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Date > 1800

Subject > Strategy and Tactics > Fortifications

The Military Art of the American Northwest

Type: Document

War in the Pacific Northwest centred around the canoe, which could be up to 20 metres long. Flotillas of canoes would attack enemy villages, hoping to capture prisoners to keep as slaves. Coastal forts of cedar logs were to be found, used to help control and tax maritime trade.

Site: National Defence

St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada: The War of 1812

Type: Document

It is June of 1812, and war has been declared between the United States and Great Britain! Tension has been simmering between these two nations for many years and for many reasons.

Site: Parks Canada

Fort Montgomery - the American fort built inside Canada

Type: Image

The United States Corps of Engineers began building Fort Montgomery in 1816, after the War of 1812. It was sited near Rouses Point, New York, at the northern end of Lake Champlain at the mouth of the Richelieu River. In the case of another war, it was to guard the northern American border against British and Canadian incursions and provide a base for United States armies invading Canada in that area. However, construction had to be abandoned after two years when the fort was found to be slightly inside Canada’s boundaries. Fort Montgomery got the nickname ‘Fort Blunder’ and was never completed. The site later reverted to the United States in 1842 as a good will gesture between Britain, Canada and the United States, nations that have since been allies in the great struggles of the 20th century.

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

Fort York, Toronto, August 1839

Type: Image

The fort at Toronto, also known as Fort York, was rebuilt after its destruction by the Americans in 1813. As can be seen in this 1839 painting by P.J. Bainbridge, the fort was on the waterfront, at the entrance to Toronto harbour. The figure in the foreground is a soldier of the 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot. (Library and Archives Canada, C-002801)

Site: National Defence

1814 Time Lines

Type: Document

While it is called the War of 1812, many battles, raids, and skirmishes occurred in 1814. This time-line presents a brief description of the events of 1814 and the forces that were involved in both land and sea confrontations.

Site: Parks Canada

Large Garrison Still Needed

Type: Document

Defending British North America after the end of the war of 1812 required a large number of British soldiers. Thousands of men were stationed in Upper and Lower Canada, and thousands more in the Maritime colonies.

Site: National Defence

Limited Military Presence

Type: Document

Neither the Hudson's Bay Company nor the North West Company kept a military presence in the Northwest Territories during the early nineteenth century. Although strong stone forts were built, there were no soldiers. Company employees manned the defences as necessary.

Site: National Defence

A Long-awaited Attack

Type: Document

In the fall of 1813, the Americans finally put in motion their long-delayed attack towards Montreal. Two invading columns were launched - one eastwards down the St. Lawrence, and a second up the Châteauguay valley from the south. Six thousand defenders faced the 14,000 invaders.

Site: National Defence

St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada: Military Services

Type: Document

After the war ended in 1814, St. Andrews Blockhouse continued to be used as a barracks by the Royal Artillery.

Site: Parks Canada