lower Canada. 

 

British gunboats commanded by Royal Navy Captain William Mulcaster engage American gunboats protecting the flotilla of boats carrying Major General James Wilkinson's army on the St. Lawrence River. The British withdraw when they come under effective American artillery fire from the shore of the river.

11 November 1813

Battle of Crysler's Farm, Upper Canada.

In October Major General James Wilkinson began a coordinated campaign to capture Montreal with between 7,000 and 8,000 soldiers based at Sackets Harbor.  He was to link up with Major General Wade Hampton's army which was to advance on Montreal along the Richelieu River.  British Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Morrison's force of about 1,100 men pursued Wilkinson's flotilla down the St. Lawrence River.  When the Americans turned to engage with about 3,000 of their force, the British landed and took up a strong defensive position on John Crysler's field.  After a bloody battle Wilkinson's troops hastily returned to their boats. They descended the river to French Mills, New York, where they took up winter quarters abandoning efforts to capture Montreal after hearing news of Hampton's defeat at Chateauguay

12 November 1813

A hurricane strikes Halifax, Nova Scotia causing extensive damage to the ships of the Royal Navy squadron.

13 November 1813

Skirmish at Nanticoke Creek, Upper Canada. The Norfolk County Militia engage a group of American sympathizers. There are light casualties on both sides.

24 November 1813

The Loyal London Volunteers, a unit of the Upper Canada Militia, is formed.

25 November 1813

The Loyal Kent Volunteers militia unit is formed in Upper Canada.

29 November 1813

Battle of Autosse, Mississippi Territory. Despite inflicting significant casualties on a force of Muscogee (Creek) Nation fighters, American troops from Georgia do not achieve a clear victory.

10 December 1813

The burning of the town of Niagara, Upper Canada. 

By December 1813, U.S. Brigadier General George McClure was left with only 100 soldiers to defend his base at Niagara.  On 10 December, after giving the inhabitants little notice, he ordered the destruction of the town and withdrew his men to Fort Niagara, New York.  Elderly and sickly men, women and children were turned out into a fierce winter blizzard.  The treasonous "Canadian Volunteers," led by Joseph Willcocks burned the first capital of Upper Canada and pillaged the wretched people.  British and Canadian troops arrived that evening, too late to save any buildings but found Fort George in better condition, complete with artillery and camp equipment.  McClure had acted against his orders and was forced to resign. 

13 December 1813

Lieutenant-General Gordon Drummond takes command in Upper Canada.  He is the first Canadian born general officer in British service.

15 December 1813

Skirmish at McCrae's House, Upper Canada.

Following the British defeat at Moraviantown on 5 October 1813, the Americans controlled the Lower Thames River Valley.  They dispatched a detachment of about 40 officers and men, mostly of the 26th U.S. Regiment of Infantry, to Thomas McCrae's farmhouse using it as an observation post.  Sent down the Thames to collect cattle, British Lieutenant Henry Medcalf and 32 men of the Norfolk and Middlesex Militia, Kent Volunteers, and Provincial Dragoons came upon the Americans and surrounded them killing one and taking the rest captive to Long Point, Upper Canada.  After this engagement the Americans no longer stationed troops so far up the river and instead sent raiding parties into the area resulting in clashes like the Battle of Longwoods, Upper Canada in March 1814.

17 December 1813

The Lower Canada Militia raid Derby, Vermont, capturing supplies and burning barracks and storehouses.

19 December 1813

British capture Fort Niagara, New York in a surprise night assault.

During a snow storm on the night of 18-19 December 1813, British troops and Canadian militia volunteers crossed the Niagara River at Youngstown and attacked Fort Niagara.  An advance party led by British Sergeant Andrew Spearman moved unseen through the village of Youngstown, killing or capturing the American guards posted outside the fort. His group was able to force the main gates and the attackers stormed inside.  After a fierce struggle the fort was taken, along with an immense quantity of weapons and supplies.  Seventy-nine Americans were killed or wounded, and 350 surrendered.  The attackers lost five killed and six wounded.  The British occupied Fort Niagara, controlling the mouth of the river until the end of the War of 1812. 

19-30 December 1813

British and First Nations allies fight American troops at Lewiston and Fort Schlosser, burning the communities of Lewiston, Tuscarora settlement, Black Rock and Buffalo, all in New York, in revenge for the burning of Niagara, Upper Canada.

On 19 December, a force of British troops and First Nations defeated American Militia at Black Rock.  On 30 December, the U.S. militia force under Major General Amos Hall was defeated near Buffalo.  The British burned Lewiston, Tuscarora, Black Rock and Buffalo, as punishment for the burning of Niagara. Over 300 houses were burned, and the whole frontier from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie was depopulated.   Four U.S. armed schooners were also burned, and a large quantity of military stores and weapons captured or destroyed.  At Lewiston, New York a number of American civilians were killed by First Nations.   The attack on the Tuscarora settlement brought Onondowahgah (Seneca) and Skaruhreh (Tuscarora) fighters into the war on the side of the United States. 

23 December 1813

United States forces attack the Muscogee (Creek) Nation village at Eccanachaca, Mississippi Territory.

25 December 1813

HMS Belvidera captures USS Vixen off the coast of Delaware.

← Back    |    Next →

War of 1812 Timeline


Section 1: 1775 - November 1811
Section 2: January 1812 - June 1812
Section 3: July 1812 - September 1812
Section 4: October 1812 - December 1812
Section 5: January 1813 - March 1813
Section 6: April 1813 - June 1813
Section 7: July 1813 - September 1813
Section 8: October 1813 - December 1813
Section 9: January 1814 - March 1814
Section 10: April 1814 - June 1814
Section 11: July 1814 - December 1814
Section 12: January 1815 - 1871

Government of Canada official War of 1812 Bicentennial Website

RELATED LINKS